On February 19th, I attended a Pecha Kucha event at the powerhouse in New Farm. I was invited by Will when I still worked at his architecture office in West End. But what the heck is a “Pecha Kucha”?
Pecha Kucha is a japanese word and means “chit-chat”. The concept is based on the number 20. Every artist/speaker has to present 20 pictures in a slide show. Every photo/graphic is shown for 20 seconds. The event starts at 20:20 pm. The first Pecha Kucha started 2003 in Tokio and nowadays there are over 500 cities participating. The Brisbane Pecha Kuchas are taking place at different places every three months but often in the Powerhouse, a former – who guessed that – powerhouse directly at the Brisbane River. It was transformed into a party/event/exhibition location with an integrated bar. To keep the rough charm and industrial flair the massive steel constructions remained when the building was renovated and modernized.
It was heavily raining at the 19th and my bicycle was (and is) still lacking in mud guards with the outcome of a wet and dirty back. Well organized as I am I had taken a fresh shirt with me so I was able to partially change my wet clothes. I sat on a padded cube in the first row. Leticia and Maureen, two employees of Will’s office in West End, were present,too. At least I already knew three faces there and was introduced by Will’ s to a bunch of persons more. The area in front of the stage was arranged like a chill out zone with couches, coffee tables and the mentioned cubes. Dozen of people leaned against the railing on the first and second floor gallery.
Back to the Pecha Kucha concept: What are the guys on the stage talking about? Well, this varies a lot but on that Tuesday, two architects, an experimental theater director, a photo artist, a graffiti sprayer and a guy planning to supply people with a mobile food truck were featured. Normally 8-15 people present their project in 6:40 minutes (20x20seconds) while the correlated pictures are projected on a big screen or wall. In between two speakers the host will lead over and announce the next artist. The event was already over after one hour due to the strict time-table a Pecha Kucha event offers. It was an enjoyable performance of persons with very different presentation styles. I especially liked the architect talking about an upcoming master planning project in Brisbane’s city centre and some historical fallbacks regarding the urbanization of the city. After the performances many people stayed for meeting the speakers and gossiping with their friends. On my way home I made a little side trip to China Town. To be honest – very disappointing. It is by far not as huge and atmospheric as I hoped. The main China Town street is a pedestrian zone of about 150 metre length and in the adjacent streets are some clubs residing. At 10pm all shops were closing and the street was empty. I took the mandatory tourist sightseeing photos of the location and cycled home. On Adelaide street, a big shopping mall, I stopped and shot a beautiful picture of the city hall which indemnified me for the anticlimactic China Town experience. All together a pleasant evening and soon I will meet up again with Leticia and Maureen to have lunch! – It is 3:30am…time to say good-bye to my netbook and hello to mattress which could be a bit harder and longer. Will be fine until April when I leave this house which feels a bit like home although it is a mosquito shelter and a splendid specimen of crappy Australian architecture. :-p