I’ve been photographing art and street art and spaces in Shanghai, as you do… living in a busy metropolis that’s still not your familiar home city. And this year, I’ve always been pondering about the creative life and who I am and how I am as a creative type. There’s a few hints at this in my ‘Made in China’ series, as I’ve just not felt artististic or creative 100 per cent… I’m extremely practical and full of problem solving and needing to know WHY all the time. USUALLY.
But in Shanghai, I’m feeling a shift. I am definitely letting things go when they don’t matter anymore…
And I guess more importantly, the self awareness has just kept growing… and recently the fog of ‘Who the fuck am I?' has lifted and I feel some great clarity. Without my job, my friends and family around me like in Australia… I’m just me, just a mother, a wife. And while I know that’s just not all there is about me… I have felt really stripped back and the need to rebuild myself has been very strong.
From talking to other people in this position, this feels like a common thing… and Shanghai has lots of people coming and going and is a remarkably energising place. Especially for rebuilding. I have been saying ‘Yes’ all the time and it's led to so many different things. Sometimes I think, what would I usually do in this situation? And then try and do the opposite. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
So instead of putting value on my identity or role or title (I felt so happy when I settled on a 'Media Consultant & Creative Strategist' to sum up who I am here in Shanghai... but immediately felt ridiculous!)... but yes, instead of putting this importance on who I am... I'm going to just be and express and do...
And leapfrog my way through it.
So I've ALWAYS wanted to do a blog series of the Art of the City (and this could be actual art or just the vibe of it) because when I was a very impressionable young woman, I read Fiona Parker's Art of the City column in the local street press every week and was in absolute awe of her... if you're in Victoria, you'd know she hosts the ABC Central Victorian Mornings Show from Bendigo... so she continues to be a legend. So this blog series is in ode to Fiona (who has since been a gorgeous friend and colleague) and I want to show the art of this city... and who knows what other city I'll end up in?!
And this artpiece: Leapfrog Scultpture from the Xintiandi area of Shanghai