Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu [bsix12.com] #RisingChina #Representation

Germany meets China from the eyes of one born in China and living in Germany since the age of 14.

Read an interview dated November 13, 2007 with Yang Liu here.

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East Meets West: An Infographic Portrait by Yang Liu
Submitted by Rainer Falle
Source – bsix12.com published – [not dated]

The artist and visual designer Yang Liu was born in China and lives in Germany since she was 14. By growing up in two very different places with very different traditions she was able to experience the differences between the two cultures first-hand.

Drawing from her own experience Yang Liu created minimalistic visualizations using simple symbols and shapes to convey just how different the two cultures are. The blue side represents Germany (or western culture) and the red side China (or eastern culture):

Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent
Lifestyle: Independent vs. dependent

Attitude towards punctuality
Attitude towards punctuality

At a party
At a party

Please click here to read the rest of the article and inforgraphics at bsix12.com online.

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Filed under: Advertising, Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Culture, Education, Environment, Ethnicity, Germany, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, Population, Public Diplomacy, Resources, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

A cool idea in summer: Carving on watermelon to boost sales [People’s Daily Online] #RisingChina #StreetInnovation

Genius – Where words fail, artful watermelon carvings speak!

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Shen Dongbin shows cartoon figures carved on watermelons at his watermelon stall in northwest China's Lanzhou on July 4, 2013. Photo Source Photo - Xinhua

Shen Dongbin shows cartoon figures (includes Paul Frank as above, PSY, Doraemon) carved on watermelons at his watermelon stall in northwest China’s Lanzhou on July 4, 2013. Photo   – Xinhua

Source – People’s Daily Online, published July 5, 2013

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Source - weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source – weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source - weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source – weibo screen grab in Kotaku

Source – These Are China’s Watermelon Kids (Kotaku, August 10, 2013)

 

Also, see The Chinese craze for ‘watermelon kids’ (Telegraph, August 10, 2013)

 

Filed under: Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Economics, Food, Mapping Feelings, People, People's Daily, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity

Chinese talent show captivates Taiwanese, raises concern about China’s cultural influence [AP] #RisingChina #CulturalCapital #我是歌手

20130417-085237.jpg

Image SourceChinasmack, 2013

我是歌手: Hunan Satellite TV imports the South Korean singing competition reality show I’m A Singer format to great effect. Another feather in China’s cultural capital hat, this time with a wider regional audience while boasting cutting edge production.

… she was “stunned” that the Chinese talent show was able to put as many as 38 cameras to work simultaneously to capture the best details of the performance. Taiwan’s Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai

To catch videos of the final on Youtube, see – Yu Quan beats Terry Lin to clinch the Music King title (Asian Pop News, April 14, 2013)

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Chinese talent show captivates Taiwanese, raises concern about China’s cultural influence
AP
Source – Washington Post, published April 16, 2013

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A Chinese singing competition that has captivated television viewers in Taiwan is raising concerns about China’s cultural influence on the island.

“I Am A Singer” features professional singers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in a tense competition. The slickly produced show earned top ratings and even attracted veteran singers to try their luck and revive their careers.

Friday night’s final episode of the Hunan Satellite TV station show featured four Taiwanese and three mainland Chinese competitors, and many Taiwanese TV stations aired part or all of the finale, won by Chinese duo Yu Quan.

Taiwan’s Terry Lin and Aska Yang were runners-up. Taiwanese veterans Julia Peng and Winnie Hsin, who ranked fifth and sixth, got a chance to show their exuberant singing and become the sensations they didn’t earlier in their long careers.

Taiwan-produced songs and music programs once dominated Mandarin song markets. But over the past decade, many of its top singers have left the island for the fast-growing Chinese market.

Taiwan’s Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai says the island’s edge in the pop-song market may be fading quickly.

Please click here to read the full article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AP, Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Entertainment, Greater China, Influence, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Washington Post

China’s Newest Export: Laughter #WSJ #China #Cinema

Comic cinema: Into China’s soft power toolbox.

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China’s Newest Export: Laughter
Dean Napolitano, Originally posted on Speakeasy
Source – Wall Street Journal China Realtime Report, published February 11, 2013

Source - Enlight Pictures, in WSJ China Realtime Report

Source – Enlight Pictures, in WSJ China Realtime Report

What does a contemporary Chinese comedy look like?

American audiences have an opportunity to answer that question as China’s biggest box-office hit ever for a domestically made movie opened in major cities on Friday.

“Lost in Thailand,” a low-budget comedy that hit theaters Dec. 12 in China and is still in release there, steamrolled its competition during the important end-of-year period when many Chinese blockbusters are released. The battle for box-office supremacy included Jackie Chan’s action-adventure “CZ12,” which scored big with audiences but was no match for “Lost in Thailand,” and Chow Yun-fat’s World War II-era drama “The Last Tycoon.”

The man behind the Mandarin-language comedy is its 40-year-old star, Xu Zheng, who also directed, produced and co-wrote the film on a modest budget of $6 million.

Please click here to read the article at its source.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Domestic Growth, Government & Policy, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Peaceful Development, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Wall Street Journal

Shanghai Super Girl, China’s American Idol [VBS.TV]

On China’s wave of cultural re-awakening with popular music and democracy. From the now defunct VBS in 2008.

Hunan TV’s Super Girl competition (formerly the Mengniu Sour Yoghurt Super Voice Girl) is the rough Chinese equivalent of American Idol. While pretty much every civilized country has their own Idol knockoff, China’s stands out among the rest by the sheer scale of the proceedings. Last year’s final episode was seen by over 400 million viewers, making it not only the most watched TV program in the history of ever, but giving it a larger audience than the populations of the United States and Britain combined. The show also drew in an estimated 1.2 billion votes over the course the 2007, which in a country that doesn’t even bother with show elections is a pretty major exercise in democracy.

VICE travelled to Shanghai to meet Yang Lei, last year’s Super Girl winner, and the best person we could think of to help guide us through the unyielding insanity that is 21st century China.

Filed under: Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Human Rights, Intellectual Property, Media, Peaceful Development, People, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, The Chinese Identity, , , , ,

Adele’s Rolling in the deep: Guzhen interpretation 古筝版 [Youtube]

British popular culture meets traditional Chinese instrumentation: UK songbird Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ as interpreted by the Guzhen 古筝(Chinese zither). Worth checking out if you have 3.44min to spare!

Filed under: Art, Culture, Influence, The Chinese Identity, U.K., Youtube

Ai [Weiwei] is out [Economist]

China’s cultural capital turning on itself? 80 days and he’s out. What a story that has gained much media traction worldwide. Ai Weiwei’s freedom seems to have been returned to him. Perhaps the proof in the pudding is to see the artwork he churns out after this experience – how much of Ai Weiwei’s mind can be ‘reformed’ by the authorities? Looking at his track record, it looks unlikely.. In any case here’s an interesting and comprehensive site documenting the case of Ai WeiweiThe Guardian reports here.  – Ai Weiwei released from detention with the tagline – China’s best known artist, looking thinner after 81 days in detention, says ‘I’m fine … I’m on bail. Please understand‘ (Guardian, June 22, 2011)

The Wall Street Journal offers an explanation for the release here –

The narrative in much of the West is that Ai Weiwei was detained because he was a critic of the Chinese government. International human rights organizations insist that this was one of those cases where the international community successfully stood up to Beijing, and that Ai’s freedom was due in direct measure to the force of global opinion. They point to museums and exhibitors who signed letters and staged exhibitions, and the continued complaints by officials interacting with their Chinese counterparts and raising Ai’s case as an irritant in relations with Beijing. (Why Ai Weiwei was let go, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2011)

Perhaps not surprisingly, the China Daily’s report was only three paragraphs long, which I can sum up here –

BEIJING – The Beijing police department said Wednesday that Ai Weiwei has been released on bail because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from… The decision comes also in consideration of the fact that Ai has repeatedly said he is willing to pay the taxes he evaded, police said… The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., a company Ai controlled, was found to have evaded a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents, police said. (China Daily, June 22, 2011)

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Ai is out
by J.M
Source – Economist Blogs, published June 23, 2011

Photo - Economist

AMID their most intense crackdown on dissent in several years, the Chinese authorities have given a rare hint of softening in the case of one prominent activist, Ai Weiwei. Late at night on June 22nd, looking a little thinner after nearly three months in detention, the bearded and still portly artist returned home. Mr Ai’s freedom, however, is unlikely to mean any let-up in China’s wider efforts to silence critics.

Officially, Mr Ai is “on bail”. China’s state-owned news agency, Xinhua, said in a three-sentence dispatch that he had been freed because of his “good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from” (he has diabetes and high blood pressure). Mr Ai had also “repeatedly” said he was willing to pay taxes he had allegedly evaded. Chinese police like to use accusations of economic crimes to lock up dissidents. Mr Ai himself has refused to give details of his detention or comment on the charges, saying he was “on probation” and could not talk. Promises of silence are often a condition of release.

It may not be a coincidence that China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, was due to start a tour of Hungary, Britain and Germany two days later. Mr Ai’s arrest had aroused widespread criticism from Western governments. China has occasionally released dissidents as a way of smoothing the way for important diplomatic exchanges. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, Art, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Economist, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

Amazing Bull Fart Sculpture – “What You see Might Not Be Real” [The Design Inspiration]

Impactful artwork I found off ‘The Design Inspiration‘ website – A Bernard Madoff-inspired piece that was designed to take a dig at the global financial crisis in ’09 by Xiamen-born Chinese sculptor Chen Wenling. Cultural note – “in Chinese slang, to fart mean (sic) to bluff or lie”.

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Amazing Bull Fart Sculpture by Chen Wenling
Source – The Design Inspiration, published 31 March 2010

This is the work named “What You see Might Not Be Real” and displayed in a latest art exhibition in a Beijing art gallery. Chinese artist Chen Wenling made it to dig at the global financial crisis. The strong and farting bull represents Wall Street (in Chinese slang, to fart mean to bluff or lie). And the man being shoved into the wall is Bernard Madoff who was sentenced to 150 years in prison because of Ponzi schemer.

Photo - The Design Inspiration website

Photo - The Design Inspiration website

Photo - The Design Inspiration website

Photo - The Design Inspiration website

Filed under: Art, Chen Wenling, Culture, Economics, Finance, Soft Power

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The East Wind Wave

China in images and infographics, by Wandering China

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Wandering China: Facing west

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Travels in China's northwest and southwest

Wandering Taiwan

Wandering Taiwan: reflections of my travels in the democratic Republic of China

Wandering China, Resounding Deng Slideshow

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Slideshow reflection on Deng Xiaoping's UN General Assembly speech in 1974. Based on photos of my travels in China 2011.

East Asia Geographic Timelapse

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A collaboration with my brother: Comparing East Asia's rural and urban landscapes through time-lapse photography.

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