Monday, 18 February 2008

Smirnoff Experience Global Event, Shanghai

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.

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