Tag Archives: China

Dutch firm MVRDV has won an international competition for the design of the Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, China with a scheme of concrete speech bubbles. Yes, the same bubbles that typify comics will cluster together and serve as a museum for… comics. It seems obvious but creates a structure both surprising and humorous, maybe even comedic.

The architect describes the evolution of comics as “develop[ing] more and more into a sophisticated art form.” Which, in a way, stands at odds with the idea of inflating a speech bubble with concrete. However unsophisticated the conceptual operation, the conceptual result is a variety of spaces that do appear sophisticated and compelling. That is, if you can see around the Kung Fu Panda and the Pokemon.

(as feat’d on the Fox is Black)

Alan Boyle writes: Chinese space officials have come up with a plan that would send an orbiter toward Mars on a Chinese rocket as early as 2013, the Xinhua news agency reports. Such a mission would use technologies that were developed for the Chang’e 1 lunar orbiter and its recently launched follow-up mission, Chang’e 2.

The orbiter mission also would follow up on China’s joint effort with Russia to send probes toward Mars and one of its moons, Phobos. Launch of the Phobos-Grunt mission is scheduled for a year from now. China’s Yinghuo 1 (“Firefly”) orbiter would hitch a ride on a Russian-built spacecraft that’s designed to put a lander on Phobos and return a soil sample to Earth.

All this activity signals that Beijing will be taking its status as a space power seriously in the years ahead. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has just returned from a controversial visit to China, and today he said in a written statement that the visit “increased mutual understanding on the issue of human spaceflight and space exploration, which can form the basis for further dialogue and cooperation in a manner that is consistent with the national interests of both of our countries.”

Coinciding with the politically fueled Beijing Olympics, Body Language: Contemporary Chinese Photography is currently on show at The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. A collaborative exhibition consisting of works by six Chinese artists, Body Language focuses on the human form while fusing contemporary art forms with traditional iconography, representing China’s changing society.

Zhang Huan’s Shanghai Family Tree series uses the body as a canvas for calligraphy; Huang Yan paints traditional mountainous scenery upon torsos while Liu Wei’s Landscape photographs use black and white images of contorted figures to resemble hanging scrolls. Within Chi Peng’s evocative Consubstantiality series, gender boundaries are blurred, while Wang Qingsong’s triptych Preincarnation depicts figures dressed as ancient statues with missing limbs.

Artist Sheng Qi is said to have cut off his own left pinky finger in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre. He then buried it in a flowerpot, leaving it in China while he fled to Europe. His Memories series, which appears in Body Language, portrays his disfigured hand holding a photo of himself, his mother and Mao. Qi studied at The Central Academy of Art and Design, Beijing and Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design, London. He has exhibited widely on an international scale at places including N.O. Gallery, Milan, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland and Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.