May 25, 2010

Part One Point Five

The China beat goes on:

Ines Brunn after Li Wei

Ines Brunn after Li Wei

Some notes on the People’s Republic before the second chapter on the Fabled C[hinese]hipster

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Wu Yulu’s amazing mechanical men:

After suffering a series of life changing set backs such as a burnt down home, spraying himself with battery acid, and experiencing great financial debt—all in the name of art—Chinese farmer Wu Yulu is finally gaining some recognition for his homemade robots.


DB also has a gallery of Wu Yulu’s ‘Peasant Da Vincis’ for Cai Guo-Qiang’s inaugural exhibition at the newly restored Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai; some images interpolated below (cue egregiously ironic juxtaposition of images + text):

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Click image to see Robo-Pollock in action at DB

Chinese news site Southern Weekend recently sent intern Liu Zhiyi undercover at the Shenzhen site of Foxconn, “the world’s biggest contract electronics maker and a major supplier to Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other companies,” which has been under scrutiny for the suicides of nine workers this year (more background info at NYT):

I know of two groups of young people.

One group consists of university students like myself, who live in ivory towers and kept company by libraries and lake views. The other group works alongside steel machineries and large containers, all inside a factory of high-precision manufacturing environment.

–Liu Zhiyi, Southern Weekend via Engadget

The translated article is definitely worth reading, though the Apple connection clearly raises the profile of these otherwise-overlooked incidents.

Skeptics (or fans of Apple) have taken to pointing out that this suicide rate, in a plant with four hundred and twenty thousand workers, is no higher than that in a Chinese city of comparable size.

–Evan Osnos, Items of Interest, Letter from China blog on the New Yorker, May 25 2010

Again, clickthrough for sweet vids...

Again, clickthrough for sweet vids on DB...

On a lighter note:

“I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I’ve made for them,” Chen said. “And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible.”

Chinese Factory Worker Can’t Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans, The Onion

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Essay Question (10 pts): To what degree does electronic music reflect the alienation of technology and hyperindustrialization?

Let me take this opportunity to explain my music. At first I liked drums, they were fast and noisy and that’s what I first produced. After a while I listened to more electronic, quieter music. I like fast music, but it’s more melodic as a general rule. I added more melody into my music, more baritone. My latest work has slowed down in comparison to my older music. In the past it’s always been very young, punkish, full of joy. Now, I like slower, blacker, darker music. Also, I like the Chinese influence. I cant explain it, I just like it. I add a little bit of Chinese music in everything.

Sulumi, via Intel×Vice’s Creators Project

via Wired

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A few more for good flavor:


  • Wild Wild Westernization: “16 Items They Only Sell at Chinese Walmarts” (Buzzfeed)
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Shanghai, 1948

Henri Cartier-Bresson – Shanghai, 1948

  • A glimpse into a Chinese toy factory.
Li Wei via the Guardian

Li Wei via the Guardian

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November 25, 2009

Beijing Electro City

Well that didn’t take long.

I found the new Chinese sound…

…or at least a sound that I was new to me, by way of a Chinese artist.

But first the requisite tedium of time, place, overanalysis and a dozen other tangents:

After catching La Loupe last Thursday, I opted not to see Au Revoir Simone or Rahzel (playing separate concerts—Chinese people are crazy but they’re not that crazy) and take it easy on Friday because 1.) the shows were relatively expensive—150RMB [$22] and 100RMB [$15]) respectively, which sounds cheap but taking drinks and cab fare into account, would have made a relatively expensive night out; 2.) I was afraid I would go through another pack of smokes (a health concern, not a financial one; more on this shortly); and 3.) I was saving my energy, money and health for Saturday’s cryptically-titled “Great Beer, Bad City” concert, showcasing China’s finest electronic music talent, at 2 Kolegas, “Beijing’s Hottest Dive Bar & Live Music Venue” (according to their website).


You'll have to excuse the poor quality of my photos; low light, strobes, movement, inebriation and ineptitude are to blame.

You'll have to excuse the poor quality of my photos; low light, strobes, movement, inebriation and ineptitude are to blame.

Like D-22, 2 Kolegas has established itself as a legit venue since its founding by two expats a few years back, attracting indie acts from near and far (I regret missing YACHT’s Halloween show there). Also like D-22, it happens to be off the beaten path, but (unlike D-22) this does not work in my favor: 2 Kolegas is a 15 km / 25 minute / 45RMB taxi-ride away, in the northeastern reaches of Beijing… in the parking lot of a sketchy drive-in movie theater that I might have mistook for a carnival (further explanation is clearly necessary, but will not be provided.) As with most places I’ve tried to find in Beijing, I found it on the second try, after a 15-minute detour down a shady side street lined with empty cabs—I had hoped they were ferrying passengers to nightlife off the main road, but this was not the case.

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Filed under: China, Music  · Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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