yuan geng memorial

Yesterday morning, the Shekou Community Welfare Fund received word that Yuan Geng, former CEO of China Merchants Shekou had passed. They immediately set to organizing a memorial, which was held on January 31, 2016 at 8 pm. The official memorial was held earlier in the afternoon at the Shekou China Merchants Museum, which is the official mourning hall for the departed leader. “The difference,” one participant commented, “between the two memorials was obvious. At the official memorial, people were waiting for Shenzhen Party Secretary Ma Xingrui and Mayor Xu Xin to arrive and pay their respects. In contrast, at the Shekou Community memorial, Old Shekou people came to mourn the end of an era.”

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zhang kaiqin discusses “of a piece”

作品/Title:还没定/Of A Piece

材制/Materials: 布料、织物、配饰等 / Clothe, thread, ribbons, zippers, and lace
艺术家/Artist: 握手302 / Handshake 302
志愿者 / Volunteers:黄梓欣 王珺 张淼 / Huang Zixin, Wang Jun, Zhang Miao
摄影及剪辑/Videographer and editer:王一新 / Wang Yixin

创作人员(部分)/ Participants (partial list):
王也 操天然 林正丰 周怡婷 熊冬晴 刘夏星 方嘉瑜 文慧怡 呈 魏一一 王圣凯 李家 刘雨晴 陈晴如
陈晴琪 蒋明君 杨锐 王露杨 杨君如 王雁 杨传铸
黄东英 彭星悦 陈键濠 卫思思 孙晴 曹仪华 郑快
王子安 王美淇 黄仲有 刘佳 刘赫 胡然元 黄榕
韩心怡 朱乐桐 李籽萱 刘惠娜 李娜娜 胡欣怡 毛紫依
胡心婷 张皓南 尚子珺 韩翠翠 林炎 唐柳 游江
吴浩妍 罗淳仪 刘丽澄 刘馨语 张艺馨 朱少清 高丽
何心 李其木格 罗奕清 张梓斐 张斐然 谢文苇
张楚茵 王文 冯涂唯 涂明睿 文慧怡 吕若寒 /
Wang Ye, Cao Tianran, Lin Zhengfeng, Zhou Yiting, Xiong Dongqing, Liu Xiaxing, Fang Jiayu, Wen Hui, Yi Cheng, Wei Yiyi, Wang Shengkai, Li Jia, Liu Yuqing, Chen Qingru, Chen Qingqi, Jiang Mingjun,Yang Rui, Wang Luyang, Yang Junru, Wang Yan, Yang Chuanshou, Huang Dongying, Peng Xingyue, Chen Jianhao, Wei Sisi, Sun Qing, Cao Yihua, Zheng Kuai, Wang Zi’an, Wang Meiqi, Huang Zhongyou, Liu Jia, Liu He, Hu Ranyuan, huang Rong, Han Xinyi, Zhu Letong, Li Zixuan, Liu Huina, Li Nana, Hu Xinyi, Mao Ziyi, Hu Xinting, Zhang Haonan, Shang Zijun, Han Cuicui, Lin Yan, Tang Liu, You Jiang, Wu Haoyan, Luo Tingyi, Liu Lideng, Liu Xinyu, Zhang Yixin, Zhu Shaoqing, Gao Li, He Xin, Liqi Muge, Luo Yiqing, Zhang Zifei, Zhang Feiran, Xie Wenwei, Zhang Chuyin, Wang Wen, Feng Tuwei, Tu Mingrui, Wen Huiyi, Lv Ruohan

Thoughts on “of a piece” from Zhang Kaiqin, a founding member of Handshake 302. Continue reading

“scold” arrives in shenzhen

Shenzhen’s most recent Party Secretary, Ma Xingrui (马兴瑞) infamously told Shenzhen and its boosters to get over the jubilation for its recent rise in international prestige. On the one hand, there is something snarky and mean spirited about Party Secretary Ma’s scolding. After all, Shenzhen’s raison d’etre has been to make a place for itself in the emergent world order and for most of its existence, Shenzhen has been ignored by Beijing-centric views of China (both in and outside China). On the other had, many agree with his assessment that Shenzhen is not yet a first rank world city.

The new Party Secretary’s surname—Ma—is a homophone with the character for “scold / tell off” (骂)”. In that spirit, the OCT Lifestyle website put out an article in which Shenzhen clearly comes in second behind world class cities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Singapore. With Beijing the comparison is about the internet. Hong Kong stands for level of globalization, Taiwan a sense of well-being, Japan for professionalism, and Singapore for the ability to attract and keep talent. In other words, Shenzhen wants to be best at all of that, which may in fact be its charm—composite rather than first rank across categories. Continue reading

ideal subject positions (by the numbers)

The current stock market frenzy has people dreaming about more than free lunches. The following adverts are from Money Daddy (钱爸爸), an online trading / investment platform based in Shenzhen. Of note? In addition to the pyramid scheme promises of rapid wealth, the site address plays with both “rich daddy, poor daddy” ideology and Cantonese numerology, where the number 8 is a homophone for the character for father and can also represents the character for “get rich”.

Translations of Money Daddy advertisements show “ideal” middle class Shenzheners enjoying their high returns. The underlying anxiety point is actually quite simple: if you’re earning an honest living in any of these jobs (including an ordinary bureaucrat), you’re not earning enough for carefree spending. And carefree spending is, of course, the site where the self is being constructed as “macho”, “successful”, “loving”, “sexy”, and “independent”, respectively. Continue reading

礼貌 and 文明: what’s the difference?

This is an open question to all speakers of Chinese: what’s the difference between 礼貌 and 文明? My sence is that 礼貌 are practices of appropriate intimacy, while 文明 refers to practices for navigating amongst strangers. In turn, 礼貌 would map onto the moral territory of 脸, while 文明 is about presentation and being seen, hence mapping onto 面子. Am I wildly off, or have I stumbled into a difference that makes a difference? Thoughts?

identity card politics

So today a return to a theme near and dear to my heart: satirical text messages, or as we have now stopped texting and use WeChat, satirical blog posts that are forwarded via WeChat. This time, the Op-Ed piece, “We were never Chinese citizens, just Chinese people who live on the Mainland (原来我们都不是中国国民!只是居住在大陆的中国人!) has caught my attention. Inquiring minds want to know, what’s up with that? Continue reading

shen kong: flies, ants, termites, and locusts

In January 2014, anti-Mainland sentiment in Hong Kong resulted in protests calling for the “locusts” of Mainland smugglers to leave the territory and for border controls to be tightened against them. The expression “locusts” appeared again in a 2015 description of Mainland students studying at Hong Kong universities and “stealing jobs” from locals. A week ago, there was another burst of anger against “locusts”, this time against the small time parallel traders (“water guests or 水客“) who purchase goods in Hong Kong for resale in Shenzhen and other Mainland areas. In turn, pro-Mainland blogs have argued that “local termites harm Hong Kong more than locusts do (本土白蚁比蝗虫更损香港)”. Continue reading