INTERESTING PIECE IN the Asia Society blog on Bo Wang, a Chinese visual artist with a photography project ("Heteroscapes") on his hometown of Chongqing, China. The megacity illustrates the clash of traditional culture and Western-style modernity, writes Dan Washburn of the Asia Society.
Wang has called the 2,000-year-old city of 31 million "a battlefield of transition," and the same clash likely is surfacing in every transcultural city in the world's emerging economies. The question of the 21st century will be the question of the culture line. (If you Google Bo Wang and Heteroscapes under an images search, you'll find many artists' blogs commenting on Wang's work. Good stuff.)
Last fall, the Asia Society and top-flight U.S. artists, including Yo-Yo Ma and Meryl Streep, visited China for performances and master classes. Censorship of Chinese artists and other cultural rebels has been a critical issue for decades, with little progress even as China opens economically to the world. Hopefully, walls will fall as China's markets evolve, and as a new generation of political and business leaders rise to power.
- Art in America, "Censorship in China."
- New York Times' "China's President Lashes Out at Western Culture."
- Committee to Protect Journalists, "China Shuts Out Al-Jazeera English in Beijing."