The first piece of art you´ll see in the Fundacio Suñol, a private collection of art a few buildings up from Casa Mila in Barcelona, is a giant pop art rendering of Mao Tze Dong. An Andy Warhol original, Mao looks like a drag queen who loved rose-coloured blush so much that she put it all over her face, blue eyeshadow (over red eyes) and ruby lipstick. On one side of the cheek, the artist has painted yellow and orange, enhancing the warm colours against the two-toned blue in the picture.
According to an article CNN just ran, China is not ápproaching´superpower status anymore, but already possesses it. This leaves me with very mixed emotions: there´s an awful lot of people whose living standards are being raised, year by year, decade by decade. They say that there are such huge differences between teh generations in China due to the extremely rapid changes that have takien place already. I want to see people be more empowered economically and otherwise... but not at the expense of political stagnation, corruption and repression.
China being a superpower means that it can do whatever it wants, or something very similar. And until enough people want the regime to change, it won´t. Totalitarian leaders don´t just give up power - like the Arab Spring, they have to be ousted from it by a public hungry for democracy. When will that happen in China? Can I be hopeful that it will happen soon? Might it not happen at all? ANything is possible, and nobody knows anything. Keep a watch, my friends...
It´s important that we keep confronting ourselves with visions of China, because this is only the beginning: Chinese culture is going to be very significant in the future. I am strongly considering learning Mandarin during my stay in Asia. Because that´s what I´ll be doing after this trip is over: I´m going to fly over to Thailand and settle in Chiang Mai for as long as my visa allows, then continue to fly in and out of the nation, perhaps settling briefly in other nations such as Taiwan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam... perhaps even Mongolia. It´s time to make myself even more free than I currently am, and to increase my learning curve. I´m sure that at times it will be discomforting, very challenging and unkind, and there will be many times when I wish to give up... but this is my dream. I´m going to figure out how to publish my work or find another method of monetising it, while living in Thailand & Asia!