Shanghai climaxed in the Shanghai Sculpture center, where the second of four global Smirnoff Experience events took place. Before entering the party of last Chinese year, Steph and I spent some time sculpting introduction shots for the event video. We did one in front of a traditional looking, bronze, maybe, show pony. Another shot was done in front of a twisted, white, rectangular tube. It was really cold and snowing, so we ran inside. On the way we passed a bull with technological laser jet implants that help it fly better, a transformer (but not officially), you gotta fast car that's made of wood, abstract forms...
Once inside we were greeting by a record breaking self-fulfilling cocktail menu. Screens calculated and displayed over 1300 cocktails based on combinations of ingredients. Akona went through the process on camera and got a glass with ice and Smirnoff Black, herbal tea, vanilla syrup, and a strawberry'. She calls it the "Akona", but I call prefer to call it #1352. Imagine #1253.
And then it happened. A silver birch tree forest. Snow flakes in the air. An opportunity to take some time for yourself, slip on a pair of the headphones that grow out of a tree, and listen to the noises of birds in the summer. On each tree, a paper scroll which tells us the Smirnoff filtration process.
Stepping out from the forest, a wall of giant pearls reflect cold moving water. Stepping closer causes a Chinese model to pop out from between strands to hand us frosty water bottles. Since I was having an alcohol free night, I got to know the water model quite well. She even let me go behind the pearl curtain. VIP all the way.
I watched Thai Ben play with Tangrams. In our video he explains a famous legend about the origins of Tangrams and the idea that many different pieces make many different possibilities, combinations.
Another combination breakthrough moment happened while watching Hard-Fi collaborate with Chinese drummers. It was perfect. This once in a lifetime combination can be seen in a separate video about the music at this event. Hard-Fi, Tom Middleton, Sasha...
After a great night of music, I headed to the street, bought a hot can of milk tea and got in a cab (which is something I'd include in a pillow book, were I writing one). Shanghai would soon be another departure, bringing us to Salvador, Brazil.