Tag Archives: china

Memes, Refashioned

There’s no obstacle in life that can’t be overcome with a genuine smile. But even in the hardest of times, a polite, insincere grin (even an awkward one) can still make do. On this premise, a meme was born.

If you have any investments in the meme economy, then you’ve probably heard the name Gavin Thomas. Best known as the “boy with the fake smile,” the eight-year-old American has gone viral worldwide. His hilariously insincere expression has garnered him huge followings on Instagram and Weibo alike. Just six short months after joining the latter, he’s already won over millions of followers, and many Chinese netizens are even hailing him as “world-class meme material.”

Recently, Chinese fashion label BIZZCUT released a line of products with the boy (or rather the meme) himself. It includes hoodies, iPhone cases, blankets, and even mousepads. Named auspiciously with the upcoming Chinese New Year in mind, the Peace and Prosperity collection pairs Thomas’s iconic fake smile with vibrant colors and bold Chinese characters, showing that memes can live beyond our device screens and find a place in the real world.

BIZZCUT was launched in 2014 and is run by a small but dedicated team made up of two fashion designers, a design assistant, a graphic designer, and a three-man operations department. We recently interviewed Da Yao, a graduate of Italy’s Istituto Marangoni and the founder of BIZZCUT, about her newly released designs and the challenges of running an independent brand in China.


如果你是关注网络文化的潮流青年,那么你一定知道这个红遍大江南北的假笑男孩Gavin Thomas。从 Instagram 火到微博,他的粉丝量在注册短短半年内就突破百万大军,堪称世界级的网红表情包。

最近,国潮品牌 BIZZCUT别闹联手腔调假笑男孩本人联名合作,出了包括卫衣、手机壳、毛毯和鼠标垫等等一系列周边,并为了呼应即将到来的中国新年,这个系列取了个非常讨喜的名字:平安富贵Gavin 标志性的假笑,配上大量鲜艳的色彩和硕大醒目的中文字,让原来活在手机里的假笑表情包,比起不正经来,更多了点酷。

我们采访了 BIZZCUT 的主理人大妖,毕业于意大利马戈兰尼设计学院(Istituto Marangoni)服装设计系的她,于 2014 年创立了这个品牌。现在的团队已经有另一个服装设计师、一个设计助理和一个平面设计师,和三人的运营团队。

Neocha: BIZZCUT’s Gavin Thomas collection draws on the aesthetics of memes; it’s a large departure from the approach of other domestic fashion brands. How did this idea come about? What was it like working with him?

Da Yao: When someone from Taobao Kongdiao (a fashion-focused platform run by the Chinese e-commerce behemoth) approached us about doing a collection with the “fake smile boy,” I was on board immediately. I’m a fan of Gavin myself, and I often use his sticker memes on WeChat. It felt like something in tune with the spirit of our brand, so everything just happened quite organically. It was a smooth process overall. Gavin and his mom approved our initial drafts right off the bat. It felt like we were on the same wavelength, so it was quite enjoyable working together.

Neocha: BIZZCUT “假笑男孩系列的产品有着浓浓的表情包风格,和一般国潮牌不太一样。是什么促成了这个系列的诞生?和假笑男孩的合作过程是怎样的?

大妖: 当时淘宝腔调的小二来问我们愿不愿意做一个合作款,得知是和假笑男孩合作我们毫不犹豫就答应了。因为我自己也是 Gavin 的粉丝,平时聊天也常会用他的表情。同时他的气质和我们品牌调性挺契合的,所以合作自然达成了。过程也非常顺利,我们提交初稿的时候就得到了 Gavin 和他妈妈的认可,可以说是一拍即合,非常愉快。

Neocha: What do you think are the primary reasons young people are drawn to your brand?

Da Yao: Maybe it’s our design philosophy. Compared to other brands, we don’t take ourselves that seriously. We enjoy making designs around self-deprecating humor. People are under a lot of stress nowadays, so a dose of quirky, offbeat humor resonates with them. Another thing is our perspective of what’s “cool”: Every brand wants to talk about being cool. To us, being cool is about exuding confidence. In other words, being “cool” in your own eyes is what’s most important. We hope that our products can help give people this type of self-confidence.

Neocha: 你觉得 BIZZCUT 能够吸引这些年轻人最重要的原因是什么?

大妖: 可能是我们的设计态度吧。相比较很多品牌我们可能显得没那么严肃和正经。就是说我们会用比较自嘲的方式去做设计,现在人生活工作压力都很大,所以一些出其不意、搞怪幽默的设计就会让很多人有共鸣。还有就是我们对酷的看法:每个品牌都在谈论酷,而事实上真正的酷首先是一种由内而外的自信,也就是自以为酷很重要。我们希望自己的产品能给大家这样的自信。

Neocha: What are some of the brand’s underpinning design philosophies and inspirations?

Da Yao: It all starts with me thinking about whether it’s something I personally like—otherwise it’ll never hit the shelves. Secondly, it needs to fall in line with the brand of humor we’re known for. I like design that makes use of pop art; mainstream culture is also something that needs to be considered. After all, being a designer means staying open-minded. It’s about finding a balance between your own aesthetic preferences and what speaks to the masses.

Neocha: 在做设计的时候,你们的态度和出发点是什么?

大妖: 出发点是我首先自己很喜欢的单品才会上架售卖。其次就是符合我们品牌幽默有趣的定位,一些波普感的设计是我比较喜欢感兴趣的,至于大众文化潮流我觉得也很有参考的必要,毕竟作为设计师还是要有一个开放的姿态去做设计,从个人审美趣味和大众喜好之间寻求平衡吧。

Neocha: It’s been a few years since BIZZCUT was founded, and the brand has built a large following of dedicated fans. During this time, what are some the most difficult struggles and challenges you’ve faced?

Da Yao: The biggest risks we took thus far were our releases for the second half of 2018. We tried out some more serious designs, but the reception was lukewarm. It helped us realize that our audience still enjoys how we bring happiness with simple, unsullied humor. But we’re now back on track. This process provided us with a lot of clarity.

Neocha: BIZZCUT 从诞生到现在也有好几个年头了,目前也吸引了一大批忠实粉丝。但这个过程中你们有碰到过独立品牌好险差点没活过来这样的情况吗?

大妖: 最险的基本就是 2018 后半年吧,做了一些比较严肃正经的尝试,结果不是很理想,后来发现大家还是喜欢简单和纯粹的快乐,现在基本回到正轨了,这个过程中自我认知也清晰了许多。

Neocha: Once a brand becomes overly commercialized, it can leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. How do you strike a balance between an authentic independent spirit and being profit-oriented?

Da Yao: Commercialization isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Good business practice means getting more than what you’ve invested, and I think having an entrepreneur mindset is important for designers. We’re not artists. Design is intrinsically linked with marketing. That said, we still strive to strike a balance between mass appeal and our independent spirit. I consider this to be the most interesting part of being a designer—it requires an equilibrium between business acumen and artistic sensibilities.

Neocha: 很多品牌一旦走上商业化,年轻用户就会显得抗拒。你们在独立设计和商业化两者之间,是怎么权衡的?

大妖: 商业化不是一件坏事,商业规则要求一个基本的水平线以上的投资回报率。我觉得商业规则对设计师来说很重要,我们不是艺术家,设计的根本也是为了销售,在这个过程中我们一直在努力平衡独立设计和大众趣味的关系,我觉得这也是设计师这个职业比较有趣的一点——它需要商业嗅觉和艺术品味相结合。

Neocha: What do you think the most important qualities are for an independent brand?

Da Yao: The most important thing is the “independent” aspect of it naturally. Something we constantly remind ourselves comes from a quote by Hu Shih: “What is independence? Independence is following your heart. If you’re free but not independent, then you’re a slave. Independence means not being blind, not being duped, not imitating others, and not relying on others. It means not trusting what you hear second-hand, not trusting thoughts that aren’t your own, and not trusting vicarious experiences relayed by someone else. This the spirit of independence.”

In other words, it’s important to not blindly follow trends.

Neocha: 你觉得对一个独立设计品牌来说,最重要的特点或品质应该是什么?

大妖: 最重要的特点当然是独立啦。引用一段我一直用来提醒自己的话吧,胡适先生讲的:什么是独立呢?‘独立是你们自己的事,给你自由而不独立这是奴隶,独立要不盲从,不受欺骗,不依傍门户,不依赖别人,不用别人耳朵为耳朵,不以别人的脑子为脑子,不用别人的眼睛为眼睛,这就是独立的精神。


Neocha: How would you describe the BIZZCUT attitude in one single word?

Da Yao: Humorous.

Neocha: 用一个词总结形容“别闹”的调性,你会用?

大妖: 幽默。

Neocha: Aside from your online shop and brick-and-mortar retail location, you’ve recently opened a space for hosting events and exhibitions. Why this expansion?

Da Yao: This space is something new for us. There aren’t long-term goals for it. It’s just a place where we can meet and chat with guests, a place where we can share our design philosophy with people. At the same time, we do plan on hosting events catered to people looking for fun things to do.

Neocha: 除了线上线下店之外,你们最近还开了一个空间,可以举办各种艺术活动之类的。为什么想要开拓线下活动空间?

大妖: 那个空间也是一个新的尝试吧,也不算一个长期的规划,就是想找个地方招待一下一直以来想和我们见面聊天的顾客,然后让他们更加了解我们的设计态度,同时伴随一些有趣的活动,让大家找到一个好玩的去处。

Neocha: What can we expect from BIZZCUT in the future?

Da Yao: Surviving is high on our list of priorities. Refining our products and coming up with more thoughtful designs is also very important. We’d also like to work with some shopping centers and media platforms to do a pop-up store. Aside from these things, we’ll be putting out a premium collaborative projects once every year.

Neocha: 对未来别闹的发展,你有什么计划?

大妖: 未来发展的话,先是活下去吧。然后把产品的品质更优,设计更成熟一点吧。也会和一些媒体和商场合作做一些 Pop-up Store,还有就是每年做一次优质的联名款。

Taobao: bizzcut.taobao.com
Instagram: @bizzcut_official


Contributor: Chen Yuan
English Translation: David Yen

淘宝: bizzcut.taobao.com
Instagram: @bizzcut_official


供稿人: Chen Yuan
中译英: David Yen

Fighting Evil with Evil

“Ye Zhong and You Guang are evil spirits who appear in the dead of night and strike fear in other devils. Fighting evil with evil, men came to evoke their names to ward off war and plague, calling them the Gods of Night.”


This is the description that opens the photo series Historical Photographs of the Gods of Night Vanquishing Demons, by Chinese digital artist Zhao Guodong. The series was inspired by folktales that date back to the Han dynasty—in the tales, Ye Zhong and You Guang were menacing deities believed to be powerful and evil enough to fend off wounds and plague.

“野仲、游光厉鬼也,三更出而百鬼惧之。后人以恶制恶,题其名可避刀兵瘟疫,谓之夜游神。 ”



“The night deities are beings whose unparalleled malevolence is believed to counteract lesser evils,” Zhao explains. “I think the main reason people put their belief in these wicked deities as opposed to good spirits wasn’t that they wanted evil beings to destroy one another but that they considered the compassionate deities unreliable. Even today, the world is paralyzed with similar fears: for the common people, law and justice aren’t enough to shake off the uncertainty and fear of falling prey to evil-doers. People cheer on vigilantes who operate outside of the law. This observation, combined with my interpretation of the demons and gods of ancient lore, is what inspired this series.”


While undeniably nightmarish, the demons and beasts of Zhao’s work are a marked departure from the over-the-top character designs of Hollywood blockbusters. He explains he didn’t want to overdo their features, and against the ramshackle, overgrown backdrops, they look even more realistic. The spirits he’s conjured—from a chimerical beast with a lion’s head and a dragon’s body to a humanoid creature with jagged horns—are all culled from Chinese mythology. I love animals, especially the legendary creatures depicted in traditional Chinese sculptures,” he notes. “It was from studying their forms that I learned about how art can be powerful and humorous at the same time.” 

Zhou, leveraging Chinese mythology and modern fears, has managed to restore one of China’s oldest folktales in spine-chilling fashion. Don’t stare too long at these images after dark, or you just might find yourself inside one of these haunting dreamscapes the next time you close your eyes.



Weibo: ~/sandaosi

Contributor: Chen Yuan
English Translation: David Yen

微博: ~/sandaosi

供稿人: Chen Yuan
中译英: David Yen

Neighborhood Stories

For my interview with Wang Zhanhei, one of China’s youngest writers, I arranged to meet her in Dinghaiqiao, a neighborhood on the outskirts of town.

From the subway, I had to pick my way through an open-air market, where stalls with an assortment of vegetables, baskets of fruits, and buckets of freshly caught carp—some still flopping about—lined the road. Two blocks later, I turned down an alleyway barely wide enough for a person, walked a few hundred more meters, and finally arrived at the place where we’d agreed to meet: Dinghaiqiao Mutual Aid Society, a volunteer-run organization that offers assistance to migrants and manual laborers. It’s a place that Wang often visits.

When I arrived, she was already inside, engaged in a lively conversation with some of her friends.




1 / Unsung Heroes

Displayed on a shelf directly inside the entrance are Wang’s two recent books, Jiedao Jianghu (“Neighborhood Adventurers”) and Kong Xiang Pao (“Air Cannon”), the latter of which just won the inaugural Blancpain-Imaginist Literature Prize. The cover jacket contains a short bio:

Born in 1991 in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, Wang Zhanhei graduated from Fudan University with a degree in literature. Her stories Neighborhood Heroes, which originally appeared on Douban, have been published in ONE, FurongShanhua, and the Sinan Literary Journal.

Succinct and straightforward, this statement of fact is the book’s only introduction to the author.

As it happens, since she graduated from Fudan University, Wang has been working as a high school instructor, teaching seniors in an international program. She only sees herself as a writer when she’s actually writing—the rest of the time she calls herself a working stiff. When we arranged to meet, she texted me that she happened to have the day off, but she followed this information with a frowning emoji: “Next week I have to work six days straight.”



“王占黑,1991 年生于浙江嘉兴,毕业于复旦大学中文系。曾在豆瓣写了一系列‘街道英雄’的故事,已有作品散见于《ONE一个》《芙蓉》《山花》《思南文学选刊》等。”



The interview officially began as we strolled among the clusters of low-rise apartment buildings in the neighborhood and chatted.

The neighborhood consists of typical working-class housing, and was reminiscent of the place Wang herself grew up in. Familiar sights and sounds filled the streets: neighbors cheerily greeting one another, older folks and young kids dawdling along the streets, and identical square laundry racks sticking out from every window.

“I still live in an old building like this,” she said. She spoke calmly, though her eyes constantly looked this way and that, fascinated by everything around her. She’d point out cats busily cleaning themselves, tame rabbits hopping about, overgrown loofah vines climbing the walls, and balconies decorated with potted plants.




In her Neighborhood Heroes series, the “neighborhoods” are the apartment blocks and residential complexes built as worker housing in the late 20th century—a common sight in Chinese cities—while the “heroes” are the ordinary residents: security guards, fruit vendors, trash collectors. These humble characters take center stage as the stars of her stories.

Wang has a knack for striking up conversations with strangers. As we walked and took pictures, curious neighbors would approach us, and she readily made small talk.

“Is this your dog? What a good boy!”

“Yep! He’s an old dog, over ten years old. He was even on T.V. back in the day.”

“That old? How long have you lived here?”

The conversation was animated, with the old man speaking in Shanghainese and Wang answering in her Jiaxing dialect. As the sky darkened above us, her eyes seemed to gleam even more brightly.







Wang gives her characters intriguing names: Xiao Guan (Little Official), Lao Jin (Old Gold), Chun Guang (Spring Light), and so on. Many of these are cobbled together from names she heard called out in waiting rooms in banks or hospitals, or which she happened across in short news items. With some rearranging and a lot of revision, she created a series of old “neighborhood heroes.”

“In the beginning, both books were called ‘Neighborhood Heroes,’ but the titles were overhauled in the editorial process,” she recalls. “I suppose everyone’s definition of a hero is different. For some people, heroes are mighty individuals, such as a military general. But my interpretation is different.”



Wang began writing the first piece in her series just after high school, inspired by Xiao Guan, a security guard who looked like he’d been around the block a few times and would make a good story. But once she got to university, she stopped, and when she eventually looked back, the stories and their characters had aged: she discovered that heroes can grow old. They’re just ordinary people.

Not long ago, speaking on Yixi—a platform akin to TED talks—Wang said: “There are a lot of lovable people in that world, and a lot who are lovable and despicable at the same time. But I like to see them as larger than life. Others might say they’re just the common folk, but I like to see them as heroes. Others might say they’re a lost cause, but I want to sing their glories.”

When she published the collection in two books, she changed the title from “Neighborhood Heroes,” but her name for the people hasn’t changed. She still calls them heroes.




2 / A Little Kid in Momentous Era

Ah Ming is one of Wang Zhanhei’s many neighborhood heroes.

One day around noon, when the trash collectors got to the last building, they picked an old woman out of the trash. She’d fallen head-first into the bin and was now fast asleep. When they pulled her out, her whole body gave off a sour stench, and her hair was soaked in a soupy liquid. Wrapped around her breast was a misshapen rubber apron. They turned her over to look and saw—good lord, it’s little old Ah Ming! The one who lives in the garage at the western end of the neighborhood.
(Click here to read more from this excerpt)

In fact, stories like this aren’t so unusual in the Yangtze region, not even in Shanghai. After a layoff or some other misfortune, some people turn to scavenging to get by. A lot of what they take can’t be sold, and they end up hoarding piles of trash. Their stories make the news all too often. But these people, who often face looks of contempt from strangers on the street, are too quickly forgotten about.

But Wang writes about them.

In the story, Ah Ming is fished out of the trash bin and sent to the hospital, but before long she goes back to her trash-picking life. Wang doesn’t give her a tragic ending, yet the story gives you pause.







There’s also Chun Guang, who works as a carpenter, Zhao Guangming, who delivers milk, Mei Fen, a middle-aged woman who waits anxiously for her daughter to find a husband. Wang writes their everyday household struggles.

Over time, her cast of characters grew and grew, and eventually became a series. Wang also came to understand her own style. “After figuring out what my quirks were, I got a clearer sense of what I wanted to write, what I could write, and what I could try to write. Some people love to banter and are always shooting the breeze. Some people are always thinking about the past, and are a bit solemn. I want to include a lot of different kinds of people, and use different styles.”

Wang doesn’t purposefully romanticize her characters, nor does she intend for readers to leave with some profound takeaway. She describes these older residents in old neighborhoods in a four-word phrase:

Laid-off factory workers have an expression, nan bao nü chao: “secure men, super women.” It means the men work as security guards, the women work in a supermarket. For every ten families where factory workers were laid off, seven or eight are like that. Mei Fen and her husband were no exception.
(Click here to read more from this excerpt)

Secure men, super women. These are trivial things—nothing thrilling or out of the ordinary. But isn’t there a heroism in these stories?






On our way to the market, Wang stepped into a little shop selling eggs.

She doesn’t have to ask how much fresh chicken eggs and salted duck eggs cost per pound. After her father passed away, she had to take charge of the cooking. “My mom can’t cook, so I learned from my dad,” she says. From a young age, Wang followed her father around the neighborhood, and a lot of what she knows, like how to talk to strangers and how to haggle over prices, she learned directly from him.

Wang’s fiction is based on the stories of city dwellers set against the backdrop of fast-moving times. She doesn’t look down on her characters from on high, but sees herself as “a little kid from an old neighborhood.” She looks up to everyone in older generations, and her veneration of these heroes comes partly from her respect for her elders. and partly from her inborn empathy.

Before we get to the market, Wang says she doesn’t want to take photos there. “There are a lot of ways to connect with familiar spaces,” she says. “But this sort of ‘photo shoot,’ I don’t know, it feels wrong.”


鸡蛋多少钱一斤,咸鸭蛋多少钱一斤,王占黑知道。爸爸去世后,她是那个掌厨的人。“我妈妈不会做饭。这都是我爸爸教我的。” 占黑从小跟着爸爸在街道里窜,怎么跟陌生人搭话,怎么讨价还价,她得到了真传。

王占黑的小说,就取材于这大时代背景下的小市民故事。她不会把自己放在很高的位置去看,反而把自己当成 “一个老小区的小朋友”,所以觉得每个长辈都高高大大。伟岸的英雄形象,一是来自于对年长者的尊敬,二则来自于下笔时不自觉的悲悯。


3 / A Pen in My Father’s Hand

Her new book Jiedao Jianghu is dedicated to “Jia Tao the king.” Jia Tao was her father, who didn’t actually read her stories. “He’d just pick one up, look at the title, and say something like, ‘Oh, you’re writing about Ah Ming! Looks great!'” she reminisces.”My mom’s the one who often reads my books and proudly shows my work to other people.”

Wang is an animal lover. When we ran into a dog that came up to her barking, she just held a finger up to her lips to tell it, “Shh! Stop barking. You’re going to get yelled at.” Her dad also loved animals. The two of them used to talk about what they’d name their dog if they had one, but sadly Wang’s mom wouldn’t let them get one. “I still want a dog, but my boyfriend doesn’t,” she sighs.





What her father passed on to her is small but substantial. “My dad liked how I’d meet different people and ‘forge my own path.’ He didn’t teach me anything groundbreaking, but he had his own personal life philosophy. Most of all, he gave me a pair of eyes to observe the world around me. In some ways, I’m just a pen in his hand, recording the world we both lived in.”

爸爸给她带去的财富,很细小,却很有分量。 “我爸喜欢我结交不同的人,‘出去闯’。他倒没有教我很了不起的事,他有自己的一套哲学在。但他给了我一双眼睛,去看身边的世界。”王占黑一直这么说,“我可能就是老王手下的一支笔吧,去写下我和他共同生活的世界。”

When praising a writer’s work, critics sometimes say that it epitomizes an age, or that it raises a style to new heights. Yet Wang isn’t that sort of writer, nor does she aspire to be. She discovers people who have been washed ashore by the waves of time—wary grains of sand, swept away, stranded, and heaped together to form a beach where Wang Zhanhei, like a curious child, kneels down with her magnifying glass and calls out to her dad to come take a look.

No matter how many neighborhoods there are, or how many stories, for Wang, the real hero is her father.

Not long ago, I clicked on her Douban page in search of a bibliography of her works. Looking at the comments section, I noticed next to her name a few extra words: “Jia Tao the king.”

Both of Wang Zhanhei’s books, Jiedao Jianghu (“Neighborhood Adventurers”) and Air Cannon are now available (in Chinese) on the Neocha Shop.




王占黑的两本著作《街道江湖》和《空响炮》都在 Neocha 商店中有售。

Douban: ~/WangZhanhei


Contributor: Chen Yuan
Photographer: Chan Qu



供稿人: Chen Yuan
Chan Qu

Bauhaus in Shanghai

Image Courtesy of Bundesarchiv / Photographer: Thomas Lehmann

Bauhaus is turning one hundred. The iconic German art school first opened its doors in 1919, in Weimar, and was shut down just fourteen years later, when the Nazis came to power in 1933. Over the course of its brief life, it became synonymous with modern design. It stripped furniture and building façades of ornamental frills, and its minimalist aesthetic set the tone for architecture around the world. By the middle of the century its imprint could be seen everywhere from Japan to Israel to Yugoslavia—though perhaps nowhere is it so visible as in the United States, where many of the artists and architects who studied and taught at the school, a number of whom were Jewish, fled in 1933.

Today, the “International Style” that Bauhaus popularized is viewed with more ambivalence: on the one hand, it gave us austere masterpieces like Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building in New York, and on the other, it led to the soulless corporate blocks that make so many downtowns look identical. In any event, Bauhaus’s function-first ethos still has a devoted following, in Asia as much as in Europe or the Americas. And even though a century has gone by, it may still have something to teach us today. That’s the thinking behind a recent series of workshops held in Shanghai to mark the school’s 100th anniversary.

包豪斯(Bauhaus)即将迎来 100 周年纪念。其代表性的国立包豪斯学校于 1919 年在德国魏玛创办,十四年后随着纳粹上台而被迫关闭。但尽管办学生涯短暂,包豪斯学院却给世界带来了极为重要的影响,并成为了现代设计的代名词。包豪斯主义主张减除家具和建筑外立面的装饰细节,这种简约的美学为世界各国的建筑设计奠定基调。到了上世纪中期,包豪斯风格的影响已遍及全球,从日本到以色列,再到南斯拉夫,到处都能看到它留下的痕迹。但是,受包豪斯主义影响最显著的莫过于美国,因为在 1933 年纳粹当政,在包豪斯学院学习和教学的许多艺术家和建筑师,都纷纷逃离到美国,特别是受到迫害的犹太人。

而如今,很多人对包豪斯倡导的“国际风格”保持矛盾心态:一方面,它给我们带来了像现代建筑大师密斯·凡德罗(Mies van der Rohe)在纽约设计建造的西格拉姆大厦(Seagram Building)这样简朴的杰作,但另一方面,它也催生了世界各个城市中大同小异、没有灵魂的商业大楼。


Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin
Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin

Sponsored by the Department of Culture and Education of the German Consulate General in Shanghai, the workshops were organized by Shen Qilan, a Chinese curator, educator, and writer who maintains close ties to Germany, where she completed her doctorate in philosophy. “Bauhaus is an outstanding intellectual tradition, but it’s not often talked about here,” says Shen. She organized the events with two aims. “First, to introduce people to the existence and value of the Bauhaus tradition. And second, to ask what that tradition has to do with our current moment in 2018 or 2019. Often we see things from 1919 as documents, as something from the past. Yet Bauhaus, I firmly believe, is relevant to the present.”

这一系列工作坊由德国驻上海领事馆文化教育处主办,由中国策展人、教育家及作家沈奇岚负责组织。曾留学德国的沈奇岚,在那里修完了哲学博士学位,至今还与德国保持着密切的联系。“包豪斯是一个很出色的思想传统,但是这边好像说得不太多。”沈奇岚说。关于组织这些活动的她有两个目标:“一个是让大家知道,包豪斯这个传统的存在和它的价值,第二是,这个传统它跟我们当下的 2018 年、2019 年有什么关系,因为很多时候我们去看 1919 年的东西,它就是个文献,是一个过去的东西。但我强烈感觉到,包豪斯跟我们当下还有联系。”

The workshops began in the spring, with a series of four sessions titled Bauhaus Class 1.0. “Shen Qilan invited several prominent scholars from the Chinese cultural scene,” says Oliver Hartmann, head of the Department of Culture and Education. “The first class was really successful: there were 100, 120 people sitting there drawing, working with fabrics, being creative, learning from Chinese experts about Bauhaus.” That success led them to organize Bauhaus Class 2.0, a longer set of six classes in the fall. “The first course focused on Bauhaus’s past, and the second one focused more on its legacy,” he explains. “The second course also had a practical dimension, because we did city walks: students went outside to experience and compare buildings, and they also visited our experts in their studios.” Both courses filled up quickly with people from a variety of backgrounds who shared little more than an interest in design—at least one parent even brought a child. Students who attended all four classes in the spring, or all six in the fall, and successfully completed the homework, received a certificate.

这一系列工作坊从春季开始,包豪斯课堂 1.0 (Bauhaus 1.0)包括了四个课程。领事馆文化教育处负责人郝立夫(Oliver Hartmann)说:“沈奇岚邀请了几位来自中国文化界的著名学者。第一次的课堂非常成功,来了一百多人,大家坐在一起画画,发挥创意,以面料为主题创作,向中国大师们学习有关包豪斯的知识。”

这一次课堂的成功使得他们又组织举办了包豪斯课堂 2.0(Bauhaus 2.0),在秋季开办,共包括了六节课。“包豪斯 1.0 关注的是包豪斯的过去,而 2.0 则会更关注它的传承与影响。包豪斯 2.0 也会更注重实践。我们组织了城市漫步,让学生到街上去体验和比较建筑,到工作室里与我们的专家会面。”郝立夫说。这两次开课吸引的学员都来自不同背景,甚至还有一位带孩子来听课的家长。所有学员们齐聚一堂,而他们之间仅有的共同点就是对设计的兴趣。所有参加包豪斯 1.0 或 2.0 并成功地完成作业的学员,​​都会获得一份证书。

Still, what does Bauhaus have to do with Shanghai, a city that after all is better known for its art deco treasures and its postmodern skyscrapers? As Shen explains, Bauhaus had an important, albeit indirect, influence in China. “The most profound impact it had was on architectural thought. Of course there wasn’t any direct influence, because no Chinese students studied at the Bauhaus, but its thinking was passed on,” she says.

When the Bauhaus school opened in 1919, at the start of the interwar period, German society found itself in the midst of radical economic and political upheavals. “It was a time of large-scale industrial production, and society as a whole was figuring out how to respond, in thought, in art, in culture, in design,” says Shen. Bauhaus responded with designs that prioritized efficiency above all else: from high rises to chairs, its forms are sleek and linear, reduced to their core elements. “What’s fascinating is that, at a time of momentous change, a group of particularly independent-minded people came to use their own means to address problems raised by the society and the times.” They offered an elegant visual language for a newly industrialized world.

但是,包豪斯与上海之间到底有何联系呢?毕竟在上海,更为人熟知的是这里的 Art deco 建筑和后现代风格的摩天大楼。沈奇岚解释说,包豪斯对中国是有影响的,虽然说是间接性的。“最深刻的影响就体现在建筑思想上。当然,直接影响是没有的,因为没有中国学生去包豪斯学院上过课。但是它的思想流传了下来。”她解释道。

1919 年,包豪斯学院成立时,正值两次世界大战的战间期,德国社会正经历一系列激进的经济和政治动荡。“这是一个大工业生产的时代,而整个社会在变迁的过程当中大家在考虑如何去应对,就是思想上、艺术上、文化上、设计上,其实都是在一个锻炼的状态。”沈奇岚说。对此,包豪斯的回应是一系列以效率优先的设计:从高楼到椅子,所有的外形设计均是圆滑、线性的,简约到只剩下核心要素。“这一点很刺激,当时代大变迁的时候,有这一批特别有想法的人用他们的方式去解决时代和社会给的问题。”他们为新工业化社会带来了一种优雅的视觉语言。

One hundred years later, artists and architects face a different context and a different set of challenges. For one thing, cities today are vastly bigger than they were in 1919, as Shen readily acknowledges. “Today in Asia, cities with populations in the tens of millions are normal. With tens of millions of people, how do you design housing, how do you design offices, how do you design streets? The spaces we live in are totally different.”

Yet that doesn’t mean that Bauhaus is no longer relevant. “We can’t use products designed by the Bauhaus to meet our current needs,” Shen explains, “but the school’s thought, its belief in responding to the needs of the times—that’s something we can use in the present.” 

100 年后, 艺术家和建筑师面临着不同的背景和挑战。首先,今天的城市比 1919 年规模要大得多,在新时代更需要我们在建筑和城市化方面提出新的解决方案,这点沈奇岚乐于承认。“现在在亚洲,几千万人口很正常,但是如果几千万人的话,住宅该怎么设计?办公室怎么设计、街道怎么设计呢?我们的生活空间,已经跟原来完全不一样了。”


Both courses, Bauhaus Class 1.0 and 2.0, used the philosophy of this design tradition to look at the urban environments. One class, led by Bu Bing, turned students’ attention to the street just outside the cultural center, Middle Shandong Road. Students spent time watching the street, sought to understand it, and then invented their own symbolic system to respond to it. “You first observe the street, then you condense it to a symbol. You can capture this symbol in a photo, you can respond through dance, you can draw a map.” For students and teachers alike, this requires looking at a familiar environment with fresh eyes. “You have to look at the street again, this short stretch of road that’s only 400 meters long. We found that not one person had ever looked at it so closely.”

包豪斯课堂 1.0 和 2.0 这两个系列的课程,遵循这一设计传统的理念,审视着当代城市环境。其中一节课,由建筑家卜冰老师带领学生,将注意力投向了山东中路文化中心外面的街道。学生们通过观察街道、理解街道,然后创作出自己的象征系统。“你需要先观察街道,然后把它浓缩成一个符号。你可以在照片捕捉这个符号,也可以通过舞蹈、画地图来作出你的回应。”无论是对学生或是导师,这都需要你以全新的目光在熟悉的环境里搜索。“你必须到街上再看看,这 400 米长的短短的街道。但我们发现,没有一个人曾那么密切地观察过它。”

Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin
Image Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China / Photographer: Guo Bin

The Bauhaus workshops are part of a varied array of courses, exhibitions, film series, talks, and other events that the German consulate puts on in Shanghai. Shen sees these as an important platform for cultural exchange, where people can learn not just about a particular topic but about different modes of thought. “Germany has a very important tradition of kritisch zu sein, that is, being critical. If you say something, I won’t just agree with it—I’ll analyze it and maybe say that 70% I agree with, 30% I doubt,” she says. “They really respect intellectuals.” Both Hartmann and Shen stress the importance of making sure these exchange go both ways, so that people in the West can learn about China.

“包豪斯课堂”隶属德国驻上海总领事馆在上海举办的一系列课程、展览、电影、讲座等活动。在沈奇岚看来,这些活动是文化交流的重要平台,人们不仅可以从中学习像包豪斯这样特定的主题,同时能了解不同的思维模式。“德国有一个很重要的传统,这个德语叫‘kritisch zu sein’,就是说保持评价审慎的态度。如果你说了什么,我不会仅仅只是表达同意——我会分析一下,可能 70% 我会接受,30% 我要怀疑。他们很尊重知识分子。”她说。她和郝立夫同时强调要确保这些交流是双向的,让来自西方国家的人们也可以从中了解中国。

Shanghai is a few months ahead of the curve in celebrating the Bauhaus centenary. In 2019 events will take place around the world to commemorate the school, most notably a series of exhibitions called Bauhaus Imaginista. Shen is excited for so many people to learn about this tradition, whose life was a short as it was transformative. “Everyone can experience the power of art to change your life,” she notes. “That’s part of Bauhaus.”

上海其实是提前了几个月来庆祝包豪斯的百年诞辰。2019 年,全球将会举办一系列的活动来纪念这座著名的德国设计学院,其中最引人注目的是名为“Bauhaus Imaginista”的系列展览。沈奇岚很高兴能让这么多的人了解到包豪斯。包豪斯的生命很短,但它是一场巨大的变革。“大家会发现艺术它具有改变生活的力量。”她说,“而这就是包豪斯的一部分。”

Website: goethe.de/shanghai
WeChat: AKuB_Shanghai


Contributor: Allen Young
Photographer: David Yen
Additional Images Courtesy of Goethe-Institut China

网站: goethe.de/shanghai
微信: AKuB_Shanghai


供稿人: Allen Young
摄影师: David Yen
附加图片由 德国驻上海领事馆文化教育处 提供

Interior Landscapes

Zeng Linshu defines herself as a “realistic idealist.” Her paintings are mostly inspired by her active inner world and the society around her. Inspiration can alight on any piece of space or scenery, people or things, actions or forms.

There’s a world at the heart of her work, but she doesn’t try to advertise it. Instead she hopes people on the outside can softly come in. Through warm, muted, reserved tones, Zeng gives voice to her inner feelings and her stubborn pursuit of beauty. “The world in my paintings is free and unbound, brimming with the limitless possibilities of art,” she says. “And it’s these endless possibilities that lead the public deep in thought—an exploration of humanity, life, and philosophy.”

Linshu 琳姝定义自己,是“一个现实的理想主义者”。她的绘画,多数的灵感来源都是活跃的内心世界或者现实的社会,一切的空间与景、人与物、行为与形态都有被灵感恩赐的可能。


Website: linshu.strikingly.com
: ~/Linshu Zeng

Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: linshu.strikingly.com
: ~/Linshu Zeng

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Light Up Bashu

Thijs Biersteker / Voice of Nature 泰斯·比斯克/自然之声
Lumen Prize Winner 2017 /2017 年英国流明数码艺术奖冠军

What happens when “intangible cultural heritage” meets contemporary art, when digital installations enter the urban landscape? The results are nothing short of magical.

Known for its rich history, Chengdu, the “city of flowers and brocade” and capital of Sichuan province, is holding an exhibition of public art centered on cultural heritage. Light Up Bashu Lumen Prize featured exhibition puts paper cutting, embroidery, Chinese opera, traditional handicrafts and other aspects of “intangible” culture into contact with digital art. (“Bashu” is another name for Sichuan.) With rare ambition, the show aims to create a unique “artistic dialogue across space and time” and bring the public to the intersection of tradition and contemporary art. The exhibit will also introduce international artists to China’s heritage and bring the essence of “Bashu culture” to the world stage.

We recently interviewed four of the exhibitors, along with the Guan Huijun, co-founder of the curatorial team Here Your Art, Asia exhibition manager of Lumen Art Project, to get a look at the convention-busting works that these international artists with their culturally diverse backgrounds have created.


以“花重锦官城”闻名的四川省首府成都,基于其悠久的文化历史打造的非遗主题公共艺术展览:巴蜀之光”暨英国流明数码艺术大奖中国成都特展,就将剪纸、刺绣、戏剧、传统制造技艺等 非遗” 文化与当代数码艺术结合,以空前之势形成一场独特的 超时空” 艺术对话,既把普罗大众纳入到半传统半当代的语境中去,也让国际艺术家了解中国非遗,并向世界传递 蜀地文化” 的精髓。

最近,我们采访了本次参展的 4 位艺术家及其策展团队 Here Your Art 的联合创始人即英国流明数码艺术奖项亚洲展览总监管蕙珺,来看看这些来自不同的国度、拥有不同的文化背景的他们,在此次为中国“非遗”传统文化为母题展览中,所创作出的超越惯常经验的作品,和其所表达的丰富而灵活的形式及内涵。

Thijs Biersteker / Voice of Nature 泰斯·比斯克/自然之声
Lumen Prize Winner 2017 /2017 年英国流明数码艺术奖冠军
Thijs Biersteker / Voice of Nature 泰斯·比斯克/自然之声
Lumen Prize Winner 2017/2017 年英国流明数码艺术奖冠军
Why did you choose to showcase this aspect of China’s intangible culture?

Guan Huijun: China’s cultural heritage, and Sichuan’s in particular, has a distinctive charm and a rich historical significance. In today’s rapidly developing cities, it’s a challenge to get the public, especially young people, interested in understanding, studying, and passing on traditional forms of culture, and that’s why we chose intangible heritage as our theme. Digital art, meanwhile, is emblematic of the internet age—it’s a new force that lets us keep pace with the times. We were thinking: can we use an up-to-date means of expression, something that has a certain uniqueness and memorability, to increase local connections so that everyone can better understand and participate?

Thijs Biersteker: My piece is centered on trees. Nature has always been a very important theme in Chinese art. From Li Cheng to Fan Kuan, trees have been central. As an artist I use technology as my paint to weave together art, data and nature.

Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke: We chose to focus on kite making. The kite was invented by two of China’s great minds, the philosopher Mozi (470-391 BCE) and the engineer Lu Ban (444-507 BCE). Mozi lived a century later than Confucius and wrote about the use of kites in China during his lifetime. At first kites were mainly, though not only, used for military purposes, e.g., for measuring distances, calculating wind power and direction, and lifting fireworks or observers.

Our main interest in the kite comes from the fact that it’s Chinese in origin and was a philosophical invention put to military uses. Over the centuries it spread out over the globe and was used for different activities, from sports and leisure to religion.

Lien-cheng WangI wanted the elements I chose to relate to people’s lives and to cut across time and space. So I chose four themes that could do that: “Nature,” “Humanity,” “Food,” and “Animals.”



管蕙珺: 中国的非遗文化,特别是四川的非遗文化,是特别有韵味和历史传承厚重感的文化标杆。在急速发展的城市里,如何让大众、年轻人更愿意了解学习和传承,是我们选择这个文化母题的初衷。而数码艺术,则是在互联网时代标志性的产物,是与时俱进快速迭代的新力量。我们一直在思考,是否能用紧跟时代的表达方式,带着一定的独特性和记忆度,增加本地链接,让大家更好地理解和参与进来。

泰斯·比斯克: 我的作品是“自然之声”,以树为主题。大自然一直是中国艺术中一个非常重要的主题。从中国画家李成(晚唐)到范宽(宋朝),树木在他们的作品中都有举足轻重的地位。而我则用数码技术把艺术、数据和大自然交互起来。

斯蒂芬·瑞斯和亚历山大·扬克: 我们选择的是“风筝”这项非遗文化作为创作的母题。风筝是中国哲学家墨子和鲁班的发明。墨子比孔子晚出生一个世纪,他一生都在宣扬风筝的用途。在发明风筝之后,它们不仅用于军事目的,例如测量距离、计算风力和方向以及举起烟火或观察员。这是一种哲学上的发明,几个世纪以来,它遍布全球,用于不同的活动,从体育、休闲到宗教意义。

王连晟: 我希望所选择的元素是更贴近人们的生活,是具有超越时间性的。所以我选择四个”自然”、”人文”、”食物”、”动物” 贴近人们的元素做为发展。

Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke / O.T. 981: Transformation of the Kite 斯蒂芬·瑞斯与亚历山大·扬克/O.T. 981风筝的转换
Stefan Reiss is Lumen Prize Finalist 2016 2016 年英国流明数码艺术奖艺术家
What do you think is most interesting about your piece?

Thijs Biersteker
: Just as a tree creates a tree ring every year, with Voice of Nature we create a tree ring every second. We do this using sensors and data points, showing people the tree’s state of being in real time. This immersive audio-visual installation is also interactive: it responds to the people surrounding and touching it, creating a connection between the art piece, people, and nature.

Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke: In our eyes, the combination of haptic materials (a sculpture with made of steel, gauze, and strings) and projection and light is very unique. What we try to achieve is a fusion of sculptural installations—with a strong connection to the tradition of Russian, French and German constructivism and minimalism—and contemporary digital interventions with 3D and 2D programming and animations. And we even added LEDs to this advanced art piece.

Lien-cheng WangMy work is a moving light sculpture titled Four Scenes of Shu Dao. (Shu Dao can roughly be translated as the “dao” or “way” of Sichuan.) It has four parts. The first, “Nature,” is an image of a bamboo grove, the sun and the moon; the second sculpture, “Humanity,” showcases Chinese totemic symbols and the art of bian lian, or face-changing, an important part of Sichuan opera; the sections on “Food” and “Animals” are developed around images of hot pot, spicy peppers, and pandas. What these four images echo are the four seasons in Chinese ink painting. The theme also echoes the Daoist idea of the growth of all things.


: 树每年都长出一圈年轮。通过“自然之声”这个作品,我们每秒创造出一个树的年轮。我们使用传感器和数据点,向人们展示树的实时存在状态。这种沉浸式的视听装置也是交互式的,它响应周围的人并触摸树。这样,它就在艺术品、人和自然之间建立了一种联系。

斯蒂芬·瑞斯和亚历山大·扬克: 在我们眼里,用钢、纱布和绳子制成的雕塑,其投影和光线都很独特。我们试图实现的是雕塑装置的融合——与俄罗斯、法国和德国的建构主义和极简主义的传统紧密结合——以及 3D 和 2D 编程和动画的当代数字介入。我们甚至也把发光二极管加入到这件作品里了。

王连晟: 我的作品名称叫做 “蜀道四象” 为一动力灯光雕塑,而雕塑中的主题总共分成四个面向。在自然的面向中,是竹林、日月为主题的图像;以人文为主题的雕塑中,可以看到四川变脸与图腾;在食物以及动物为主题的部分,是以四川火锅、辣椒、熊猫等图像做为发展,四象呼应的是中国水墨画中的四时,在画面的主题上也呼应了百物生焉的状态。

Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke / O.T. 981: Transformation of the Kite 斯蒂芬·瑞斯与亚历山大·扬克/O.T. 981风筝的转换
Stefan Reiss is Lumen Prize Finalist 2016 /2016 年英国流明数码艺术奖艺术家
Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke / O.T. 981: Transformation of the Kite 斯蒂芬·瑞斯与亚历山大·扬克/O.T. 981风筝的转换
Stefan Reiss is Lumen Prize Finalist 2016 /2016 年英国流明数码艺术奖艺术家
Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke / O.T. 981: Transformation of the Kite 斯蒂芬·瑞斯与亚历山大·扬克/O.T. 981风筝的转换
Stefan Reiss is Lumen Prize Finalist 2016 /2016 年英国流明数码艺术奖艺术家
What message are you looking to convey?

Thijs Biersteker
: I hope this public artwork will re-connect people in cities to the voice of nature, putting us more in balance and interweaving us with what surrounds us and is part of us.

Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke: In the first place, we created a work that can be experienced with the whole body and all the senses. The sculpture invites everybody to step inside and feel the dimensions of the kite. Next, we provide a link from traditional Chinese kite making to our Western interpretation of the kite. We also emphasize the development of the kite from a military invention to a civil use today.

Lien-cheng WangI want the public to see several paper-cutting styles. The lights, which seem to breathe, symbolize Bashu’s energy. And by wandering back and forth through the giant sculpture, the audience can experience anew the beauty of Sichuan’s intangible culture.

Guan Huijun: As curator, not only do we try our best to be good “narrators,” we also help international artists “interpret” Chinese culture, grafting together Chinese and foreign creative languages. This also reflects the founding mission of Here Your Art: to create groundbreaking, innovative digital exhibits and artworks, to try to break through the boundaries of conventional exhibits, works, and audiences, and to tear down the barrier between the audience and the art.


: 我希望这个公共艺术作品能把城市里的人们和来自大自然的声音重新联系起来,使我们更加平衡,并与周围的事物交织在一起,成为我们的一部分。

斯蒂芬·瑞斯和亚历山大·扬克: 首先,我们创作了一部艺术作品,它能够体验整个身体和所有的感官——它邀请每个人走进去,与动画一起,从各个维度感受风筝;第二,我们建立了一个从中国传统风筝制作到西方对风筝的解释的关系;且还强调了风筝从军事发明到民用的发展。

王连晟: 我希望观众可以看到许多镂空剪纸风格的雕塑中,像是呼吸的灯光象征着巴蜀的活力。而透过观众在巨大的雕塑中穿梭、游走的方式,使大众再次注意到四川非物质文化遗产之美。

管蕙珺: 作为一个“策展人”,我们不仅仅力争做一个好的“叙述者”,也在本次展览中协助国际艺术家能够更好地“读懂”中国文化,嫁接中外不同的创作语言。这也体现了 Here Your Art 创立的使命——尽我们所能输出具有突破性和创新性的数码艺术展览及作品,试图打破常规展览、艺术品与观众的边界,破除艺术与大众的隔阂。

Lien-Cheng Wang / Four Scenes of Shu Dao 王连晟/蜀道四象
Lumen Prize Finalist 2017/2017 年英国流明数码艺术奖艺术家
What does this show mean for you?

Thijs Biersteker
: I hope to work more in the Chinese market and together with Chinese artists and companies to create work that bridges the boundaries between people, nature, and innovative technologies.

Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke: We think that Light Up Bashu has been a great opportunity to explore new fields of art and experiment with new technologies. O.T. 981 is an artistic milestone for us because we fused art history with modern technology in Chengdu. It’s also the first time we created a piece as an artistic duo.

Lien-cheng Wang: Intangible heritage is an important part of history. I think it’s the embodiment of modern culture and the legacy of the past. Tangible cultural heritage focuses more on the masterpieces of the past, and what I’m more interested in here are the early stages of a project. I’ve used several images of intangible culture to develop the art visually, and added modern technology.

Guan Huijun: What does this show mean to us? Our previous answers have made this clear. On a more concrete level, when residents wander over at dusk to see the works, the light in their eyes and the smiles on their faces mean a tremendous amount to us.


: 我希望能在中国市场上创作更多作品,与中国的艺术家和公司一起创造出超越人、自然和科技界限的作品。

斯蒂芬·瑞斯和亚历山大·扬克: 我们认为,“巴蜀之光”是一个,要么探索新领域的艺术创作和实验的新技术。而《O.T. 981》这个作品是我们里程碑式的作品,我们把艺术史和现代技术融合起来;这也是我们第一次以二人合作形式创作的一件作品。

王连晟: 非物质文化遗产在历史中是一个重要的元素,我认为它是一种现代文化与过去传承的体现,与有形文化遗产不同,有形文化遗产更注重的是过去的人类辉煌的状态。而这次的作品我更在意的是前期的调研,我取用了许多非遗的形象来做为艺术品的视觉发展,并加入现代的科技去呈现。

管蕙珺: 对于这次展览的意义,我想前面两点应该说明的很清楚。一个更直观的表现就是,当周边居民黄昏时分散步闲逛到作品面前,眼睛中闪过的光亮与嘴角的笑容。

Studio Gibson/Martelli / Star Gods, Moon Rabbits 英国电子艺术团队吉布森/马尔泰利/星神,月兔
Lumen Prize Winner 2015/2015 年英国流明数码艺术奖冠军
Studio Gibson/Martelli / Star Gods, Moon Rabbits 英国电子艺术团队吉布森/马尔泰利/星神,月兔
Lumen Prize Winner 2015/2015 年英国流明数码艺术奖冠军
Studio Gibson/Martelli / Star Gods, Moon Rabbits 英国电子艺术团队吉布森/马尔泰利/星神,月兔
Lumen Prize Winner 2015/2015 年英国流明数码艺术奖冠军

Four short questions on new topics, new media, new work. Artists and curatorial teams may have different interpretations, but these artworks spanning media and fields all explore, in broad strokes or with minute precision, the interactive relationship between contemporary art and traditional culture.

Light Up Bashu Lumen Prize featured exhibition will run until December 3rd at Chengdu’s International Intangible Culture Heritage Park.

短短 4 个问题,涉及新话题、新媒介、新创作……虽然艺术家们和策展团队对主题和作品有着不同的阐释,但这些跨媒介、跨领域的艺术作品,都在或写意或细腻地表达着当代艺术与传统文化之间互通互激的关系。

本次展览在中国成都国际非物质文化遗产博览园举办,展期将持续至 2018 年 12 月 3 日。

601 Guanghua Ave. 2nd Section
Qingyang District
Chengdu, Sichuan

Instagram: @here_your_art@lumen_prize
Facebook~/hereyourartchina, ~/lumenprize
WeChat: hereyourart

供稿人: Chen Yuan

光华大道二段 601号

Instagram: @here_your_art@lumen_prize
Facebook~/hereyourartchina, ~/lumenprize
微信公众号: hereyourart

供稿人: Chen Yuan

China in Black & White

Camera slung across her back, self-taught photographer Qiang Jing has criss-crossed Gansu, Chongqing, Beijing, and Sichuan, eventually ending up in Yunnan, a province of captivating beauty in southern China. In her photos, she drains the color from China’s street scenes, leaving only a desolate black and white. Even the country’s panoramic landscapes look less magnificent through her lens.


Qiang Jing was born in Gansu province and now lives in Kunming, a city she didn’t choose at random: “I like the dazzling sun here, it takes me back to my childhood. Kunming has a brilliant blue sky and soft, billowy clouds. The city moves at an unhurried pace, and locals are the salt of the earth—simple, honest people.”

But the year-round warmth hasn’t brightened her shots. Instead, she captures scenes of ruins and debris that seem caught amid the constant changes of the world, steeped in both life’s bitterness and its joy. Their immense silence draws you in, speaking more eloquently than any words.

强婧生于中国甘肃省,现定居于云南昆明,会选择留在这里并不是偶然, “我喜欢这里灿烂的阳光,让我有种恍然回到小时候的气息。这里有蔚蓝的天空,云卷云舒,还有城市里慵懒的步调和没什么心眼、老实憨厚的当地人。”


“I take my camera and wander aimlessly through the streets, snapping photos of things that resonate with my current mood.” Her specialty, street photography, relies on individual emotions, because she doesn’t just document outdoor scenes from an objective angle. It’s more personal.

“Photography, for me, is an expression of inner feelings, an emotional outlet, as well as a form of therapy. What I shoot is just my inner state, and that’s why I enjoy taking pictures. On streets full of uncertainty and conflict, I find a peace, a unity with myself.”

“我拿着相机在街上漫无目的地游荡,拍下那些和当下内在的我引起共振的事物。” 她擅长的街头摄影,是要带着浓郁的个人情感去拍的,因为她记录的不仅仅是从客观视角出发的外在景象,更多的,还有自己的内心。


Ever since she first began taking pictures, Qiang has made a habit of going out shooting on a semi-regular basis. She uses black and white so no colors will interfere with her vision—it’s the format that best expresses her feelings of solitude.

Set against the vastness of the world, people are insignificant specks, and her photos convey this sharp sense of loneliness and isolation. “I hold my breath and press the button to open the shutter: for me, photography is a sort of ritual. It’s like I’m mourning the passing of an instant, of everything that’s vanished around me, a reality that actually existed and will never exist again.”



“Behind my photos, there’s a story about the loneliness of growing up, about love and hate, and ultimately about letting go,” she says. She puts all her pent-up feelings into her photography and creates a series of images that brim with emotion.

The darkness in Qiang’s pictures coexists with the light: neither is possible without the other. “Kunming is gradually having an effect on me,” she says. “Just as plants grow toward the sun, maybe I can eventually break free from my former melancholy and give voice to a tougher, stronger version of myself.” Now that she’s mastered darkness and light, her journey as a photographer goes on.

最后,强婧向我们娓娓道来,“在我摄影的背后,是一个关于成长过程中所感受到的孤独,以及爱与恨,最后放手的故事。” 她将长久以来累积的情绪通通投注在摄影里,成就了这一张张承载饱满情感的影像。

但事实上,强婧照片里的黑暗,与光亮永远都是并存的,两者是缺少了彼此即不成立的存在。她说 “昆明这座城市,正慢慢影响着我。仿佛植物会向阳生长一样,渐渐地,也许我能从最初的忧郁中挣脱出来,表达一个更有韧性、更坚强的自己。” 掌握了光和暗,她的摄影之旅将继续下去。

WeChat: jingjingzai2010


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

WeChat: jingjingzai2010


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Faith of a Fangirl

#是他是他就是他# #OhLayLay# His Name is Lay, Oil on linen, 230 x 125 cm copy 2, 2017

“In their twenties, girls should like taking selfies and making their own mark,” says Hong Binbin.

The 24-year-old artist from Jinjiang recently graduated from the Royal College of Arts, in the United Kingdom, with a degree in painting. When her head’s not buried in her work, she likes to listen to her favorite pop stars and follow her favorite shows. And in the WeChat feed she specially unlocked for me, she posts endless gorgeous selfies. She’s really quite unlike other young artists.

In fact, the first time we chatted, all at once she upended my image of what artists are like. Who says their online presence has to be understated, serious, meaningful? According to Hong, her art aims to express a young person’s outlook, and her inspiration often comes from experience as a fangirl. “It’s tapping into the mainstream to discover new perspectives,” she laughs.


这个出生于晋江的艺术家,今年刚刚 24 岁,从英国皇家艺术学院绘画系毕业不久。除了埋头画画,她也追星追剧刷综艺,在特意为我 “解禁” 的朋友圈里,有无数美美的自拍,实在和其他青年艺术家不太一样。

那是我和她的第一次聊天,一下就颠覆掉常人眼里的艺术家刻板印象——谁说艺术家的朋友圈,一定要低调、沉稳、努力彰显内涵?她说,她的创作就是想要表现一种年轻人的态度,而且灵感经常来自一些所谓 脑残” 的想法,这是 浸在俗里发现新世界,哈哈。

#迷妹很迷# #fangirl#, Oil on Canvas, 76 x 63cm, 2017
Bunny x Yixing x Killer, 115 X 150 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2017

Hong moved from Jinjiang to Xiamen to study, and at age seventeen went abroad for college. As long as she can remember, every time she moves, someone always tries to fit her into a preconceived notion of some kind, assuming she’s a “country girl who can’t speak proper Chinese,” for example, or a “tacky foreign student decked out all in name brands.” At first, Hong fought against the prejudices constantly being heaped upon her. But shaking off these labels through art became her way to give people pause, make them think critically, and gain a more nuanced view of the world.

“In my paintings, I think the most valuable way to express my ideas is by superimposing layers of styles, giving the picture a sense of conflict, making the world inside the painting more solid and rounded, and expressing my shifting moods and continual thought about this world,” says Hong.

洪彬彬从晋江转学到厦门念书,17 岁的时候就出国留学了。她的记忆里,每一次换新环境,总会有人带着某种刻板印象去定义她,比如先验地假设她是 “普通话不标准的野孩子” 或 “全身名牌品味差的留学生”等等。对于这些不断加上身的片面解读的标签,洪彬彬开始是抵触的。但她甩开 “标签” 的方式,恰恰是将其应用在自己的作品里,去让人疑惑、去思考、去构建出更多维的视界。

“在我的画里面,我觉得最直接表达自己这些想法的方法就是通过笔触层次的叠加,和去构造画面的冲突感,让画的世界更多维立体,来表达自己绵绵不绝的情绪,和对这个世界不停断的思考。” 洪彬彬说。

Constantly, 220 x 280 cm, Acrylic, Glitter and Oil on Canvas, 2018

Interpreting Hong’s works is like trying to make sense of a multidimensional world. Images from different cultures are seamlessly integrated into the same painting. Take Constantly, for example. She’s drawn a woman with the profile of a Greek goddess, sporting Japanese glitter makeup, hair buns like the cartoon character Nezha, Wonder Woman’s armor, and an oddly fitting sickle-shaped object. On the left is a unicorn, while in the center are elements from the myths of the Classic of Mountains and Seas alongside the boyish features of a pop star. Victorian illustrations of birds criss-cross the picture, some sketched in a coarse, primitive style, others portrayed with a meticulous realism.

“The images I use in my paintings are all ‘second-hand’ images deeply familiar to the public. By reinterpreting them, I want to play on the public’s aesthetic conventions, then turn those conventions on their head,” she says.


“我使用在画面中的影像都属于大众对他们固有印象很深的二手影像 (second-hand image), 通过对这些二手影像的重组和画面重构,我想去触碰观众传统的审美习惯,然后去再反转这个习惯。”

The Cutest, The Best, The Greatest, 220 x 190 cm, Acrylic, Glitter and Oil on Canvas, 2018

Many of Hong’s paintings feature a delicate, boyish figure: that’s Zhang Yixing, a Chinese member of the Korean boy band Exo. Hong has long been a superfan. She’s not shy about her devotion: when she first started listening to his music, she papered her studio in Zhang Yixing posters. “Every day I’d paint, and I’d always feel super happy and content,” she says. A painting titled Shake is dedicated to her idol. “For a while, it was popular for fans to record reaction videos for their idols, with their own responses to the song,” says Hong Binbin. “But my thought was, I’m an artist, so videos and screams aren’t enough. I should paint a picture to express myself.” That’s how this piece, named after a Zhang Yixing song, came about.

Yet after her obsession cooled down a bit, and she rethought her “relationship as a fan to her idol,” a different layer of interpretation emerged. Hong Binbin now defines celebrity worship as “China’s contemporary fast-food faith.”

而画里频频出现 “小鲜肉”,是从韩国男团 EXO 出道的艺人张艺兴的侧脸。洪彬彬是他的资深迷妹。对于这一点,她毫不避讳,刚开始追星的时候,洪彬彬在自己工作室贴满了张艺兴的海报,“每天画画,都觉得自己超级开心满足”。一副名为《Shake》的画就是致敬给偶像张艺兴的。“因为有一阵子流行粉丝录视频给偶像,内容是自己对他歌曲的反馈。” 洪彬彬说,我就想说我可是个艺术家呀,不能只有视频和尖叫,我得做个作品表达(出来)吧。” 这首和张艺兴的歌曲同名的作品,就这样诞生了。

但她在稍微冷静下来后,重新思考 “自己作为一个粉丝和偶像的关系” 时,另一种层面上的解读出现了。洪彬彬定义偶像崇拜为:中国当代速食快餐信仰。

Shake, 120 x 150 cm, Oil on Canvas, 2018
Oh Little Fairy, 190 x 220 cm, Oil and Glitter on Canvas, 2018

“I think certain aspects of celebrity worship are a lot like religion,” she says. “Religion has god saving the people, giving the people something to believe in. And in today’s celebrity culture, with such a large and finely segmented market in pop idols, the public or fans can pick someone to worship who’s in line with their tastes and values, and then put their faith in them.

When idols like that have become an object of faith, they seem as far away as heaven yet close enough to touch. For Hong, it calls to mind the term “little fairy,” which young women sometime use online to address each other. Her own Little Fairy, shown above, is a large figure that dominates the frame, wearing a cosmetic contact lens in one eye and looking down in scorn, as though telling everyone, times have changed.


那样当成信仰的偶像本尊,仿佛远在天边,又似乎触手可及。洪斌斌联想到现在网络上女生间互相称呼的代号小仙女”,她笔下的 小仙女” 正是那个左眼戴着怪异的美瞳、占据着大幅画面,仿佛睥睨一切的巨大仙女,也仿佛在提醒着大家:时代变了。

Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 170 x 240cm, 2016
Assembly, Oil on Canvas, 170 x 240cm, 2016

Narcissistic selfies, pop idols, the fan economy: Hong Binbin’s paintings are a sort of miniature of contemporary culture, crammed with nods to current trends. And because they’re so topical, viewers can’t help looking them over and over, vainly trying to understand, interpret, or even challenge them.

“I don’t want to envy other generations. I want to become the best generation, to prove that the niche can find mass appeal. If I can get a painting of mine preserved for fifty years, two hundred years, then I think viewers seeing it will know when it was painted,” says Hong. After all, we can say that art is the product of its time. Yet what isn’t the product of its time?


“我不想去羡慕其他的年代,我想成为最棒的一代。小众也是大众的。我想如果以后能让自己的画五十年,两百年后还被保存着的话,那时候的观众看到画的时候,就会知道这张是什么时候画的。” 洪彬彬说。我想,毕竟我们可以说,艺术是时代的附属品。又有什么不是时代的附属品呢?

Where Is the Time, Oil on Canvas, 170 x 240 cm, 2016
X, 30 x24 cm, Acrylic, Charcoal and Oil on Canvas, 2018
Work in Progress, 90 x 70 cm, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 2018

Website: www.binbinhong.com
Instagram: @binbinhongbbb


Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: www.binbinhong.com


供稿人: Chen Yuan

Human Capital

Welcome to the Jing is a photobook project shot by French photographer Laurent Hou between 2013 and 2017. Hou, who’s based in Morocco, took the photos during his last few years living in Beijing, when he got to witness a special moment in the city’s history: after the Olympics and before the citywide demolition of illegal buildings that began in 2017. Hou snapped around 100,000 shots, mostly of people and things inside the city center.

Welcome to the Jing》(《京城欢迎你》)是始于 2013 年,止于 2017 年的摄影书项目。摄影师是来自法国的 Laurent Hou,目前生活在摩洛哥。这个项目创作于他在京生活的后几年,却正好见证了北京历史上的一个特殊时刻:在奥运会之后,在 2017 年开始的“全城拆违”前。Laurent 的镜头对准了北京三环内的人物和景色,按下了约 10 万次快门。

“Although central Beijing is already overphotographed, this project brings a different vision,” says Hou. “Other series focus either on the traditional aspects of the hutongs or the modern architecture in the business district. And pictures aren’t merely a description of Beijing, because the photographer’s vision plays a crucial role.”

虽然人们可能会认为,北京市中心已经被拍滥了,但这个项目带来了与所有系列照片不同的视角。” Laurent 如此说道,“这些照片要么侧重于胡同的纯粹传统方面,要么侧重于中央商务区的现代建筑方面。且图片并不仅仅是对北京的描述,因为摄影者的视野发挥着至关重要的作用。

Hou has chosen to make a photo book of the series because he thinks that’s the best way to present the work. He hopes to publish it soon. “The recurring motifs, the variety of the subjects, the tangle of different narratives, and the quantity of pictures called for a book rather than an exhibition of 20-30 pictures,” he explains. “The book form is also more intimate, and turning the pages mirrors the act of walking through the city. I want readers to look at the stream of pictures as if they were wandering the streets of Beijing and running into all these quirky situations.”

而之所以用摄影书的形式,则是展示这些作品最有趣的方式之一,Laurent 希望能早点看到它出版成册。反复出现的话题,主题的多样性,不同叙事的纠缠,以及图片的数量,都要求制作一本书,而不是做个 20-30 幅图片的展览。书的形式更为贴切,翻页反映了在城市中行走的模样。我想让读者看到一连串的图片,就能联想到自己在北京的街道上漫步,遇到所有这些有趣或离奇的情况。”

Since he started the project, almost six years have gone by. Hou says his vision for the project didn’t come into focus until long after he’d been taking pictures of his surroundings. Only once he made some preliminary selections did it start to take shape. “The vision developed during those six years, which was also a period when I learned a lot about photography,” he says. “And I don’t mean the technique, I mean getting to know the works of great photographers, emerging photographers—understanding different styles and trends, thinking about authorship in photography and the meaning of the photobook as a form.”

从项目伊始到现在,已历经了将近六年时间。Laurent 说这个主题的形成是在已拍摄周围很长时间之后,经过初步选择,才确定下来的。“这六年间发展出的主题,也是我学习摄影的一个阶段吧。我指的不是技术,而是了解伟大的摄影师、新兴摄影师的作品,了解不同的风格和趋势,思考摄影中的作者身份,以及摄影书作为一种形式的意义吧。”

Website: www.laurenthou.com

Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: www.laurenthou.com

供稿人: Chen Yuan

Photography in the Raw

Beijing-based photographer Yum Tang is particular about food. “I like to challenge myself to try new things,” she says. Her passion for food challenges goes well beyond eating it—more often than not, what really fascinates her is finding the most original ways to photograph it.

现居北京的摄影师 Yum Tang(汤汤)是这样形容自己 “有时候比较挑食,喜欢挑战没吃过的食物”。她挑战食物的热情不只展现在料理上,很多时候,如何拍出食物最让人意想不到的样子,更是让她如此为之着迷的原因。

“People tend to think about what they like to eat, but even if they go to the market every day, they haven’t really thought about what those foods look like in their original state,” she says. “The ingredients come from nature, and many of them, when you look closely, have limitless potential, just like people. I want to document nature’s creativity.”

As a photographer, Tang is focused entirely on shooting food. She’s constantly exploring new ingredients and revealing the inherent beauty in their structure, color, and texture. Even in the raw, food can become a work of art.



Tang painstakingly designs each scene and shot: it’s almost as though she built a miniature stage just for food. Here the ingredients are are front and center. They’ve taken on a new life, and they’re no longer just for eating. With these intriguing creations, Tang invites us to view food in its overlooked, uncooked state.




Contributor: Yang Yixuan

Behance: ~/yumtang
微博: ~/Yumtang


供稿人: Yang Yixuan