thermometer: opening impressions

The ThermoMatter (温度) opening was well attended, despite the distances–geographic, class, and interest–that separate the Shenzhen Art Museum from the rest of Shenzhen. There was a general conversation with participating artists after the opening ceremony and there seemed to be a consensus that this show was “local”; all artists had some connection to the city. There were 2nd generation participants, long-term immigrants, and projects that were explicitly about the city itself. In the Chinese 温度 can refer  to “temperature” as well as to actual and emotional warmth. All agreed that these meanings were fully on display.

General impressions from the opening:

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Snippet from “of a piece”, hands:

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China’s Troubling Robot Revolution

More about why Shenzhen–and the forms of creativity that are being developed here–has far, far reaching effects. Full article over at the NYTimes, snippet, below.

Ethics Asylum

Image Credit: Kristian Hammerstad

OVER the last decade, China has become, in the eyes of much of the world, a job-eating monster, consuming entire industries with its seemingly limitless supply of low-wage workers. But the reality is that China is now shifting its appetite to robots, a transition that will have significant consequences for China’s economy — and the world’s.

In 2014, Chinese factories accounted for about a quarter of the global ranks of industrial robots — a 54 percent increase over 2013. According to the International Federation of Robotics, it will have more installed manufacturing robots than any other country by 2017.

Midea, a leading manufacturer of home appliances in the heavily industrialized province of Guangdong, plans to replace 6,000 workers in its residential air-conditioning division, about a fifth of the work force, with automation by the end of the year. Foxconn, which makes consumer electronics for Apple and other…

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寻找深圳真相/searching for the real shenzhen

Recently, “Handshake with the Future” curator, Liu He talked with Shenzhen Middle School Teacher Zhong about the current exhibition at Handshake 302. Here’s what she said:

Q: 让学生们参与《与未来握手》的初衷是什么?/ What did you hope to see happen when by having your students participate in “Handshake with the Future”?

A: 我认为城中村是城市发展中一个很特别的存在,希望学生能通过302项目,有一个走入城中村契机,对自己生活的城市有更进一步的了解和加深认识。/ I think that urban villages are a special aspect of urban development. I hoped that by way of this 302 project, students would have an opportunity to go into an urban village, becoming more aware of the city they live in and developing a deeper understanding about it. Continue reading

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Jack Ma: World War III is coming, but in a good way

Thinking about hi-tech and Shenzhen? Well, actually Alibaba isn’t based in Shenzhen, but that said, the idea of setting up platforms to enable exchange and small-scale business is a very Shenzhen strategy of development. Indeed, according to David Li, this strategy distinguishes the Huaqiangbei model of shanzhai maker-ship from the Silicon valley model of R&D. Full article, here.

Ethics Asylum

Image Credit: CNBC

World War III is coming, but it will be a good thing, according to one of Asia’s richest men.

Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), said Tuesday that the Internet and its various platforms will usher in a wave of global conflict. It will not, however, pit countries against each other, but instead will see the likes of China and the U.S. teaming up to defeat societal ills.

“The third world war is going to happen, and this war is not between nations,” Ma said during a speech hosted by the Economic Club of New York. “In this war we work together against the disease, the poverty, the climate change-and I believe this is our future.”

Ma said working to incite such a conflict is his life’s passion, and Alibaba’s mission of globalizing e-commerce can help.

“It’s not about the…

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寻找前途/the road not taken

Recently, “Handshake with the Future” curator, Liu He talked with Xin’an Polytechnic professor He about the current exhibition at Handshake 302. Here’s what she said:

Q: 让学生们参与《与未来握手》的初衷是什么?/What did you hope to see happen when by having your students participate in “Handshake with the Future”? Continue reading

dalang experimental school: manhole cover graffiti art

The Dalang Experimental School comprises elementary and middle schools for the children of migrant workers in Dalang New District. On June 8, they held a festival for their 30+ clubs, which range from art to karate and debate. The point, of course, is simple: at school in their uniforms painting, dancing, and helping each other, they look like every other young Shenzhener because they ARE just like the Shenzhen Middle School students we are working with at the Handshake for the Future exhibition. Well, except for access to high school, which is regulated through the upcoming High School Entrance exam (for a point by point on why in Shenzhen this exam is more important than the college entrance exam).

Two weekends ago, Handshake 302 collaborated with Dalang New District on the Graffiti Festival (the amazing stair mural at the Youth Dream Center). We also worked with the Experimental School to bring murals and graffiti into the schoolyard. Young Mr. Ye, a second generation Shenzhener via Gangxia, organized the event through the art club. Students started on designs early. For the festival, the club asked groups of students to submit a design proposal, 17 groups from both the elementary and middle schools made the cut.

Impressions of the festival, below, and yes, many, many pictures of kids being great:

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shuiwan: the past is another country

I’ve said it before and now doubt will continue to repeat myself in subsequent posts: the speed at which Shenzhen is re-creating itself makes it difficult to re-member what the city has been. Not just Boom! a city appears, but Boom! all gone. These images of Shuiwan and Wanxia villages should be looked at along with yesterday’s impressions of the reclaimed land behind Seaworld and Shekou’s new coastline. The main part of this walk is along Shekou Old Street and Wanxia Road, thoroughfares that once upon a time ran parallel to the old coastline. The remains of that old times development (and yes we’re talking early 1980s) is small scale commercial fishing, unlike the marina and yachts that have been established along the new coastline.

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