Art+Village+City (Winnie Wong and Margaret Crawford, UC Berkeley) explores the rural villages that have urbanized in diverse ways the process of being engulfed by the megacities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen. In this dense and complex urban/rural landscape, villagers have fought to maintain a political autonomy rare in China, while churning out “Van Goghs” for export and cultural products that are both intensely global and local. In this exhibition, the students in the research studio who traveled to the Pearl River Delta in spring 2015 represent their work through creative methods including diorama, video, and painting. More
Incorporating film and mapping practices at four sites in Shanghai, Now Shanghai／闹海 (Nao Hai) (UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative) aims to expand the discourse and speculative possibility of scholarly research on contemporary cities. The title draws from the Chinese legend Nezha Nao Hai, or Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (哪吒闹海): nao (闹) represents the loud and busy nature of the contemporary Asian megacity, as in naoshi (闹市), or busy market or downtown. As a verb, nao means to disturb, play with, or celebrate an event with jubilation. It also responds to the contemporary Chinese idiom “nao na yang” (闹哪样), asking “what’s the matter?” in response to something incomprehensible. Now Shanghai／闹海 captures the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative's approach to investigating contemporary urban issues, contested space, and issues of identity in Shanghai today.
Participatory Urbanisms (edited by Karin Shankar and Kirsten Larson, UC Berkeley) is an experimental publication exploring the multifarious meanings of "participation" and its conditions of possibility in making art and politics in urban spaces. More