SZ8X80101//The_Myriad_Transformations//Cut and Pastiche: Lifestyle Leading the World

In Shenzhen, the ongoing transformation of a rural periphery into a mega-city is the latest attempt forms the latest chapter in global grabs to control  global significance. Located just north of Hong Kong, the Shenzhen area has comprised the Sino-British border since July 1, 1898, when the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory came into effect. Once upon a time, the Sino-Bbeen accomplished through a logic of practical means to endlessly churned out desires and there has been something cut and pastiche about the construction of Shenzhen. What, for example, to make of this advertisement for real east developer Vanke’s East Coast development in Yantian District? What kind of space is implied by the figure of Lifestyle Leading the People?

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thoughts on social possibility at handshake 302

Why Singleton Lunch? Why invite someone to Handshake 302, have them prepare a meal, share it with a group of friends and strangers, and call it “art”? What’s the difference between a Singleton Lunch meal and more traditional forms of art like painting or theater or even a happening?

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The Myriad Transformations comprises sixty-four images that I created using photographs taken between 2002 and 2010. These dates are arbitrary but not random, marking the purchase of my first digital camera (August 2002) and the decision to my rudimentary photoshop skills to create a project to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (during an artist residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, December 2008-January 2009). I finished the images in 2010. In the process of saving and transferring these files to smaller drives with larger storage capacity, many of the original photoshop files were lost. What remains as a complete set are the files I created to print photographs of the images in 2011 or 2012. I reopened one of these files in January 2019 and  realized they were more interesting in retrospect than they had been when I made them precisely because over the past decade (2010-2020), Shenzhen has re-invented itself yet again, and suddenly, abruptly, we see the latent structure of today in images that once upon a time seemed definitive, eternal even. Continue reading

an archeology of shenzhen’s digital daze…

A ten-year retrospective of Sui Jianguo (隋建国)’s work, System is currently on display at the OCAT Art Terminal. Across the street, Hua Museum, has showcased Miao Xiaochun (缪晓春)’s work in the solo exhibition, Simulations. Both artists have played with scale and method, calling attention to the material practice of creating in an era of digitalized mass production. However, where Sui Jianguo has interrogated the relationship between the human body, clay and its digitalized transformations, Miao Xiaochun has turned his attention to the relationships between digital simulations, imagined futures, and the resulting landscapes.

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oink! oink, oink!

Happy Year of the Pig, which begins on February 5, 2019 and ends on January 25, 2020. May you and yours thrive, eat lots of good food and sleep fitfully.

national recognition for handshake 302 “art sprouts” program

In 2016, Handshake 302 began a meaningful collaboration with the Longheu Girls’ School P+V Gallery. Through the “Art Sprouts” public art program, we aimed to provide high quality arts and creative education for the children of Dalang. For almost two years, we brought professional artists to an urban village in the outer districts in order to help migrant children develop the skills and imagination necessary to thrive in the creative economy.


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40 years and counting: shenzhen / shekou again

So by now you’re aware that the so-called “fortieth anniversary” of reform and opening is, in fact, a celebration of the third plenary session of the eleventh central committee of the communist party of china, which was held from December 18-22, 1978. This meeting, we are told, changed China and the world. Shenzhen is held up as the proof in the post cold war / era of reform and opening pudding. And yet,  Continue reading