CFP: The City and the Margins in Informal Cities and Beyond

Shenzhen fits into this conference on ethnographic explorations of urban margins and liminalities. Any takers?
CFP: The City and the Margins in Informal Cities and Beyond.


INTI shenzhen conference videos inline

In December 2014, the International New Tow Institute hosted the conference, “Shenzhen: From Factory of the World to World City”. Conference videos are now online.

hong kong birds, bees, and the delights of winter sun

On Tuesday morning, good friend Michael took me on a walk through the Hong Kong flower market, bird market and adjacent fish, and insect and reptile markets. Located near the Mong Kok East station, the area’s micro-ecology delights. It also has me thinking Frankenstein thoughts of everything under human dominion. And yes, there are not so hidden nooks for high quality Java and conversation. Impressions, below.

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So yesterday evening at Handshake 302, we held our final independent salon for Zhang Kaiqin’s piece, “eyes”. Six projects now cover the room’s five walls, and so the exhibition “My White Wall Compulsions” is complete. We will be arranging an opening for and viewings of the exhibition over the next few weeks.

Yesterday’s conversation ranged from the meaning of a wall of eyes to the meaning of art, with a few rants along the way. The conversation, however, was respectful and mutually responsive. And this, I think, makes 302 a space of shared happiness. No small accomplishment, our grand ambitions, notwithstanding.

Images from the salon, below:

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fishermen’s wharf, shekou

First day of 2015, I walked Fishermen’s Wharf, Shekou where they’re still selling fish. The oysters cultivated on the Hong Kong side of Shenzhen Bay are sold in Dongguan and Guangzhou. Impressions, below.

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self governing trade zone, thoughts from

Speculation about what the 自贸区 (self governing trade zone) continues to shape all sorts of conversations. On Monday I participated in a public planning forum for the OCT, where comparisons between China Merchants in Shekou and Overseas Chinese Town in its eponymous neighborhood, the OCT illuminated contours of Shenzhen’s history. Four ideas of note popped up.

First, that China Merchants (in Shekou) and OCT (in the OCT) have been the two state owned enterprises most responsible for creating the Shenzhen image. During the post 1992 era, many of the images of reform (in terms of built environment) were of the OCT and its neighborhoods, tourist industry, and theme parks. Continue reading


shekou redux

For those following the shifts in Guangdong structure, you noticed that yesterday Shekou, along with Qianhai, Nansha, and a bit of Zhuhai was designated a self-governing trade zone (自贸区). Inquiring minds want to know: what does that mean? Speculation abounds and adjustments are coming, but there seem to be two key points. Continue reading