CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
Beijing | HotelMay 23, 2012

Cinematography Living

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Can someone explain to me why we always need to " get away" to far -away lands and when we reach those lands we still have the need to feel  "at home" ?

If we need that escape, why we feel so great when we found the perfect place , with the perfect bed and sheets,  the most incredible music playlist , attentive  housekeeper sand unpaired bathtub that makes us feel we have been home forever and ever and never want to leave ? Like in a good movie.

This is what I have felt since the moment I stepped at my assigned Studio 70 of the Opposite House in Beijing. The comfortable 70m  studio, among the nine other spacious suites and penthouse, is  the one I have liked the most.

Except for subtle touches of Chinese decor , all lending a sense of place,  the  strikingly simple with natural wooden floors remind me more of a Swedish loft  in the mountains than an urban hotel in Beijing.  The subtle neutral surrounding makes it hard to believe  I am actually in China.

The  cordial hotel   manager Enwei Lien comes right in after my luggage is set in place . With a perfect British accent Erwin noticing my surprise softly adds" Yes Mr Maslaton, the old iconic idea that everything in China has to be brightly colored or red is fortunately gone! We of the Swire group are the first to have created a brand new visual identity , the one of a New and modern China. I hope you will enjoy it.

And talking about the New China ,we are delighted to offer you  the well-received Oppositehouse Vol 1 , Vol 2 and Vol 3 CDs of 10 eclectic tracks by some of China’s most exciting and talented musicians. This third limited edition album, like the first two, has been specially created for guests to enjoy in-house or to take away as a gift and is not for sale.

The 10 artists featured in this album have very diverse musical backgrounds; from Hanggai, who pioneered China’s folk rock scene, mixing rock guitars with throat singing to Zhou Yunpeng, China’s most popular independent folk singers as well as a campaigner for visually impaired children to Shanren, aiming to promote and preserve the heritage of their diverse minority groups. This third album provides an insightful perspective into how today’s musicians are drawing upon the sounds and moods of their ancestors, combining these with modern twists.

Delighted I put the cd on the dvd player, the sound that comes from it is just magic. On the same desk that displays a juicy and punky cupcake, I am  also offered a short film collection ,  a project the Opposite House commissioned  with a vision to support the growing contemporary Chinese art scene , an extension of their commitment to support emerging local artists in every medium, from sculptures to music and now, film. “Short Stays” is a unique project that has given a platform to independent film artists in Beijing to explore the concept and space of the House.

In collaboration with independent producers and film makers Zhang Xianmin and Samantha Culp, the idea is inspired by the use of the hotel’s space. From the new wave classic “Last Year at Marienbad” to the sleek “Lost in Translation,” hotels have always been great cinematic spaces. The closed door of a hotel room naturally evokes themes of mystery, memory, desire, escape, and curiosity.

“The closed door of a hotel room naturally evokes themes of mystery, memory, desire, escape, and curiosity. In this project, we wanted to peek through the keyholes into this borderline space, through the eyes of three fiercely original filmmakers,” says Samantha Culp, co-producer of “Short Stays.”

The short films by three award-winning young Chinese filmmakers—Liu Jiayin, Peng Lei and Zhao Ye—all based in Beijing but with festival creed from around the world, create a conversation around the nature of the hotel’s space and explore modern urban story telling in the framework of a type of creative experiment unprecedented in China. “Short Stays” also invited two up-and-coming photographers, Madi Ju and Lin Zhi Peng (aka 223) to document the filming process for the limited-edition DVD and booklet, adding another offbeat perspective to the project.

I am now eager for everyone to leave and enjoy my time in the splendid  meticulously studied environment. I jump on my bed, and scream of happiness. On my bedside table a silver orange envelope with a question written on it " Had a long day?"

They are bath salts and a delicious face mask.

The “Khurden” oil painting on the album cover art of the cd is by Batzorig Dugarsuren, an Ulaanbaatar based up-and-coming artist. He conveys the idea of reincarnation in an eternal continuum, embedded in the painterly rings of concentric abstraction. Batzorig is represented by the Red Gate Gallery, Beijing and his work is held in the permanent collection of the Mongolian Museum of Modern Art.

If this is my reincarnation,it is very welcome, please God make this moment be my own and personal eternal continuum.

Joelle's Tips:

The Hotel : The Opposite House Beijing

The Musician: Nana The Song: Lost in Paradise

The Artist : Batzorig Dugarsuren

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