sock puppets!

There’s much I could say about why community art programs matter, but. Sock puppets! Incredibly cute kids! Everything that matters. Here.

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张孟泰第三次工作坊海报-03

lightscape salon

The city is man’s most consistent and on the whole, his most successful attempt to remake the world he lives in more after his heart’s desire. But, if the city is the world which man created, it is the world in which he is henceforth condemned to live. Thus, indirectly, and without any clear sense of the nature of his task in making the city man has remade himself.

                                                                                                                     -Robert Park

Lightscape focuses on the relationship between sensory experience and external structures within the city. Continue reading

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shenzhen speed: nan’ao

I have this longing to believe that somehow what came before was less fragile and much less fleeting, more easily touched and grasped than is the present. The irony of this longing caught up with me in Nan’ao, where three generations of fishermen live side by side on a beach front urban village (that, yes, is scheduled for partial demolition and redevelopment). Continue reading

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new traditions: nan’ao mazu

Yesterday, I visited the newly renovated Mazu Temple of Nanyu (南渔), which is located in Nan’ao, Dapeng (大鹏新区南澳). The temple is interesting for (at least) three reasons and the questions they beg.

 

  1. The temple is a local renovation of a previous existing temple. The icons from the previous temple have been moved into a nearby exhibition of the history of the village;
  2. Although the temple and the exhibition were built on land that Nanyu has claim to, the project was promoted and funded by donations from a successful Chaozhou businessman, and therefore;
  3. He contacted artisans in Chaozhou to design and build the temple according to “proper” requirements.

Questions that the temple raises include:

  1. How is “tradition” being remade at the popular level, now that long-term residents are contributing to the reconstruction?
  2. What has been the role of Chaozhou people in this reconstruction?

Chaozhou people have been involved in the reconstruction of Shenzhen tradition at two levels. First, Shenzhen is known for the shift from the planned to a market economy, but many of the people who built the literal markets (the Hubei fish market, wet markets in many villages, and the dried fish market at Nan’ao, for example) have been from Chaozhou. Secondly, many of the traditional crafts that appear in Shenzhen ancestral halls and temples have been contracted from Chaozhou, which is considered more “traditional” and therefore “authentic.”

The next post will talk about the relationship between the temple and the village. Impressions of the newly constructed Mazu Temple and the exhibition.

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handshake 302 sound workshop

Handshake 302’s last exploration of Baishizhou was a collaboration between Handshake 302 and Shenzhen Center for Design. I comprised two parts: a silent walk through the urban village to collect sounds and a workshop discussion. Zhang Kaiqin and I led the walk (see map), while resident artist Zhang Mengtai led the workshop.

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preservation ecologies

Guanhu (官湖) and Shayuchong (沙渔涌) Villages are within walking distance to each other along the Dapeng coastline. Guanhu is the village that has developed Jiaochangwei. A small settlement at the mouth of a river, Shayuchong is undergoing a complete renovation that is reminiscent of the horrific universidade paint-overs. Both villages are in various stages of redevelopment. And in the details I trace Shenzhen’s complicated preservation ecologies, where beauty, kitsch desires, and too much money take strange and curious form. Impressions from today’s walk, below.

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listening to baishizhou / 白石洲寻声

Tomorrow afternoon, Handshake 302 collaborates with Future+ to explore the Baishizhou soundscapes. The workshop program begins with an hour-long tour to collect sounds and a 1.5 hour sound workshop with resident artist Zhang Mengtai. Meet-up at Baishizhou Metro Exit A.