Friday, 7 October 2011

Three Wise Monkeys

 Three Wise Monkeys: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
by 4Gentlemen
Portraying Chinese dissent artist Ai Weiwei, the work ironically refers to principles of Three Wise Monkeys: ‘hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil,’ that arguably originates from Analects of Confucius: "Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety" (非禮勿視,非禮勿聽,非禮勿言非禮勿動). Instead of reviving its original teaching of moral value, the authorities adopt Confucianism in order to constrain freedom of speech in China in the 21st century. 
      Being concurrent with social turbulence in Middle East since spring of 2011, many Chinese intellectuals and activists including Ai Weiwei have been secretly detained for criticizing social injustice that the government considers ‘inciting instability and subversion.’ The international community’s outcries for releasing dissidents have limited impact. Although released in August 2011 after spending 81 days in jail, Ai is not set free – he addresses worries of being a rights activist in the future, because "they can make me disappear.”
       During Ai’s secretive detention, many leading global art institutions call for the release of the artist. As Chinese, we intend to remind the world that freedom of speech remains gravely suppressed in this society that announces the ‘freedom’ is ‘evil’ for Chinese people. We intend to deploy AR technology to launch this project at leading art institutions around the world, therefore continue informing global audience of the condition of freedom of expression in China.
      Three Wise Monkeys is also proposed to participate Manifest.AR group event 'The Art of a Placebo' at Digital Art Week. The Three Wise Monkey is designed for citizens enduring oppression of free speech. It can be used as a part of psychological treatment after a major social crisis such as indicated by the image sequence: The self-immolation to protest religious policies (F1), subway trains crash (F2), mysterious death of the village head who led petitions against alleged abuses by local government  (F3), or earthquake smashing poorly constructed school buildings to result death of thousands of students (F4). Three Wise Monkey will effectively help individuals quell anger, therefore never offend the authorities. 

F1: 3 Wise Monkeys at
 Aba County in Sichuan, where a Tibetan monk set himself ablaze

F2: 3 Wise Monkeys at
 the scene subway trains crashed in Shanghai

F3: 3 Wise Monkeys at
eastern Zhejiang Province, where the popular village head  
Qian Yunhui killed by a 'traffic accident'

F4: 3 Wise Monkeys at
Sichuan, where earthquake smashed poorly constructed
school buildings to result death of thousands of students

screenshot at Open Space Gallery, Canada. Date: October 27, 2011.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Great Firewall of China 伟大的中国防火墙

By 4Gentlemen

During the Qin Dynasty, Emperor Qinshihuang began building the Great Wall to keep northern nomads out of China. In the Internet age, China has invented the Great Firewall to block free thinking, to censor messages and images which criticize government policies and draw attention to violations of human rights, and to keep this activity from circulating in the blogosphere. While the ancient Great Wall of China is regarded as a wonder of human civilizations, the Great Firewall in cyberspace becomes the most sophisticated, extensive and notorious project preventing the world’s largest population from expressing themselves with contemporary technologies. How does this invisible wall impact the lives of people within China and beyond in the information era?

The Great Firewall of China is an augmented reality public art project. Built for smart phone mobile devices, the project seeks to make Internet repression visible by setting the Great Wall ablaze. The public can simply download and launch the project and aim their device’s cameras at the at Wall. The application uses geolocation software to superimpose flames at precise GPS coordinates along the Great Wall, enabling public to see the fire integrated into the physical location as if it existed in the real world.

Explore Great Firewall AR on Google Earth

Related projects also on view at Distributed Collectives exhibition at Little Berlin Gallery, PA:

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Goddess of Democracy in Al Tahrir Square, Cairo

The Goddess of Democracy installed in Al Tahrir Square, Cairo. Documented by Warren Armstrong, June 28, 2011.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

‘A single spark can start a prairie fire' 星星之火,可以燎原 - by 4 Gentlemen

View A Single Spark, by 4Gentelmen in a larger map
'In the middle of these online discussions, a new type of political action, critical public debate, entered contemporary Chinese life.' 
'If state power and market forces have given birth to the Internet as a new sphere of social and political life, will the same forces take away this life, as they did in Habermas’s analysis of the eventual refeudalization of the public sphere?'
First, the Internet has given rise to a new type of political action, online critical debate; it facilitates the articulation of social problems and has shown some potential to play a supervisory role in Chinese politics. Through the use of the Internet, citizens are becoming better informed about and more engaged in social and political affairs.
Second, existing social organizations have developed an online presence while virtual communities have been built on the Internet. The use of the Internet by China’s environmental groups and NGOs demonstrates some new possibilities for organized civil society action. It also indicates how elements of Chinese civil society may be linked with the global civil society in ways previously unimaginable.

Third, new forms and dynamics of protest related to the Internet have appeared in Chinese civil society. Collective protest relies on communication media to spread its message and organize activities.

Evidence presented in this article shows that the Internet can facilitate protest activities in effective ways. Yet online protest is more than a new protest strategy. It is also a new field of struggle involving the uses and abuses of new information technologies. In this sense, online protest represents the growth of a contentious civil society in China.

Public debate, social organization and protest that take place on the Internet in China are linked in umerous ways with the global community, including the Chinese diaspora around the world....The virtual community of the ‘Forum of Chinese Educated Youth’, for example, clearly crosses national boundaries. The porous and networked nature of the Internet thus ties China’s civil society to the global community. Their interpenetration is a source of energy for China’s incipient civil society. Such interpenetration enhances information flow critical to civil society activities. ...Foremost among these are the online constructions of personal and collective identities. Both personal and collective identities are tied to civil society, not the least because they directly affect what Chamberlain has called ‘the quality of civil societal life'.By this he means the internal solidarity of a civil society as communities of autonomous individuals. It is not that the autonomy of civil society from the state is not important, but that it is not enough, because ‘What bonds civil society and its components are forces working from the inside out, not from the outside in’. does the use of the Internet shape personal identities? In the long run, can Internet-based discourse and interactions contribute to a civic and participatory culture? How may the Internet be used to articulate collective identities based on class, gender, ethnicity, region and above all, the nation? How do the online constructions of various forms of collective identities impinge on civil society in China? ...They are important areas for future research.
- GUOBIN YANG, The Internet and Civil Society in China: a preliminary assessment

Friday, 3 June 2011

AR Art at Venice Biennial 2011& Notes on the 22nd Anniversary of 1989 Tiananmen Protest

Augmented Reality virtual installations at Piazza San Marcos,
mobile phone screenshots taken in Venice Italy
by Four Gentlemen

'Tank Man' Augmented Reality at Piazza San Marcos, Venice
'Goddess of Democracy' Augmented Reality at Piazza San Marcos, Venice
'The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who's on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.' - Joseph Campbell, 'The Hero's Adventure,' The Power of Myth

'BEIJING (AFP) – Thousands of Chinese and foreign tourists flocked to Tiananmen Square on Saturday, the anniversary of the deadly 1989 crackdown on mass pro-democracy protests, amid a noticeable police presence. '
Tourists flock to Tiananmen Square for anniversary

Astonishing scenes at Tiananmen Square vigil in Hong Kong, June 4th. 2011

Goddess of Democracy at Victoria Park, Hong Kong, June 4th. 2011
People & Tanks, Chinese painting

Monday, 11 April 2011

National Museum to launch Enlightenment Exhibition:

The Art Newspaper reports, Transformed from Revolutionary History Museum, National Museum of China, on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, is launching the first exhibition - the European Enlightenment, collaborating with Germany.

It is said Enlightenment concept about 'Science' and 'Democracy' had led to the formation of Chinese Communist Party since 4 May 1919 Student Movement. Ironically, the exhibition centering around history of Enlightenment and Tiananmen Square has to eliminate 1989 Tiananmen Student Protest, which Enlightenment spirit also profoundly contributed to.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Chinese Media Misstated Libyan against West | 中央电视台谎报“利比亚人民反对西方武力“

为什么利比亚出现中文标语?因为抗议者要告诉中国人民: 利比亚人民反对卡扎非,"法国万岁!"  央视宣传"利比亚人民反对西方武力"是谎言。

Libyan protesters challenge Chinese media spin -

"Muammar Gaddafi is a liar": the banner in Chinese script by Libyan protestors is hard for the Chinese media to misinterpret. (Photo/Web)

The Chinese government has denounced the western-led military action against the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with the country's state-run media plying the line that Libyan citizens are strongly opposed to western intervention. However, Libyan protestors have sent another message, including using Chinese words, to express their anger against Gaddafi, making it hard for the Chinese media to push its own narrative.
On Thursday (Mar. 24) the state-run CCTV 4 reported on protesters in Benghazi, showing a banner with the words "Vive la France" (Long live France). The broadcaster's voice-over called this a Libyan outcry against the bombing of the city by coalition forces.

It is uncertain whether Libyan people have seen the reports from China's official media. But Libyan protestors later actually flashed a slogan written in Chinese characters to make sure the Chinese public really know their mind. The slogan read: "Muammar Gaddafi is a liar."

A netizen addressed the state-run media on Sina Weibo, China's largest microblog, "Now how can you lie? (You) are really hard on Libyan people. They are already so busy with the mess their country is in. Now they have to learn Chinese as well."

Another user said CCTV misreported the victims of attacks by Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi as the victims of multinational coalition forces by manipulating pictures.

Further report from Reuters

Monday, 14 March 2011

'Microblogs can’t give us justice'

Zhang Ming: On March 5, a major traffic accident occurred outside the gate of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics in Nanchang in which a sedan collided with a bus before careening off into a crowd of people, killing two students and injuring four. Among those killed was a female graduate student from the university. Arriving at the scene, the police failed to follow procedure. They did not secure the scene, nor did they test the blood alcohol content of the sedan driver.

It was only after classmates of the dead students made a stink online, posting an account of the incident on China’s domestic Twitter-like “microblogs,” or weibo, and drawing nationwide attention to the case, that the government in Nanchang decided to act.

Hours after the accident, police finally tested the driver’s alcohol level, which still showed him over the legal limit. He was charged with driving under the influence (酒驾), avoiding the more serious charge of drunken driving (醉驾). But you can just imagine how the test might have come out had police followed procedure at the scene. And without the interference of online public opinion pressure, the driver might have gotten off scott free.

There was more to this story than a simple procedural hiccup, however. Why had police released the driver in the first place? Because he is, as it turns out, the current vice-president of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Liao Weiming (廖为明).

This case is arguably more serious than the Li Gang incident in Hebei province, which sparked so much anger across China in October last year after the son of an influential police official killed a female student while driving recklessly on the campus of Hebei University.

Fortunately, microblogs now offer us a new means of focusing attention on cases like this one. I came across the post on this case too, and I passed it along to my own microblog followers, doing my part to ensure it got the attention it deserved. If it weren’t for the power of the microblog, Vice-president Liao would have walked away from all responsibility. But of course the underlying issue here is how the rules can be bent in cases like this one, even over a traffic accident, to serve the interests of the powerful.

We live in the age of the automobile in China, and we see many of our society’s problems manifested over luxury sedans and the special powers and privileges they have come to symbolize. No one dares lift a finger when traffic laws are broken by the powerful. The violator need only mention that he knows such-and-such a person in the traffic police division and the whole matter is neatly smoothed over. When this is how things really work, what good is it to announce a national campaign against drunk driving?

In the olden days, Chinese waited for the benevolent official of myth and fiction to come and deliver justice. Today, people wait for microblogs to apply pressure, administering some semblance of justice.

In a sense, of course, this is a mark of progress. But why is it that simple justice can only come if pressure from microblogs are brought to bear? Do police in Nanchang not know how to handle a traffic accident? That’s not it, of course. They don’t need people teaching them how to do their jobs through microblogs.
What microblogs do is apply public opinion pressure. And if truth be told, the authorities in Nanchang don’t exactly live in fear of public opinion. To the extent that online public opinion serves any purpose at all, this is only because the superiors of those involved are keen to manage the possible impact on their own careers.
All of us know not every case of wrongdoing can garner the attention in China’s microblog sphere necessary to elicit action. There are many more cases, perhaps more tragic than this one, that may fail to heat up for all sorts of reasons — people can’t make out what’s true or not, or there aren’t the right elements to stir public emotion.

We cannot rely on microblogs to bring us social justice. If those charged with upholding the law look first to upholding their own interests, anger and injustice will continue to build up in society.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Jasmine Rain & Tiananmen Augmented Reality at Boston CyberArt 2011

New media art deploying mobile phone application is showcasing Institute of Contemporary Art Boston during Boston CyberArt Festival, April. 22-May 8, 2011

Jasmine Rain, Tamiko Thiel.

Jasmine Rain with iPhone, Tamiko Thiel.

Manifest.AR at the ICA.

ICA Comp Butterfly Lovers

Friday, 25 February 2011

Chinese Jasmine Rallies: Beijing to Wuhan, since Feb. 20, 2011

Open Letter to the National People’s Congress from the Organizers of the Chinese Jasmine Rallies

[English Translation by Human Rights in China]

First, we would like to thank every participant of the Jasmine Rallies. Your participation has already made the authoritarian government very nervous. Your presence has made the Chinese government understand that they must choose between these two paths:

The Chinese government will genuinely fight corruption and accept the supervision of the people.
Suppress popular protest, continue corruption, and continue to refuse the supervision of the people.
Every Chinese person with dreams hopes that China will become prosperous, rich, and powerful, that the people will not have to worry about food and clothing, that the government is upright and honest, and that the judiciary is impartial and just. But twenty years have passed [since the 1989 Democracy Movement], and what we are witnessing is a government that grows more corrupt by the day, government officials who collude with vested interests, and a citizenry that has not benefitted from the reform, opening up, and economic development. On the contrary, the people have to endure high goods and housing prices, and do not have health care, education, or benefits for the elderly. And what about ten years from now? Will we face a government even more corrupt? A judicial system even more opaque? Will vested interests give up their vested interest?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: So much public housing has been sold to individuals, so many state-owned enterprises and so much land have been sold, and nearly all state-owned property has been sold off. But where has all the money from these sales gone? It goes without saying that state-owned property belongs to the entire people. But what did the people get? Led by an authoritarian regime, the opaque process of privatization has made a small number of people rich, but what did the vast number of ordinary people get?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: When Japan, Korea, and Taiwan were in the process of industrializing, they were able to make the overwhelming majority of their people prosperous. Why is it that during China’s industrialization the ordinary people are becoming poorer? Why is it that in just the last few decades China has gone from being a country with the smallest gap between the rich and the poor to one with the largest? It is because the unfair system has made a small number of people incredibly wealthy, and the vast majority of people remain poor.

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: Every year the government uses public money to eat and drink, buy cars, visit foreign places, and raise salaries for officials; yet it doesn’t have money to spend on health care, education, benefits for the elderly, or other basic needs. The vast majority of Chinese people do not have basic health care, education, or benefits for the elderly. Not to mention Europe, America, Japan, or Korea; our welfare system is far behind those of India, Russia, or Brazil. When other countries use the majority of their tax money for the welfare of their people, where does our tax money go?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: At present the renminbiranks first among world currencies in terms of quantity in circulation. This serious “over-issuing” of currency has brought about a vicious cycle of inflation inside China. The excessive printing of currency is recklessly diluting the value of the people’s wealth. Because the renminbi is not an international currency, it is China’s ordinary citizens who are out of luck. The meager income of China’s ordinary people must support goods and housing prices similar to those in Europe and America. On the one hand the government excessively prints money, and on the other hand it uses administrative means to keep housing prices low is this some sort of mockery?

Every good and honest Chinese person, please think: It is a matter of course that officials, when disclosing their wealth, should accept the supervision of the people, and that the government, when publishing details of tax revenues, should accept the supervision of the people. However, the Chinese people have no such power. We have been waiting for decades. Even if we wait for another ten years, we will not be able to get this kind of power. Should we keep on waiting? Are you willing to wait another 10 years, 20 years, 30 years?

In short, without pressure from the people, absolutely no authoritarian government would take the initiative to respect the people or accept the people’s supervision. What we need to do now is to put pressure on the Chinese ruling party. If the party does not conscientiously fight corruption and accept the supervision of the people, then will it please exit the stage of history. We call upon each Chinese person who has a dream for China to bravely come out to take an afternoon stroll at two o’clock on Sundays to look around. Each person who joins in will make it clear to the Chinese ruling party that if it does not fight corruption, if the government does not accept their supervision, the Chinese people will not have the patience to wait any longer.

We do not necessarily have to overthrow the current government. As long as the government fights corruption, the government and officials accept the people’s supervision, the government is sincere about solving the problems regarding judicial independence and freedom of expression and gives a timetable, we can give the ruling party time to solve the problems. We can call a stop to the strolling activities. We have been waiting for decades, if the government is sincere about solving the problem, we do not mind waiting a little longer. However, if the government is not sincere about solving the problems, but only wants to censor the Internet and block information to suppress the protests, the protests will only get stronger. As more and more people find out about “jasmine rallies,” there will definitely be more and more Chinese people joining in.
We don’t care if we implement a one party system, a two party system, or even a three party system; but we are resolute in asking the government and the officials to accept the supervision of ordinary Chinese people, and we must have an independent judiciary. This is our fundamental demand.

We do not support violent revolution; we continue to support non-violent non-cooperation. We invite every participant to stroll, watch, or even just pretend to pass by. As long as you are present, the authoritarian government will be shaking with fear.

China belongs to every Chinese person, not to any political party. China’s future will be decided by every person. We ask that the government and officials accept the supervision of the people, that the details of tax collection be published, and that taxes are genuinely “collected from the people, and used for the people.” These basic requests are not the least bit excessive. For our country’s future, for the fundamental rights of our children and future generations, please bravely come out. The Chinese people’s thirst for freedom and democracy is unstoppable (as Wen Jiabao said during an interview on CNN).

If you are unable to participate in the strolls, please tell every Chinese person near you: We need an upright and honest government. We need the right to supervise government tax collection. We need the right to scrutinize officials’ wealth. We need the right to publicly criticize the government. These are the fundamental rights of every Chinese person. Please tell every Chinese person near you: Non-violent non-cooperation is the only path for Chinese democratization. Please use word-of-mouth to break through the news blackout and come show your support.

The Chinese people rely on themselves to fight for their rights. We should not even dream that an authoritarian regime would take the initiative to award us these rights. Please join us in non-violent non-cooperation to make the Chinese government respect the basic rights of the Chinese people.

Time: Every Sunday starting on February 20, 2011 at 2 pm. (If the Chinese government is sincere about solving problems such as corruption and public supervision, we will send out a notice stopping the action.)
Rally Locations:
Beijing: in front of the McDonald’s on Wangfujing Street
Shanghai: in front of Peace Cinema at People’s Square
Tianjin: below the Drum Tower
Nanjing, [Jiangsu Province]: the entrance of Silk Street Department Store at the Drum Tower Square
Xi’an, [Shaanxi Province]: the entrance of Carrefour on Beida Street
Chengdu, [Sichuan Province]: under the Statue of Chairman Mao at Tianfu Square
Changsha, [Hunan Province]: the entrance of Xindaxin Building at Wuyi Square
Hangzhou, [Zhejiang Province]: the entrance of Hangzhou Department Store at Wulin Square
Guangzhou, [Guangdong Province]: in front of the Starbucks at the People’s Park
Shenyang, [Liaoning Province]: in front of the KFC at North Nanjing Street
Changchun, [Jilin Province]: in front of Corogo Supermarket at Democratic Avenue of West Culture Square
Harbin, [Heilongjiang Province]: in front of Harbin Cinema
Wuhan, [Hubei Province]: in front of the McDonald’s at Jiefang Avenue and the World Trade Plaza

People who are in cities not listed here, please go to the central square of your city.
We ask websites to help spread this statement, thank you!

One of the organizers of China Jasmine Rallies (Posted on Boxun by a friend on February 21, 2011.)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Universal Values vs. Chinese Characteristics

The Egyptian uprising is an awkward fact for China’s rulers because it undermines one of their favorite arguments. They have long claimed that China has “special characteristics” (meaning that its people prefer authoritarianism, at least for now) and that demands in China for democracy and human rights are merely results of the subversive tactics of “anti-China” forces based in Western countries. But if that theory is true, then one needs to explain why millions of Egyptian people were opposing Mubarak, who was a US client. Plainly something deeper was motivating them.

The example of Tunisia raises a related question, equally awkward. For China’s rulers, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the ousted dictator, would have been seen as following their own approach—the so-called “Chinese model” of economic growth combined with political repression—and having much success with it, or so it was assumed for many years. But the Tunisian people took to the streets to overthrow him. Did the people want something more than the Chinese model? How could that be?

In recent years, China’s own activists have identified freedom, democracy, human rights and human dignity as “universal values”: this is one of the core ideas in Charter 08, the reform document the government has tried so hard to suppress. China’s rulers have countered by claiming that “so-called” universal values are merely “tactics peddled by the West.” This confrontation has spawned a “universal values debate” in Chinese intellectual circles...

- Middle East Revolutions: The View from China, Perry Link

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Union Squared: Tank Man, Union Square, New York, NY, U.S.A. February 12, 2011, by Secret Agent.

Union Squared: Goddess of Democracy, Union Square, New York, NY, U.S.A. February 12, 2011, by Secret Agent.

Composite Images of Tank Man and the Goddess of Democracy

Friday, 11 February 2011

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Reactions from the Chinese Blogosphere: China & Egypt

China Election and Governance
Over the course of 30 years of reform, China has already established its worldwide economic status. But in terms of human rights, the Chinese government lags behind, not only failing to win respect from international society, but also remaining passive on the subject in every respect. Human rights does not receive sufficient attention within China, placing officials and the public in opposition to one another and leading the government to do a poor job of maintaining stability. The situation is unsustainable. The events in Egypt have been enough to attract our attention. The government that disdains human rights cannot survive in the end.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Chinese Blogosphere: The True Battelground
On January 25, 2011, Yu Jianrong, a famous human rights activist and sociologist, launched a Sina microblog in which he called on Chinese netizens to wield their camera lenses, expose child beggars and upload the pictures to the blog, a cause he believed can save the mistreated children and help battle such crimes.
    The microblog has sent immense reverberations throughout the country’s cyberspace. 74,834 have followed the microblog and thousands offered their clues and pieces of evidence.
    According to Information Times, the 30 plus children found on the streets of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in south China all came from a few villages administered by Fuyang, Anhui Province in east China. These villages are quite well-off by Chinese rural standards, but they profit from the “industrialized” child-abduction and abuse.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Landmark China: An Augmented Reality Project

F1. Landmark AR: Tiananmen Square
Concept: Deploying communication technologies and contemporary art expressions, artists elevate 'mobile phone experience' to in-depth exploration on our surrounding world, to discover hidden meanings under surfaces. The Landmark China Augmented Reality project will be installed at varied tourist attractions throughout China, and link those locations to Chinese cultural spirit, or current social challenges, therefore inspire audience to further examine the 'reality.'

How it works: Landmark China is consisted of a series of site-specific installations that are invisible in physical space, but  viewable on screen of a mobile phone. The mobile phone application uses geolocation software to superimpose artwork (the augmentation) at the precise GPS coordinates of a desired site, where audience can see the augmentation integrated into the physical location as if it existed in the real world (F1, F2).

F2. Landmark AR: Chang'an Avenue

What to see: We are developing three types of Landmarks: 1. Landmarks with Cultural Spirit; 2. Landmarks of Current Social Turbulence;  3. Landmarks of Social-Environmental Crisis. Resurrecting historical figures conveying free spirit, or reviving a scenario questioning the superficial prosperity, the Landmarks redefine human environment of current popular tourist attractions throughout China. Audience can immediately perceive the 'layered' reality on a cell phone screen: art, politics, history and culture, which are deeply connected.

Display: While the actual work needs to be experienced on site with an iPhone or Android device, there are a number of ways displaying documentation of  Landmarks in galleries and museums:  Image of Screenshot in forms of print, light-box; video documentation, particularly for Landmarks with animated components.

*Landmark: Forbidden City 故宫
- Ji Kang
Mobile Phone Screenshot: Ji Kang, the famous member of 'non-cooperation' movement
in ancient China, plays qin at execution ground of Forbidden City
Painting of Ji Kang

* Landmark: Great Wall 山海关
- Meng Jiang Nv crying (coming soon)

*Landmark: Great Hall of the People 人民大会堂
- Mad Drummer 弥衡
Mobile Phone Screenshot: Mi Heng (173-300), the Mad Drummer,
scoffs treacherous court official, at Great Hall of the People, Beijing
Painting of Mad Drummer

* Landmark: Three Gorges Dam 三峡大坝
 - Qu Yuan 屈原
Mobile Phone Screenshot: Qu Yuan, the upright official
and great poet's spirit emerges at Three Gorge Dam
Painting of Qu Yuan

* Landmark: West Lake in Hangzhou  杭州西湖
- Lady White 白娘子
Mobile Phone Screenshot: Lady White, the spirit fighting
for love and freedom, at West Lake, Zhe Jiang province.
Painting of Lady White

* Landmark: Tiananmen Tower  天安门城楼
- 3 Young Men Defacing Mao's Portrait
Mobile Phone Screenshot: 3 young men threw eggs filled with paint
at Mao's portrait on Tiananmen Tower, during 1989 Student Protest
Painting of 3 Young Men Defacing Mao's Portrait

* Landmark: Shanghai World Expo China Pavilion  世博会
- Yang Jia  riding bicycle (coming soon)

* Qian Yunhui + city of Yueqing in Zhejiang Province  (coming soon)

* Landmark: Bird Nest Stadium of Olympic Game  鸟巢
- 2008 Sichuan Earthquake Monument

Mobile Phone Screenshot: School rubble as Monument of
2008 Sichuan Earthquake, at Bird Nest Olympic Stadium Beijing
Painting of School rubble of 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

(in process, more coming soon)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Feb 2011 Cairo

* Princeton, New Jersey (CNN) -- When the Egyptian people took to the streets of Cairo to protest the oppressive government of President Hosni Mubarak, they instantly challenged one of the most powerful strains of U.S. foreign policy thinking.
      In American diplomatic circles, the "realists" have long argued that the U.S. must be primarily focused on national self-interest, rather than concentrating on trying to promote democracy and human rights in other countries.
     They object to the style of idealism promoted by President Woodrow Wilson, who envisioned that war and diplomacy could transform international relations by institutionalizing cooperation among nations, allowing for the self-determination of people and ending war for all time.
    ... It is impossible, they said, for democracy to take root in the Middle East given the history of the region. To protect strategic interests such as access to oil, they felt it essential to make peace with bad rulers.

* "People need to see that you not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, and people need to understand and believe that you really, seriously take democracy, rule of law, freedoms seriously," ElBaradei said Sunday. Asking "a dictator" to implement democratic reforms "is an oxymoron, frankly."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

From Tiananmen Square to Tahrir Square

Artists use smartphone Augmented Reality application to revive Chinese Statue of Democracy on Tahrir Square, Cairo
mobile phone (iPhone or Android) screenshots of Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality: Goddess of Democracy on Tiananmen Square, Beijing

The fact that social networking sites have fueled the protests in Egypt will no doubt spur Chinese officials to further scrutinize such sites. And they may be right to pay attention: Zhao Jing, a liberal Chinese blogger who goes by the name of Michael Anti, said that “it was amazing netizens on Twitter cared about Egypt so much” that they had begun drawing parallels between China and Egypt. President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt was being called Mu Xiaoping, a reference to Deng Xiaoping, who quashed the 1989 popular protests in Beijing, while Tahrir Square in Cairo was being compared to Tiananmen Square.

Yet, there are intellectuals in Beijing skeptical of any similar protests arising in China, mainly because this nation’s dynamic economy has given many Chinese hope for a better life.