April 26th, 2015

The Reactivation of Tradition


Xu Bing is this year’s Humanitas Visiting Professor in Chinese Studies at CRASSH (The centre for research in the arts, social sciences and humanities) at the University of Cambridge. This week he will deliver two public lectures and participate in a concluding symposium. He will also attend a talk and reception at the Fitzwilliam Museum to celebrate his visit to Cambridge. You can find information on all these events here.

I will be delivering a talk at the symposium on Thursday on Qiu Anxiong’s digital animations, specifically ‘The New Book of the Mountains and the Seas’. The theme of the symposium is centred on ‘Chinese tradition/Chinese reality’ and features a very interesting lineup of speakers. I’ve copied the programme below so for anyone interested in learning more about Xu Bing and his work in addition to hearing some exciting new scholarship on contemporary art and architecture please join us.  Continue reading

April 9th, 2015

Cyber Leninism and the Political Culture of the Chinese Internet

A Sinica Podcast featuring Kaiser Kuo, David Moser and Rogier Creemers         7/4/2015

“Yesterday evening, Kaiser Kuo and David Moser were delighted to be joined in Popup Towers by Rogier Creemers, post-doctoral fellow at Oxford, author of the fantastic China copyright and media blog, and one of the most informed academics working on Chinese Internet governance. We’ve always enjoyed our previous chances to grill Rogier on his thoughts, and our discussion this week didn’t disappoint either.”

April 7th, 2015

Q. and A.: Cao Fei on Art, Motherhood and Walking the Political ‘Red Line’

By: Amy Qin       Source: The New York Times 7/4/2015

The artist Cao Fei at home in Beijing.

The artist Cao Fei at home in Beijing.Credit Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

Cao Fei was still a student at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2000 when she was discovered by the curator Hou Hanru, who introduced her to the international art world. Since then, Ms. Cao, 36, who is best known for her multimedia and video work, has exhibited widely, including at the Venice Biennale, the Serpentine Galleries in London, and the Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York. She was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2010 and won the 2006 Chinese Contemporary Art Award in the best young artist category.

A constant theme in Ms. Cao’s work is the interplay between the real and imagined world in fast-changing China. In “COSPlayers” (2004), she followed young Chinese dressed as Japanese manga and anime characters as they rollicked around the intensely real city of Guangzhou, her hometown. For “RMB City” (2007), Ms. Cao, under the avatar China Tracy, spent several years developing a virtual city in the online role-playing game Second Life, combining “overabundant symbols of Chinese reality with cursory imaginings of the country’s future.” The result is a colorful playground of floating Mao statues, an upside-down China Central Television Headquarters building and aerial shopping malls. For a project commissioned by Siemens, she spent six months at a lighting manufacturing plant and produced “Whose Utopia?” (2006), a video work in which workers role-play their fantasies — dancing or playing guitar — within the humdrum factory environment.  Continue reading

April 1st, 2015

New Chinese Cyberattacks: What’s to Be Done?

Chinafile conversation featuring Steve Dickinson, Jason Q. Ng, Isaac Mao and Collin Anderson. Source: Chinafile 1/4/2015


Starting last week, hackers foiled a handful of software providers that promote freedom of information by helping web surfers in China reach the open Internet. The attacks that drastically slowed the anti-censorship services of San Francisco-based GitHub and China-based GreatFire.org emanated from computers around the world. Unbeknownst to their owners, attacking computers apparently were infected by code triggered by using the advertising or analytics tools of Baidu, China’s largest search engine—a company whose shares are traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Baidu has said it has found no security breaches and is working with other organizations to get to the bottom of the attacks. Have the latest cyberattacks, as some coverage has suggested, “weaponized” the computers of unsuspecting global netizens? What should governments, businesses, and individuals do about this apparent spread of China’s official command-and-control vision of the Internet beyond its borders? —The Editors Continue reading