Beijing From Above: Aerial Shots Render City In Amazing New Light

Kapital Creations featured image
Matthew Niederhauser, who's putting finishing touches on a film called Kapital Creation that documents Beijing's development, recently uploaded a Vimeo featuring stunning aerial footage of this city. It's interesting how a simple rotation of perspective can completely change how we view a place -- and makes you realize the value of a window office atop a skyscraper (or a blimp). Watch the video; you're unlikely to find urban Beijing rendered more beautifully. Read more »

You Should Probably Avoid These Beijing Subway Stations

Beijing security check on subway 2
If you find yourself needing transportation around Bajiao Amusement Park on Subway Line 1, Tiantong Yuan North Station on Line 5, or Longze Station on Line 13, perhaps it's best to take the bus or a cab. (This is the first and only time I'll recommend taking a taxi over the subway, considering this city's traffic). If you need a reason, check out the video above. Read more »

Friday Links: Murong Xuecun vows to turn himself in, China finalizes oil deal with Russia, and 2 Kolegas’s 9th anniversary

Catching a falling baby
Have a nice weekend links. Speaking of weekend... on Sunday, in an event that will probably be cancelled (shh, don't tell anyone), professors Yan Hongbiao and Ding Dong will talk about "ordinary Chinese people's views of the Cultural Revolution" from 3 to 5 pm at the Crossroads Centre (18 Da Shiqiao Hutong, Jiu Gulou Dajie; directions and contact info here). 40 rmb (30 rmb for students). The talk will be in Chinese, if it happens. Read more »

Tan Jun And China’s “New Ink” Movement

Tan Jun art 1
If China’s contemporary art market has one fatal fault, it is an obsession with cultivating and trading stars. Artists born in the 1960s have become darlings of the market, producing some of the most expensive works traded at auction houses anywhere in the world. But the next generation, born in the 1970s, has very different goals for creation and social recognition. Most use their skills to express an attitude or convey their artistic perspective to the public in plain language. Read more »

At Least 31 Dead, More Than 90 Injured In Urumqi Terrorist Attack

Urumqi terrorist attack kills 31b
Two vehicles rammed into pedestrians in an open market at 7:50 this morning on Gongyuanbei Street in Urumqi, Xinjiang, killing at least 31 people and injuring more than 90, according to Chinese state media. AP reports that "the Xinjiang regional government said in a statement that the early morning attack was 'a serious violent terrorist incident of a particularly vile nature.'" Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: So You Think Uyghurs Can Dance

So You Think Uyghurs Can Dance
With so much attention on the violence emanating from Xinjiang, many of you may have missed the parade of Uyghur dancers who have recently taken the stage on the Chinese version of “So You Think You Can Dance” (Zhongguo Hao Wudao). Not only do we have the child-star-turned-adult-tap-dancer Yusupjan, the nine-year-old break-dancer Surat Taxpolat (who goes by the stage name “Little Meatball”), and the teenage break dancer Umid Tursun, but we also have the model family of Gulmira Memet, a young dance instructor from the Xinjiang Art Institute in Ürümchi. Read more »

Look How State Media Is Spinning The Failure Of China’s Latest Anti-Porn Crackdown

China's latest anti-porn campaign
China's anti-porn crackdown -- its latest, I mean, in a long line of many -- isn't going as well as planned, because apparently porn is hard to block and everyone watches it, so the propaganda spinners have gone into overdrive to frame the story in a new light. If you want to see Chinese state media at its best / worst, these are the moments you cherish, when it completely jumps the shark. Read more »

Interactive UCCA Exhibition Features Song And Conversation

Lee Mingwei art
For his first solo exhibition on the Chinese mainland, Taiwanese artist Lee Mingwei is transforming his childhood memories into a personal performance at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. Sonic Blossom, the New York-based artist’s new participatory installation, brings together a team of classically trained opera singers to serenade unsuspecting visitors with Franz Schubert’s Lieder. Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: A Poetic Recording As Popular As Song

Dispatches from Xinjiang cassette tape featured image
As in many Islamic societies around the world, Uyghurs listen to cassettes and MP3s of sermons, poetry, and essays as a way to tune in to the sensibilities of the rapidly changing social world and to find their place within larger communities. Those who listen to these forms of media are ordinary Uyghurs, people who work as farmers and seamstresses, small-scale traders, and handymen. They send their children to schools with red scarves tied around their necks and worry that their kids won’t be able to find their way in the new world. Many of the most popular recordings focus on ethical action, on living right, and on what the world “out there” is like. They are both entertaining and instructive. Read more »

Chinese River Runs Red

The River Runs Red 2
Oklahoma and Texas play an annual football game called the Red River Rivalry. When it comes to actually red rivers though, none compare to the one found in Boluo County near Huizhou, Guangdong province earlier this week. It's like the jungle's menstruating. Read more »