Gig Recap: Atomic Visual Studio Showcase (2019.05.05 GEBI Bar/Yiwu)

After a few days in the mountains of Songyang (more on that next week), I decided to swing by Yiwu on my way back to Beijing. Why might you ask? What could Yiwu possibly offer, besides cheap commodities and acting as a ‘what if’ scenario for an truly multicultural city in the midst of China (besides there being Arabic on just about every sign, there are pockets of the city catering specifically to Indian and Korean residents), the city is home to one of the most mystical underground venues in all of China – GEBI Bar. An old Daoist Temple long abandoned on the edge of a mountain and turned into a bar and music venue, Gebi is pretty much a nomad’s paradise – a place that feels cut off from the rest of the city (if though it’s really not) that sports some seriously good vibes. It really didn’t matter what was playing there – I simply needed to see the place for myself (and enjoy the laid back nature of the city). Lucky for me, the visual arts company Atomic Visual Studio (based out of Shanghai) was hosting an evening of audio-visual delights – pairing some of their studios rising VJs with some untested, fresh out of the water DJs. Thee included (in order of performance): Drink Soup 喝汤 (Xiao He + Soup), Adhesive 粘着物 (Enzo + Ruby Nian), Wake Up! (Jing Qiang + 100), Surface Couple 表面情侣 (C.Hi + Feifei), Zebra 班马 (Ban Ban + Emma). On top of that, we were treated to a special performance from the AV master duo themselves – minimal techno king SHAO and Wang Meng (who’s also the founder of Atomic Visual Studio). There’s was a communal aspect to the proceedings, transforming the event into an intimate electronic party – a ‘show and tell’ with friends sharing their art with the help of music. And what visuals! From dancing (Steamboat Willy style) condoms to terrifyingly goofy plush trolls, each visual artist brought their A-game, and the musicians (so who looks the ways the morning of) brought a sense of discovery and honesty to their sets, warts and all. Props to GEBI Bar and Yiwu for a memorable night. 

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