Generasian

Wednesday Mar 12

EXPOSURE : Xu Bing

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This week on EXPOSURE, we are featuring another exhibit right here in NYC! Xu Bing is a sculptor from Beijing who has built two beautiful phoenixes out of construction debris. He was inspired by the new World Trade Center in Beijing— a beautiful piece of architecture, but built by workers in terrible conditions. Fierce and daunting, it critiques Chinese labor, industrialization and rapid modernization.

“The method is unsophisticated, like Chinese lanterns. At the same time it is also in keeping with the Western concept of ready-made assemblage. The entire process of creation forms an interactive relationship with the environment and Chinese society.” -Xu Bing

The exhibition is at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, located on 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street. You can find more information about the exhibition here, and check out more of Xu Bing’s work here.

Wednesday Mar 5

EXPOSURE : Li Hongbo

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This week on EXPOSURE, we would like to introduce a contemporary paper master, Li Hongbo! Inspired by Chinese paper lanterns, he uses stacks of paper to recreate Renaissance sculptures. Li’s fascination with paper began with his previous position as a book editor. All of his pieces seem stationary and solid, but can be stretched and transformed. The sculptures are composed of over 20,000 sheets of paper glued together. 

This video explains his sculpting process:

Check out more of his work here! Also check out his Tools of Study exhibition at the Klein Sun Gallery (525 W 22nd St) until March 22.

Wednesday Oct 30

Arrests Made in Tiananmen Square Car Crash

Two days ago, a car being chased by the police drove into a crowd of people in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, killing 5 people (the 3 in the car and 2 tourists) and left 40 injured. The tragic event is being called a terrorist attack, with China pointing its finger at the Uighurs, a Chinese minority group practicing Islam in Xinjiang, a region in Western China. Today the Chinese authorities announced that 10 hours after the attack they had arrested 5 people said to be Islamic Jihadists who admitted to orchestrating the incident.

In recent years, tension between the Uighurs and the Han Chinese (making up about 92% of China’s population) have risen considerably, following a recent Han migration to the Western China area. This has led to a a change in the region that the Uighur say trivialize their culture and traditions. 

There have been numerous clashes between the minority group and the police in the past, with the Uighurs citing reasons such as new policies that restrict their ability to practice their religion and a new push for Mandarin-speaking schools instead of Uighur language-schools. However, this is the first incident that has occurred in Beijing. 

The Chinese government has been censoring any photos and accounts of the car crash. Any news stories of the event were lacking much detail and only stuck to the essential facts released by the official Xinhua news agency. Even searches with various combos of the words “Tiananmen”, “terrorism”, and “car crash” were blocked. 

Wednesday Sep 25

Film Director Jia Zhangke: Cinema in Touch with Reality


Date: Monday, September 30

Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm

Place: Asia Society, 725 Park Ave.

Admission: Free, RSVP

Tuesday Jul 30

Asiana flight victims fund

China’s one child policy makes the loss of these three students even more devastating. Donate to help the victims of Asiana through alumvest.org.

Monday Jul 8

Making Faces in the Subway, Using Paper and Scissors

Ming Liang Lu, 57, snips and slices intricate portraits of commuters in his own unique style. Mr. Lu practices several ancient Chinese art forms and says he hails from a noted Shanghai teaching lineage.

Friday May 10

This Friday, May 10, watch the movie “Back to 1942,” set during the Henan Famine in which hundreds of thousands died. After the film author Liu Zhenyun will speak about his book, which inspired the movie. The talk will be translated and the film has English subtitles.

Date: Friday, May 10

Time: 6:30-10pm

Place: 19 West 4th St., Room 101

Admission: Free

Tuesday Apr 30

Chinese Military Incursion on Indian Ladakh Region in Kashmir

anjanasreedhar

Relations between India and China have become more fraught, especially after the People’s Liberation Army stepped into Ladakh in the Depsang Valley (Kashmir) without notification. Specifically, the Chinese army has allegedly trespassed on the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector part of Ladakh, a historic trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. This incursion has occurred approximately one month before new Premier Li Keqiang’s first formal to India, foreshadowing possible difficult ties going forward. 

This has occurred as a result of “differences in perception of the Line of Actual Control,” also showing that this is not the first time such incursions have occurred. The Line of Actual Control was drawn in the Aksai Chin region, formerly part of the India/Pakistan Kashmir conflict, but the Chinese have claimed it as their own. In the meantime, the Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment specializing in mountain warfare, is preparing for a face-off.

On the Indian diplomatic side of things, India has asked Beijing to maintain the status quo from before the April 15th incursion. Unfortunately, the LAC is not demarcated in most regions, making such a request even more difficult to process. Yesterday, the Chinese government released a statement refusing to acknowledge the incursion but has expressed an interest to cooperate with India regarding these border issues, which could potentially increase tension. 

India and China are two of the world’s fastest growing economies with the largest populations. However, they are lagging behind on becoming “developed” countries. Once both countries define their borders on acceptable terms, they can take the world stage and legitimize their presence.

Read more about the latest developments in China-India relations after the Ladakh incursion.

Saturday Apr 20

China Quake Kills Many and Injures Thousands

Saturday morning, just at 8 AM, a magnitude 7 earthquake shook Sichuan province, the same region of China hit by the Great Sichuan Earthquake in May 2008 that killed almost 70,000 people. 

As of 9 PM, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs website listed that the current death toll was 157 while 5,700 people were injured. The cause was the Longmenshan fault line, the same one that led to the devastating 2008 quake. 

Read more about the relief efforts here.

Thursday Apr 11

China Not Ready For "Django Unchained"

American director Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, “Django Unchained”, was suddenly pulled from Chinese theaters on opening day. The movie was heavily advertised in the weeks leading up to the Thursday premiere. China represents the second largest movie-market, coming in after the United States.

Theaters in Beijing claimed it was removed due to technical problems with movie, however, most think it was because of issues with the censoring. Movies that are played in China must go through a censoring process, making edits like changing the color of blood to a darker shade and decreasing the “splatter”. Part of the reason for such intense editing is due to the fact that China does not have a rating system for the movies shown, unlike the US and Europe. Movies must be shown with the assumption that children can also see it, meaning that violence and nudity need to be removed.

Thursday Apr 4

Ni Hao from Shanghai, China!

hellolater

Connie Lee is a writer for Generasian. Here she shares her experiences from studying abroad in Shanghai this spring.  

The first memorable sight I had of Shanghai was on the shuttle from the airport to the apartment that I will call home for the next four months.  We were driving down the highway and I looked to the left and saw newly developed apartment complexes and then I looked to the right and saw rundown houses that families call home.  The striking contrast separated by the highway we were driving on made me realize that although Shanghai may be the world’s largest city by population, it is still new and developing.

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(This house has no roof, windows, or doors.  It is surrounded by broken concrete bits and bricks.  If you look closely, you can see the lights on in this home.)

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Wednesday Mar 27

Mopeds and Making Memories

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Moped Family

There I was, propped on the back of a dusty, cackling moped, thrusting my hands into the air like some kid on a rollercoaster ride. I was speeding down the roads of Ho Chi Minh City at night with my cousin, feeling the wind crash against my face, watching storefronts blur into lights and colors. It was the most unexpected form of harmony: the unified circling of the mopeds, the sweet smells of grilled sticky rice, and the dazzling flower-shaped lights together shared a story of Vietnam that was equally exhilarating and comforting. At that moment, nothing else mattered but this great sense of euphoria. I knew that when I returned to New York City and sat down to record this very moment, this memory would be my connection to Vietnam, a place that once felt distant, mysterious, and foreign.

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