July 19th, 2017

“Let’s Go, Mantis Shrimp”: The Most Trending Chinese Internet Slang of 2017 – Summer Edition

By: Charles Liu     Source: That’s Beijing        Date: 19/7/2017

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A diet of video games and old movies have influenced the most popular online trends, as seen by a list of the hottest Chinese internet slang from the first half of this year expected to bewilder anyone not up-to-date on some very obscure references.
As compiled by Headline News, the online slang terms originate from such varied sources as online video game banter, a Yu-Gi-Oh card game and even a 25-year-old Stephen Chow movie – subtle signs that Chinese youth are a little behind the times when it comes to pop culture.
Want to talk like a Chinese teenager? Here’s the list:

1. Fisty (“拳拳 quánquán”)

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This phrase is used to describe “cuteness” through violence and requires a short explanation of basic Mandarin. Continue reading

July 14th, 2017

Chinese Citizens Evade Internet Censors to Remember Liu Xiaobo

By: JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ.    Source: New York Times    Date: 14/7/2017

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BEIJING — The death on Thursday of China’s most prominent political prisoner, Liu Xiaobo, set off a frenzied effort by government censors to block discussion of his legacy online.

Candle emoticons and the phrase “R.I.P.” were banned on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblogging site. On many sites, searches of Mr. Liu’s name turned up zero results.

Still, Mr. Liu’s admirers found creative ways around the controls, using code words, videos and photographs to show solidarity and to criticize the government’s treatment of China’s only Nobel Peace laureate. Here’s a look at the reaction

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Some admirers saw a thunderstorm on Thursday as a sign.
When a thunderstorm erupted over Beijing shortly after Mr. Liu’s death, internet users embraced the imagery.

“It must be to mark the exit of a hero,” one Weibo user wrote. “The heavens are also moved.”

“Heaven is watching,” wrote a WeChat user, suggesting that China was being judged by a higher power for its treatment of Mr. Liu. The activist, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, had been sentenced to 11 years for his efforts to promote democracy.

Activists have accused the government of depriving Mr. Liu of proper medical care after a cancer diagnosis. Some critics warned that the treatment of Mr. Liu has marred China’s international reputation and tarnished the legacy of President Xi Jinping, who has taken a hard line against dissidents. Continue reading

Lin Ke’s interactive ‘Art Book’: where printed matter meets augmented reality

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In 2016 Lin Ke 林科 released a book via Tria publishing that presents a chronological overview of his output from 2010-2016.  As an artist Lin is known for innovative works which explore the impact of digital technology and computer operating systems on contemporary art and visual culture. Integrating images culled from social media platforms with playful subversions of standard software packages and graphical user interfaces, his practice employs screen recording software and programming code to blur the boundaries between real and virtual spaces.

After graduating from the China Academy of Art’s New Media Department (now the School of Intermedia Art) in 2008, Lin began a series of video works which were created without the use of a video camera. Capturing the mundane real-time actions governing artistic creation in the computer age, many feature the artist interacting with his laptop. We view these videos via the computer’s own camera, controlled from a distance with the use of a touchpad as the artist records his own movements to music.

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The resulting mirrored images, with their spectral layering of open windows, screen savers and desktop detritus present us with unsettling self-portraits of the digital age. As we increasingly experience life mediated by digital devices, they reinforce not only the reality of spending eight hours a day staring blankly at our computer screens but also the incursion of these virtual environments beyond the computer frame, personifying the uncanny possibility of a machine that can return our gaze.  Continue reading

Call for papers: ‘Contemporary Chinese Artists in the Globalised Art World’ Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art 5.1

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I serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, so I’m happy to announce that JCCA is currently soliciting submissions for an exciting new issue on ‘Contemporary Chinese Artists in the Globalised Art World’ slated to be published in 2018.

The end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution opened an entirely new chapter for modern Chinese history, and indeed, for Chinese art too. In 1993, as a section of the 45th Venice Biennale, Passaggio a Oriente (Passage to the Orient) was one of the first representations of Chinese contemporary art on the global art stage presenting fourteen Chinese artists. Externally, Chinese art started to attract the world’s attention by artists’ frequent participations in long standing art events in cities like Venice, Kassel, Lyon, Istanbul, Sharjah and Sydney, as well as important museum exhibitions and art fairs. Internally, contemporary art exhibition became international from the beginning of this millennium, precisely, marked by the third Shanghai Biennial (2000). The Chinese government’s awareness and anxiety about the internationalisation of cultural and creative industries through urban transformations, the institution of biennials and triennials invented and organised in various cities in China, and the rise of newly founded private art museums and galleries have all played a part in promoting Chinese artists and the development of contemporary art in the international context.

The term ‘Chinese’ in this journal is always cultural and signals a broad sense, to include artists not only from Mainland China, but also Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as those global Chinese diasporas. The editors of this issue would like to invite article submissions from a variety of perspectives to produce a series of case studies of individual artists (or artist groups) and their work as representative examples of development in Chinese contemporary art within the last three decades. These individual case studies can be based on their artistic lives, conceptual strategies, speculative knowledge, political and social engagements, and methodological approaches to art production in response to the globalised art world today. As such, this issue is designed to stimulate original research, critical thinking and new understanding of Chinese contemporary art.
Timeline

Extended Deadline: *31 July 2017, abstracts due (300 words)*

30 September 2017, full manuscripts due (6-7,000 words)

Publication in Volume 5, Issue 1, Spring 2018

Please send submissions and correspondence to: Principal Editor Jiang Jiehongccva@bcu.ac.uk, with the subject ‘JCCA 5.1’. Please visit Intellect’s website http://www.intellectbooks.com to follow its house referencing guidelines.

Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art is an associate journal of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts at Birmingham City University.