Roll 2: An American Piano in China, 2007

Peering at me 13 Chinese student faces admired. My polaroid transfer was almost dry, starched by the receiving paper made of rice. I had brought one hd camera, one panoramic camera and a polaroid camera to document the return of violinist Xiao Fu Zhao. Walking down Xing Xiung road my camera from 1968 caught the attention of some art students trying to make a living scamming tourists into purchasing their art, “on the last day possible”.. How do I know this, well I was their victim that day.  I was fresh into Shanghai overwhelmed by the 25 million people making the city their own. Making it a new China with capable transitional means from a humble classic proud society to consuming tendencies full of capitalistic greed.

I was in China last October, 2007, to document the return of Xiao Fu to his hometown of Shanghai after 30 years abroad. The only problem was that the city he knew did not exist. In fact the land of his entire upbringing was now just a foundation lost for a venture capitalist whose enterprise was also lost in view by the smog mix of a million lives. Can where we started be found centuries later when the skyscrapers become empty and return to the ground as used metal?

Xiao Fu was the star performer. His bow was from 1760 and was worth over US$300000..to be continued.

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