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I think it’s time to remind you that I’m not JUST hanging out here (oh, really…?), but also acquiring some knowledge of art. Less than I’d hoped, but never mind.

My favourite place to feel like a stuck-up intellectual is the Zhejiang Art Museum, which puts on interesting exhibitions, is always quiet and has a very nice bookshop and art supplies shop.

Here are some pictures from an exhibition of modern Chinese oil painting I’ve seen a couple of months ago. Yes, it’s not all about ink and waterfalls any more. Chinese artists are breaking into the world of modern painting – good for them! Sometimes they get repetitive, sometimes downright tacky (decades of exposure to socialist propaganda posters?), but the good thing (for me) is that you definitely see less obscenities pretending to be art and less canvas covered with dots or with glued-on socks, which claim to express the pain of existence.

Here’s a selection. Sorry for the bad quality, but the lightning tends to be murky in the halls of art.

Very modern and very true – this is a real image of China.

A nature lover? No, but I really liked the technique!

Oh, c'mon! It's a cat with weird eyes, you can't hate it!

Reminds me of early Italian Renaissance Madonnas...

So what if the Dutch still-painting has had its heyday? I still love it and kudos to everyone who follows it (skilfully)!

You may call it sentimental, you may call it tacky, you may like it – the choice is yours.

Kind of unexpected, among all those portraits and everyday scenes...

I like the feel in this one

And a more edgy portrait

There were many more, and more interesting too, but by that time I had no strength left to take photos – it was a really big exhibition. Anyway, my bad.

One of these days I’ll have to get down there again and see what’s up – as soon as it stops raining (which it has for literally every day in the last six weeks. Yes, we’re all quite fed up with it here!). So more to come!

PS: I know, I know, this post is not terribly exciting, but I’m just winging it, and in a state of rain-induced torpor. I’ll do better soon, I promise!