Minor Waterways of Guangdong

I’m in Guangzhou for a short residency organised by Gallery 4A in Sydney, and hosted by Observation Society (OS) here. In early June, I’ll have an exhibition at OS together with GZ/HK artist Trevor Yeung.

Yesterday in my haiku I couldn’t look past the bright blue roofs on the houses in the low-lying neighbourhood below the 46th floor of my hotel window. Today, peering closer at them to try and work out why they were so blue (I can only guess that the blue roofs are the ones that have been more recently repaired?) I noticed something even more interesting – a small waterway wending its way through this district:

view from hotel, guangzhou

The waterway you can see in the upper left and upper right of this picture, it sort of loops down towards me and then away again, and its surrounded with dense green growth on both sides. Here’s a close-up:

guangzhou waterway close up

On my map, this seems to be an odd thin creek (or canal?) which cuts off a the corner of the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River). There do seem to be a lot of these creeks running through this district.

closeup of map haizhu district guangzhou

The whole Zhu Jiang is part of a massive river delta, which I presume means that the land is very low lying, so that instead of running fast and cutting deep into the land on its journey to the sea, the river slows down and spreads its energy in all directions.

aerial photo pearl river delta

Being in such an unfamiliar place, and where I don’t speak any Cantonese, it came as a great relief to see that local creek.

I’m off to see if I can find it with my feet now.

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