firecracker aesthetics

Yesterday was 初二 or the second day of the lunar new year and firework play continued with children of all ages setting off bright red crackers and sparklers and colorful blooms.

In the early afternoon, I walked along the City River, where over sixty years ago, the PLA liberated Tianjin. And here’s the point: Walking past aligned rows of apartment buildings,k grey lots of orderly trees, and the straightened riverbank – indeed, the sky seem slotted against the horizon – I suddenly understood the necessity of fireworks. Not only do colorful flames shine bright against the muted landscape, but also disrupt the relentless and massive grid that organizes this spaces.

Rumor has it that the Tianjin Fire Department charged 100,000 rmb for a license to sell firecrackers this year, up from 50,000 from last. I’m not sure what Shenzhen Municipality charges because I didn’t think to ask. But here, in a winterscape of star,k light and modernist squares, I craved red flames and the power to soften hard lines endlessly looming.

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