好奇藝術 Kunstkammer 44 : "如山" // 如山古琴 vs 如山小店
Everyday in 2009 for one month, I rode my bicycle to a guqin school at Dongzhimen.
The boulevard sidewalk was and still remains wide and clear. Clean. You just ride along the 8 lane street, and stop anywhere you like. Park your bike, get a nice honey yogurt in a ceramic jar, drink it up fresh cool through a straw, through the paper cover. Look at some bookstores, cinema cafe shops. Banks. And you also could stop when you see interesting shops. Like sample bag shops, sample clothing's shops, dotted all along this huge avenue running from Xidan all the way to DongZhimen.
Many years ago, in Paris, maybe 1993? There was an installation of Boltanski at the Quai de la Gare Artist Studio - a Parisian squat. There were many piles of donated clothing, with a plastic bag at 10ff, you could fill it up with any items. There were a lot of immigrants who got many bags. It was fun. Beautiful lighting shone onto the piles.
At 如山, the shop owner, and assistants were all women. Its a sample/overstock/whatever shop. It had the freedom and joy of scavengers. The clothing were new, and often designer wear all made in China, exported, and returned after the seasons over? Are these jobbers lots? What is the life experience of a piece of clothing?
Unlike the buyers at Boltanskis show, they were mainly immigrants finding a good deal. They were mainly Africans and people like myself - poor student, visitors, buyers all mixed. I would buy one or two bags, and others might buy 20 bags.
I did not see any regular white person buying for fun.
(pictures of similar shops today in HK, or "fouille" in Paris)