Enlightenment, Cell, Studio: Beijing, Berlin, and Ai Weiwei

In its typically understated fashion of reasserting totalitarian facts, the Chinese government appears to have arrested the dissident provocateur Ai Weiwei in Beijing.  (Hat tip to Evan Osnos in Beijing for the full story.) The timing of the arrest is a bit curious.  What serves as a trigger for such an arrest, after all, particularly given that this action seemed to be the work of … Continue reading Enlightenment, Cell, Studio: Beijing, Berlin, and Ai Weiwei

Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

Yesterday I got a message from one of my favorite North Korea specialists, Owen Miller at the School of Oriental and African Sciences in London, concening a recent disturbance in Sinuiju, the northwesternmost city in the DPRK and a bellwether when it comes to regime intentions and popular resistance. More information about the protests is available via Chosun Ilbo (Korean version here), as well as … Continue reading Tremors on the Periphery: Sinuiju Unrest

Transmediale Infusion

One of the beauties of living in an existence torn between the 19th century (hemmed by Prussian systems, Schumannian aufschwungen, the epistolary desire) and the 21st century (all the while examining the positive wreckage of the 20th century) is that occasionally you can show up in the 21st century — in the present! — and just be there.  And, perchance, to dream about the future…to … Continue reading Transmediale Infusion

Drop That: Cruising the Xinhua Bookstores in Lhasa

About forty minutes before I was due to vacate downtown Lhasa, I scampered across town over to the largest Xinhua bookstore (naturally, it was right across from the Tibet Autonomous Region Party Committee Headquarters, the nerve center of political power in Tibet).  There I found a few things: collections of Mao’s writings about Tibet, a new text based on reminiscences of an old Guomindang cadre … Continue reading Drop That: Cruising the Xinhua Bookstores in Lhasa

拆 the World

那是艺术家的责任:震动我们的思想,批评形式,创新观点。 可观摩观摩! (徐在黑暗监狱座之外,当然)。 Apart from the Edward Wong story which is linked in the below picture, I’m not familiar with the case of artist Wu Yuren, nor have I seen his art in a gallery or otherwise.  In spite of that, I was pleasantly shocked by his artistic statement in the photo, where the character for “destroy/demolish” (probably one of the most ubiquitous sights in … Continue reading 拆 the World


Sputniko is absolutely tremendous: a performance artist/DJ with wit, originality, and commitment to a floating future from Japan, via London (thanks to a friend [of a friend of a friend] for the tip). Both visual and musical, Sputniko rebels against biology (and does battle in video-game style with a giant plastic baby) in her techno-craft song of the provocateur, “Child-Producing Machine.” Bracing!  Do you know … Continue reading sputniko

La science en Chine : un géant est né [Science in China: A Child is Born]

From Liberation: Où en est la science chinoise ? Au deuxième rang mondial par sa production d’articles de recherche dans les revues scientifiques depuis 2007, elle continue sa vive croissance. Un rapport de Thomson Reuters permet de faire le point. En voici les traits saillants. Le graphique ci-contre résume l’évolution des parts de production scientifique (en nombre d’articles publiés) de la Chine comparée à l’Allemagne, … Continue reading La science en Chine : un géant est né [Science in China: A Child is Born]

Censorship and Mockery: Chinese Contemporary Art in French Eyes

Here on this website, we have tossed off a few missives in the past about Sino-French relations and the role played of  looted art therein.  And why not?  Since even before the shock of the Opium War and its awful sequel, France has played an important role in Chinese images of the West, and in building Chinese modernity. For confirmation of this notion, think no … Continue reading Censorship and Mockery: Chinese Contemporary Art in French Eyes

Scenes from Shanghai / JingDaily Update

In preparations for the World Expo 2010, the city of Shanghai is changing even more rapidly than usual.  Do yourself a favor and check out this excellent montage of images in the form of a French television report: Shanghai 100 jours avant l’Expo 2010 – Ma-Tvideo France2. Additionally, regular readers of Sinologistical Violoncellist might be interested to note that the blog is being featured over … Continue reading Scenes from Shanghai / JingDaily Update