this also happened…

A strange week that hasn’t coalesced into a statement so much as it has become fragments in search of glue; thinking as pastiche, and underneath it all a throbbing fear. Continue reading

handshake 302: this is what we do

A short video about “Of a Piece”, the project that Handshake 302 brought to the Shenzhen Art Museum, June 1-19, 2015.



Thank you, Karuna Ezara Parikh.


local is as local does. or not.

This week I have been thinking about iterations of the “local” in two sites: the 2015 Shenzhen Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture and the Baishizhou Street Museum. In particular, I’m thinking about the possibility of making connections from “here” to “there” when they hinge on the distance between (a) some outside understanding of what the local might be and (b) what might be interesting to actual locals. The possibility of meaningful dialogue is further complicated when “outsiders” and “locals” are organized by global hierarchies, internal class structures, and unquestioned ideas of what might be intellectually and/or aesthetically engaging. Continue reading


深二:growing pains

Last weekend I met two young men, 18 and 19 years old, who are filming interviews with and about “Shenzhen’s Second Generation”. We talked about the actual definition of a “Shen 2 (深二),” which I have tended to think of in terms of immigrant generations. In contrast, they were specifying the term also with respect to decades: they consider the 80s and 90s generations to be members of Shen 2, while 70s kids and millennials are not. They also noted that Shekou’s Second Generation (蛇二) is even more precisely defined; these are the children of utopian Shekou, who lived in the old China Merchants housing developments, and attended the original Yucai School.

So what defines Shen 2 kids? Continue reading


I have been applying for a grant. The US based foundation asks for a CD-rom of work samples, while it is still illegal in China to send CD-roms overseas (domestic mailing no problem.) Here’s the thing. It is perfectly possible to send mega-files from China anywhere in the world, even without a VPN. It’s also possible for foundations to store information on clouds and have a protocol for deleting extra information after a round of submissions. But instead of a simple information transfer, I’m stuck between two outdated systems for archiving (or not) information. Continue reading

one day, two teas

Tuesday was a day of tea. Had a late dim sum style tea with visiting photographer Jiangnan Jian, his son, the organizer of Jiangnan Jian’s show, and Taiwanese art critic Huang Qianfang. For dinner, Qianfang and I went to Shangchuan in Bao’an, where we had a lei cha (擂茶) dinner. The differences between the two style of tea delineate the cultural geography of Guangdong and its shifting reinscriptions in Shenzhen. Continue reading