Foreigners´Art Competition on Beijing TV and Our Tour in China

Between January 6th and 24th, 2006, a long awaited thing happened. Finally we gained an opportunity to perform in China and expose the Chinese to our concept of Chinese rock. In autumn of the year 2005 we were asked if we are willing to take part in the Foreigners' Art Competition in Beijing organized by Beijing Television (BTV). For a long time we have not believed that we would actually leave for China.
We spent about 14 days in Beijing. In this period we took part in shooting, rehearsing and on January 12th and 13th we made two concerts in famous rock clubs Haoyun jiuba (Get lucky) and Wuming gaodi (Nameless Heights).We also played the traditional instruments pipa and erhu on the open-air performance in front of audience and TV cameras at Tian Qiao, doing cultural exchange with Chinese actors and jugglers.

In Get Lucky Club we had a dinner with the forefather of Chinese rock, legendary Mr. Cui Jian. His name is obviously still not much welcome in public media, probably due to his engagement in pro-democratic movement on Heavenly Peace Square in 1989. He signed all our white T-shirts donated by our sponsor. Cooperation with the TV has been a valuable experience for us and another probe into Chinese mentality. We could see the way of working in Chinese state institution and gained some new experience on how to deal with the Chinese in such conditions. The audience's reactions during our performances were diverse. When listening to our version of the song Socialism is better the Chinese were sitting and not moving at all, they probably did not know what they should think of it. On the contrary, rock versions of folk songs were quite welcome as well as pop songs like Girl From Opposite Side that we finally had to sing in the TV competition.

On January 19th, a part of our band together with two Czech journalists took part in shooting TV commercial in a local TV for Zajecicka Bitter Water, the producer of which, the company Bohemia Mineral Waters, s. r. o. became our sponsor. Perhaps we are the first rock band that is not sponsored by a brewery but a producer of mineral water.

After the shooting we went by train to Shanghai where we spent four days and performed twice in ARK club.

(Václav Laifr)

Kungpao on the Chinese internet

Photo (C) Anna Dostálová, Zhang Xin, Václav Laifr a Mr. Lu