Friday, June 10, 2016

Shanghai Noon

Last week I was in China for work, but I did meet up with a Shanghai sketcher friend who took me out with the amiable Shanghai group.  They were very professional water colourists who meet at 9am and nobly work till 2pm each Saturday (with lunch break).  It was the season of Plum Rains, mild but wet, and they were painting under cover in a park.

My sketcher friend also took me to the historic Puxi area - a cobbled street with arches at each end. This was Mr Hong's house the 3rd most important person in the prewar Nationalist Kuomintang government - the Finance Minister.  ie after Sun Yat Sen and Shiang Kai-shek. We had to assume 'umbrella sketching' to avoid blobs of water on our paper. A guy in a singlet and tartan pants up to his armpits appeared out of the front door and finished his cheroot.

In the same area was an unusual (for China) building.  Traditional Chinese on the outside yet a handsome Western church within.  When we showed the caretakers our sketches who kindly gave us a tour - explaining how under earlier Communist rule it had been many other things including a library, but was now a fully functioning church again.

One night I went across to 'The Brew' where Westerners hang out.  A band began to play - they called for requests, and had a huge repertoire and were great to hear.  At a break I discovered they were all (but the Canadian lead singer) from Hamilton NZ  and call themselves 'Solidaz'.  They've lived in the hotel with their families for 20 years, playing several hours a night as their job!


  1. Shanghai is a great, sounds like you had fun!

  2. Thanks Eric, yes it is a booming city isn't it. Lots to sketch.

  3. You found some real gems in Shanghai Scott. That's the perfect name for a band from Hamilton, solid as, eh.

  4. Thanks Murray, yes it was a surprise to see so many Kiwis not only at the pub but most of the band. Yes the name was a give away.