Art Junky

Nicholas Quirke was able to satisfy another urge that he had been missing on 21 May 2020 when he made a trip to the National Art Museum of China. He had been to the museum on his visit in 2018 but as all galleries had been closed until now he had not managed to see any indigenous historic art work. The Museum was located in the Dongcheng area and meant another journey North for him. The day was notable as the start of the CPCC’s week long meeting in the city and the security level of the central areas, were raised and now at every subway entrance soldiers were stationed and he was fortunate enough to catch a group of guards marching to their positions. From the photographs he took he was amused to See that one of the trained and drilled Guards was out of step with his brothers. The added security meant that he had find an alternative route to the museum as he could not take Chang’an Avenue and pass Tiananmen. What he did discover was that it took him past a park he had not seen before which led to another relic which he would have to explore later. His entry into the gallery was straightforward though they did have some concerns about his GoPro, which in a flashback to his last tarriance was confiscated, but was on this occasion approved. Before going into NAMOC he wandered around their outside sculpture park, impressed as always by the heroic Imagery of the communist statues. Once inside he headed for the 6th floor to work his way down through the galleries which got larger and larger. The Museum were honouring all their donations and donators and he was treated to their 3D collections, their foreign collections, Water colours, oil, tapestries and photography. He loved the scope of the work, from the flowers and birds to the awesome landscapes and the beautiful figurative work. By far and away the work that really spoke to him on this visit was the vast and moving depiction of refugees following the Japanese invasion in 1943 in an ink and colour panorama by Jiang Zhaohe. Naturally it was a long visit and once he had refreshed himself with a tea and some nuts he set of to explore the relic park, a long thin garden which led to a neglected piece of cobbling which was a road, originally laid down in the Ming Dynasty and led to one of the gates to the city. Though it was clear he shouldn’t, he stepped onto the stones and felt the rush of the historical Chinese whose feet had worn down the stone. He enjoyed a late lunch in a mall and realised that it was the first time that he had bought himself lunch out on his own. He felt he had overcome a small hurdle. The air started to blacken on his ride back home and no sooner had he walked through the door than it turned to night and another furious storm erupted. He was pleased to have The opportunity to catch up with Cole and to get the opportunity to listen to more of Titus Andronicus, featuring great many of his friends which ‘The One Fell Swoop Project’ on FB had read on Sunday, together on Zoom, and had recorded especially for him. It was the intention of the group to get through Reading the complete works of Shakespeare during lockdown. Nicholas hoped to get an opportunity to join them in a reading despite the complexities of the time difference. His evening activities ended with a filmed conversation with his friend Terry in Denver on the usefulness of online teaching methods on TikTok. he was inspired to start a TikToc account and promised himself to download the app in the morning.


  1. Beautiful exhibits. Another good day, treading the path of the Ming Dynasty and your first solo lunch, happy days!! xxx

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