In a series of responses to E.J. Eitel’s Europe in China: The History of Hongkong from the Beginning to the Year 1882, I read within and against the emergence of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. I am not so much interested in providing a comprehensive history of the SEZ as I am in tracking Shen Kong, a form post-Mao post-coloniality that is one of the roots of the Belt and Road initiative. As I read, I note associations that link contemporary Shenzhen and colonial Hong Kong. In those flashes of awareness, the norms and forms of contemporary global restructuring make uncanny and distressing sense. Page citations are noted in parentheses and refer to the 1895 edition of Europe in China.
Sex in the Chasm Continue reading
Check out what happens when Handshake 302 curates an exhibition that brings community together through history and art. A brief introduction to the “Migrations: Home and Elsewhere” exhibition that was up at the Longheu P+V Gallery from Dec. 22, 2017 through Feb. 4, 2018. More videos on our FB page; written documentation of our practice here.
The Migrations exhibition opened beneath bright sun and clear skies, bringing together people from Longhua and Dalang, as well as graduate students from Shenzhen University and Langkou aunties. The opening ceremony celebrated the central idea of the 7th edition of the Biennale “Cities grow in difference,” taking advantage of the contrasts between the restored P+V, its surrounding urban village, and the clean design of INFUTURE. These contrasts created a particularly postmodern aesthetic that celebrated three generations of migrants—Hakkas who came to the area 300 years ago, missionaries who arrived 150 years ago, and the Shenzheners who have been path breaking Shenzhen since 1980. Indeed, the these differences are the nutrients that have made Shenzhen’s unique migrant culture. Continue reading
because the kids are just that cute! These pictures are from Nov 11 and Dec 3, if you have time, join us Sunday, Dec 10 and 17 for more afternoon fun at the P+V Migrations exhibition.
The activities organized for the Migrations exhibition aim to create knowledge about Shenzhen’s history and to catalyze reflection on how departure and arrival shape human lives. On the face of it, these are broad topics, more suitable for a classroom or seminar than a small gallery in a remote urban village. However, overcoming the distance between “downtown” and “the outer districts” is one of the central ideas of this edition of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), just as bringing “art” and “ordinary lives” closer together has been an ongoing ideal of Handshake 302. Continue reading
In the Republic, Plato argues that the faults of poets are many. In addition to being irrational, they—and this is their gravest fault, he says—“invent” stories about events that never happened. In other words, Plato conflated “story telling” with “telling lies.”
In fact, historians artists approach the past from two different perspectives. Historians are interested in figuring out what happened when and why, while artists explore the past in order to discover future possibilities. Continue reading