Macao gambling firms visit Jinggangshan

Curiouser and curiouser. I wish I could have put this in the chapter on red tourism in my museum book!–Kirk

Source: Global Times (12/14/16)
Macao gambling firms’ trip to red site met with amusement, anger online
By Zhang Yu

A group of some 60 staff members from Macao’s casino industry recently visited red site Jinggangshan for a one-week patriotic course, sparking discussions from mainland netizens over its significance.

Staff members of Macao casino companies pay tribute to revolutionary martyrs in Jinggangshan, East China's Jiangxi Province. Photo: Courtesy of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Holdings

Staff members of Macao casino companies pay tribute to revolutionary martyrs in Jinggangshan, East China’s Jiangxi Province. Photo: Courtesy of Sociedade de Jogos de Macau Holdings

Every year, millions of visitors flock to China’s red sites to pay tribute to deceased communist leaders and learn about the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) revolutionary past. Continue reading

Poly Culture Group (5)

I touched on Poly Group’s role in the repatriation of the 12 bronze zodiac heads in an essay on the increasingly complex and oftentimes bizarre relationship between art, politics, and cultural consumption in contemporary China that was recently published in the Rocky Mountain Review

Green, Frederik. “The Twelve Chinese Zodiacs: Ai Weiwei, Jackie Chan and the Aesthetics, Politics, and Economics of Revisiting a National Wound.” The Rocky Mountain Review, volume 70.1, Summer 2016 (pp. 45-58).

Fred Green <fgreen@sfsu.edu>

Poly Culture Group (4)

I first heard of Poly when looking into the ugly demolition situation in Xian Village in Guangzhou’s Pearl River New City in 2010 and 2011. The “respect” shown to cultural items / relics unfortunately does not translate into respect for fellow human beings.

David Bandurski’s recent book “Dragons in Diamond Village” is a great read and a detailed study of the Xian Village situation, opening the discussion of this particular case involving Poly into the broader issue of urbanisation in china today (http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/547007/dragons-in-diamond-village-by-david-bandurski/9781612195711/).

Kevin Carrico <kjc83@cornell.edu>

China Poly Group (1,2,3)

I read a few but very interesting remarks about the China Poly Group in Marzia Varutti’s book Museums in China – The Politics of Representation after Mao, published 2014. On Page 48-50 and on page 85 Varutti writes that the China Poly Group’s director used to be a highranking officer of the People’s Liberation Army. The China Poly Group also founded the NGO “China Foundation for the Development of Social Culture” in 2002 and is focusing on purchasing Chinese cultural relics by auction, which provenience might be doubtful or at least unknown.

Stefanie Schaller <stefanie.schaller@posteo.de>

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Thanks for that! Not bad as an introduction. Very interesting that they are globalizing themselves even more. There’s been quite a few writings about the Poly group before, including when they’ve bought “back” things on auction in HK. Continue reading

Poly Culture Group?

Does anyone know anything more about the Poly Culture Group? This notice appeared in the “Entertainment” section of an online business news site.–Terry Russell <trussell510@gmail.com>

Source: Business Vancouver (12/6/16)
Hard currency, soft power: Poly Culture rolls into B.C.
Multi-pronged Chinese state-owned corporation opens art gallery in Vancouver
By Bob Mackin

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Tour guide Liqun Wan (left) points out the mix of European and Chinese motifs in a gold animatronic clock during the opening of Poly Culture Gallery in downtown Vancouver | Photo: Chung Chow

A division of one of China’s biggest state-owned corporations, which has links to the military, opened a downtown Vancouver art gallery gallery November 30, and its CEO said corporate siblings may follow. 

“Coming to Vancouver is connected with Poly Culture Group’s strategy decided by its directors; whether Poly Real Estate and Poly Technologies will come to Canada will be decided by themselves,” Poly Culture CEO Jiang Yingchun told Business in Vancouver through an interpreter. “But according to all my knowledge, they are also very interested in the Vancouver market. For example, Poly Real Estate has sent people to come to visit Vancouver twice to know the environment here.” Continue reading

The most beautiful book in China

Source: China Daily (11/15/16)
The most beautiful book revealed in China

The most beautiful book revealed in China

The book cover of Opera in Ink and Wash. [File photo]

Twenty-five kinds of books, including Shuimo Xiju (Opera in Ink and Wash) and The Empire of the Written Symbol for Children, from 18 publishers nationwide have been called “the most beautiful book in China” on Monday, and will compete for “the most beautiful book in the world” in 2017.

The event “the most beautiful book in China” was established in 2003 and hosted by the Shanghai Municipal Press and Publication Bureau. The event invites top book designers worldwide as judges to select the most beautifully designed books which reflects the spirit and essence of Chinese culture.

The “the most beautiful book in China” selection has become a major platform leading fine Chinese book designs and designers to the world. So far, 15 kinds of Chinese books have been honored the laurel of “the most beautiful book in the world”. Continue reading

The Great Sidewalk

Source: NPR (9/22/16)
Call It The Great Sidewalk: Chinese Officials Under Fire For ‘Repairs’ To Great Wall
By Merrit Kennedy

Chinese officials are under fire after a local government tried to repair a section of the Great Wall by apparently just paving it over. Now, a centuries-old stretch of the wall looks more like a gray sidewalk than a global treasure.

“The five-mile stretch of wall in northeast Liaoning province is known as a particularly scenic part of the ‘wild wall,’ ” NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing. “Its towers and parapets are partially crumbled by seven centuries of wind and rain.”

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Continue reading

China Paw-litics, anyone? (2)

Dear all, thanks for interesting comments earlier on dogs and pets in China. I sympathize with Claire Huot’s comments as well. But I still think dogs raised for food can be perfectly OK. I’ve been invited, in China, to share dogs that were raised locally and respectfully, and then eaten, and I can’t see why one should not eat them, any less than any other human-raised animal, whether duck or pig or cattle or chicken (if one is to eat any of them at all … and, needless to say, without abusing any of them).

I have contributed a chapter on human-animal relations in China, to a book on China and its neighbors, _The Art of Neighbouring_, which is now already listed — though it may be a few weeks before it can be bought). My chapter is mostly about neighborly relations to wild animals, in contrast to domestic and pet animals in human charge/care:

Fiskesjö, Magnus. “China’s Animal Neighbours.” In Martin Saxer and Zhang Juan, eds. The Art of Neighbouring: Making Relations Across China’s Borders. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (2016). ISBN: 9789462982581.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo25088801.html

http://en.aup.nl/books/9789462982581-the-art-of-neighbouring.html

–Sincerely

Magnus Fiskesjö <nf42@cornell.edu>

The Arts of China’s Cultural Revolution

Tickets are now available for Making the New World: The Arts of China’s Cultural Revolution a two-day international conference convened by Prof. Jiehong Jiang, director of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery.

When: 11-12 November 2016
Venue: Zilkha Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery, London, E1 7QX.

We invite researchers, artists, designers, curators and practitioners at all stages of their careers worldwide to reassess the significance of the arts and culture of the Cultural Revolution, the 9th CCVA Annual Conference reflects upon their impacts on everyday life in China within socio-political, cultural and global contexts. Continue reading

Zhang Yimou directs G20 gala

Source: CCTV America (9/1/16)
G20 evening gala opens with entertainment showcase on West Lake

The G20 leaders are in for quite a treat once they all arrive in Hangzhou. A performance Sunday evening will be directed by one of the most famous people in China’s entertainment industry. And something spectacular awaits the G20 leaders in the lakeside town. Actors and directors are gearing up for the evening gala on September 4th, in a showcase what will be an unforgettable view of the magnificent West Lake. Continue reading

Shariah with Chinese characteristics

Source: NYT (9/6/16)
Shariah With Chinese Characteristics: A Scholar Looks at the Muslim Hui
By IAN JOHNSON

Matthew S. Erie, a trained lawyer and ethnographer who teaches at Oxford University, lived for two years in Linxia, a small city in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu. Known as China’s Mecca, it is a center of religious life for the Hui, an ethnic minority numbering 10 million who practice Islam. Along with the Turkic Uighurs, they are one of 10 officially recognized ethnic groups that practice Islam, making the total population of Muslims in China around 23 million, according to the 2010 government census. Continue reading

Core socialist values in song and dance

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (9/1/16)
China’s ‘Core Socialist Values,’ the Song-and-Dance Version
By KIKI ZHAO

BEIJING — The 12 “core socialist values” are memorized by schoolchildren, featured in college entrance exams, printed on stamps and lanterns, and splashed on walls across China. Now they have made their way into 20 song-and-dance routines that the authorities in Hunan Province plan to promote to the country’s millions of “square dancers,” the mostly middle-aged and older women who gather in public squares to perform in unison. Continue reading

No Chinese among openly gay athletes

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (8/12/16)
More Openly Gay Olympians Than Ever, but No Chinese Among Them
By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW

Brittney Griner of the United States women’s basketball team, one of the openly gay athletes competing in the 2016 Olympics, during a game against Spain on Monday. CreditChristian Petersen/Getty Images

BEIJING — Peng Yanhui is celebrating the fact that a record number of openly gay athletes are taking part in the Olympics, while ruing that none are from China.

Fifty-two competitors and coaches who are openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex are participating in the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to figures from Outsports, a website for gay and lesbian sports news. Continue reading

Reconstructing Taoism’s transformations (1)

It is worth noting that in subsequent dynasties, revolts had been based on the Taoist idea of equality and had strong religious flavour. This is true especially with uprisings led by religious women such as the White Lotus Sect. In the Ming dynasty, a woman named Tang Sai’er of the White Lotus Society led an army strong enough to threaten the capital Beijing. (See Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women: Tang through Ming, Sharpe, 2014.)

Professor Kleeman says,”The only “Buddhists” were Buddhist monks and the only “Taoists” were Taoist priests. “ Is he including Buddhists nuns in “Buddhist monks”? And including Taoist priestesses in ‘”Taoist priests”? If not, he is ignoring a sizeable number of Buddhists and Taoists in  China.

Lily Lee <l.lee@sydney.edu.au>

Reconstructing Taoism’s transformation

Source: Sinosphere, NYT (8/8/16)
Reconstructing Taoism’s Transformation in China
By IAN JOHNSON

A Taoist nun at the Beichan Temple in Xining, in the Chinese province of Qinghai. CreditChina Photos/Getty Images

Terry F. Kleeman is a leading scholar of the early texts and history ofChina’s only indigenous religion, Taoism. A professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he is the author of the recently published “Celestial Masters: History and Ritual in Early Daoist Communities.” This is the first work in any Western language on the founding of Taoism as a formal religious movement, rooted in earlier philosophical teachings like the Tao Te Ching, also known as the Daodejing and sometimes translated as “The Way and Its Power.”

In an interview, Professor Kleeman discussed how Taoism provided an alternative political model to the Confucian-based imperial order, how Taoist texts can help deepen our understanding of early Chinese history and why today’s Communist government seeks to control Taoist practices.

What is Taoism?

The word Taoism is horribly vexed because it has to translate two Chinese terms: “daojiao” and “daojia.” “Daojiao” is the religion Taoism, while “daojia” refers to philosophical works associated with Laozi and Zhuangzi, such as the Daodejing. Continue reading