In late 2017, I was invited to travel to Shanghai by the Department of Culture and the Arts, for the opening of a collaborative exhibition titled ‘Tales of the Two Regions – Beautiful Western Australia’, where some of my work was exhibited alongside award-winning Western Australian photographers, Tania Malkin, and Hugh Brown and renowned Chinese photographer, Madame Yu Huiwen.
On the days I wasn’t working on official business for the exhibition, I would go to different parts of Shanghai that were visually rich and diverse, exploring this wondrous city.
The people of Shanghai were so warm and friendly and fascinated with life in Australia. On one of my days exploring, I came across a quirky scene. An 81-year-old woman called Wang Cai Pu, in the middle of her traditional fitness regime at the famous Yu Gardens. A few moments after she had finished, a group of cleaners appeared nearby, congregated as if they were about to sing in a choir! It was explained this is their morning ritual which is like a pep talk to boost their team spirit and to take pride in picking up even a tiny matchstick, which their supervisor demonstrated. This I learned is quite common across China in all workplaces.