meet miia!

During the month of January 2018, MIIA AUTIO is the artist-in-residence at Handshake 302. Based in Helsinki, Finland, Miia is a photographer and lens-based media artist who is interested in presenting societal issues in a way that knowledge and understanding is born through the interaction between the viewer and the work. In her works she deals with the themes of identity, foreignness and viewership. Continue reading

a state beyond the state

Just finished reading Ting Chen’s A State beyond the State: Shenzhen and the Transformation of Urban China, which maps how land was assigned and developed over the course of 35 years of development in Shenzhen. One of my favorite sections in the book tracks the transformation of Shahe State Farm, pre-1979 Bao’an County’s only danwei into Baishizhou, the city’s most iconic urban village. Indeed, Chen’s meticulous maps suggest how the area has mediated rural-urban conditions since 1959, when the farm was established. Continue reading

so what happens during a handshake residency?

Catherine Nakawesa visited Handshake 302 in July 2017 and has published her reflections on her experience. Don’t take our word for how much happens and can be experienced in Shenzhen, listen to hers! Read the serendipitous making of made in shenzhen.

small acts, big questions

While at Handshake 302, performance artist Dong Jie’s two interventions were simple and old fashioned efforts to reach out across space and time and connect with another human being. First, she wrote postcards and sent them to friends living outside Shenzhen, asking them to respond in five years time to see where the answers might end up. Second, before she left, she hid money in the apartment for the next resident to find or not, depending on their whim and luck.

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playback shenzhen

Established in 2007, Shenzhen’s Ya Ya Theatre is an amateur troupe that specializes in playback theatre, a form of improv in which audience members tell stories from their lives and watch players enact the story. Ya Ya meets once a week to rehearse and have occasional performances in diverse venues, including Shenzhen’s indie bookstore Feidi (飞地书局), the Yuehai Community Culture Station, and Shenzhen’s Fringe Festival. On Saturday September 23, they brought their program “One Person, One Story” to Handshake 302. What follows are impressions and clips from that program. Continue reading

entrepreneur dreams in baishizhou

Episode 3 of Shenzhen Book of Changes is up! Like millions of migrants, Hu Yuefu has come to Shenzhen to make a life and business for himself. We visit Baishizhou – Shenzhen’s largest urban village – to learn his story.

what is worth passing on?

Friday August 25, 2017 I had the honor of participating in the closing meeting of the second edition of the “Shenzhen Oral History” project. It was a high level and exciting cultural event that commemorated the people who contributed to Shenzhen’s second decade, 1992-2002. A week later on Friday September 1, I attended the salon for Wu Xingyu and Zhong Yuxiao’s art project “Demolition.” Continue reading