On December 17, 2018 Handshake 302 started the “Visible Growth” public art workshop at Guangxi Normal University. The purpose of the workshop is simple: to help students figure out how to use what is at hand to create artwork that is accessible to the public. And yet. The purpose itself must be rethought. What, for example, is a “student”? What constitutes “help”? Who are the “public”? And lord knows, we still don’t know have a common definition of “art”? Continue reading
Celebrate! With loved ones and friends, with a peaceful heart, with hope and ambition, with dreams and with courage. May all rejoice in this life, encounter beauty, and celebrate shared worlds.
Over the past four weeks, Handshake 302 has participated in as many academic conversations about how art, society, and anthropology might inform each other. At Sun Yat-sen University, we discussed how the ethnographic method informs new kinds of art practices. At the Sichuan Academy of art, we encountered ideas about art as an expression of universal creativity, while at the Second International Modern Art Festival, we debated “human response.” Finally, at the National Academy of Art, we debated the sociality of diverse art practices.
These conversations have helped us conceptualize our practice more clearly because they reveal how important collaboration is. Handshake 302’s practice emerges at the intersection of art, society, and anthropology not because this is a great idea, but because each of our members brings a different skill set to the table; an ability to learn from each other is basic relationship that informs Handshake’s practice. We made a Venn diagram to show how we work and what it reveals is that the hand that reaches out to shake your hand is also the hand that continues traditions, that creates art, and that writes history. In other words, the creativity that each of us offers makes society, its art, and its knowledge about itself possible.
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Images of the recently demolished area of New Hubei Village, including Luohu Culture Park, which used to be one of my favorite downtown sites. For those who have following the resistance to the demolition of “Ancient Hubei Village,” the demolitions have incited architects, urban planners, and public intellectuals to submit detailed counterproposals and cultural events to protect the area. These demolitions have risked destroying the older settlement. In the pictures you can see the section of Hubei New Village that is still standing, the blue steel roofs of Hubei ancient village, and and the surrounding skyscrapers of Luohu.
On Saturday November 24, 2018, over twenty people joined Handshake 302 on our rediscovery of the commercial culture of the “Old Special Zone.” The program began in Hubei, traversed Dongmen and ended in the historic Guomao Revolving Restaurant. Over the course of the day, we discussed how Chaoshan migrants influenced Shenzhen’s “entrepreneurial” cultural geography, the role of the garment industry in Shenzhen’s early industrialization, and the way in which new infrastructure—especially the railroad and the East River waterworks—allowed the city to compensate for its lack of water resources. Continue reading
On November 17, 2018 the “Rediscovering the Longheu Girls’ School” concluded with three programs that offered over 60 people the opportunity to think about the connections between history, environmental protection, and art.