Saturday, 28 January 2017

A couple of busy days

Yesterday morning I got up early - for me - and made my way on foot down to the Powerhouse Museum to meet my cousin and his family - his wife and two daughters - because we had organised to visit the Mummies exhibition. The statue shown here is one of the exhibits, which include mummified bodies as well as videos of medical imaging taken to examine the contents without disturbing the wrappings, as well as a collection of secondary items. This is one of those secondary items: a minor deity who has the task of scaring off evil spirits - he is carrying and beating a tambourine. I thought it was such a human-scale piece, something out-of-the-ordinary for the classical Egyptian period, where we usually see taught, dog-faced statues standing literally like statues.

After the exhibition we went to a Taiwanese restaurant in Chinatown for lunch, and then I said goodbye to my family and caught the light rail - which has just recently begun running from Central again after construction works interrupted service for about three weeks - back home. When I got home I had a nap. Later, the girl called me and I went out in the car to pick her up. We ended up eating some food in a Taiwanese restaurant in Newtown where they only serve vegan food. Two Taiwanese restaurants in one day! We went home and had a walk around the headland then played chess and went to bed.

This morning we got up a bit late and had some fruit for breakfast, then made our way into town to an exhibition at a little gallery in Albion Place - a pedestrian-only street next to Event Cinema, off George Street - called 'What's in A Surname'. It is an exhibition by a young Chinese-Australian photographer named Ken Leanfore showing a collection of people of Chinese ancestry who grew up in Australia and whose names had been decided by bureaucratic fiat mostly back in the 19th century. The way that Chinese surnames were authorised by immigration functionaries back in the early days of the country is of interest to many people, including my friend, and we were lucky to have the chance to talk at length with the photographer. We arrived at the gallery before lunch then looked around and made our way out to a Korean restaurant down the street, then came back to the gallery for the official opening party - with wine and snacks and crowds of people - later on.

We got home after stopping by a Fairfax-sponsored China food market event in Pyrmont Park and lay down for a little while, then I took the girl home in the car, and drove back home to my place. There was a nasty snarl of traffic at the intersection of Pyrmont Bridge Road and Harris Street that I managed to negotiate without too much difficulty, even though it slowed me down a bit. When I got home I ate the remains of the food we had bought at the food market and sat down to social media.

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