Culture & Literature

Approaching the World of Birdhead in Vienna

Birdhead in Vienna   A recent exhibition in Vienna showed the unique art ideas of Birdhead,  which aroused a big interest in understanding the fleeting, mysterious yet real mentality of today’s Shanghai. The interpretation of SCHIFFAMT building in the 2. district of Vienna through the Asian eyes was yet another highlight for the opening ceremony. Birdhead (Song Tao *1979 and Ji Weiyu *1980) have been working together and debating daily since 2004. They are taking over 10,000 photos every year, which are scanned and archived before re-appearing, in small numbers, in their work. No one is familiar with the Birdhead…


Xinjiang’s New Era: A Brief Look Into Corps System

China’s West Region, a historical treasure along the ancient silk road, was renamed Xinjiang, literally meaning new territory, in the year of 1949. Peacefully entering a new era, Xinjiang went through decades of economical re-adjustment as well as administrative re-organization. The so-called „Corps“, a new type of administration coming into being since 1954 with the full name of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, is based on Defense and Production Forces of PLA in 1953. With the initial goal of achieving self-sufficiency in grain and non-staple food supply,  the Corps both functions as frontier garrison force and production units. The Corps…


Ningxia, A Wine Paradise in China

Recently, a trip to Ningxia became a fascinating wine-tasting experience for me. A bottle of red wine there made me believe I was back in Bordeaux. It was a cuvee with 80% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% of Merlot and 5% of Cabernet Gernischt. Pure joy with absolute high quality! In the following days, more wine with Merlot, Sirah and Cabernet attracted my attention, leaving me crave for some research into this wine paradise in China. Among the eight main wine producing areas in China, Ningxia, located in the middle of Chinese territory, is obviously the most suitable for grape planting…


Songshan Forum – Dialogue between Chinese and Other World Civilization

Songshan Forum, a unique international cultural platform at the foot of Songshan, Henan Province, where the world-renowned Shao Lin Si is located, has opened its 7th annual meeting today.  Aimed at the goal of “Multicultural Coexistence, Harmonious Symbiosis and Sharing Future”, this year’s Forum has summoned more than 60 scholars from around the world, including those from Russia, India, Austria and America. Of all science academies in the world, approximately a  third have visited this forum. The symposia cover a wide range of topics such as Cultural Pluralism and Civilization, Harmonious Living and Sharing Future, Philosophical Reflections on Religion in a Secular Age, Moral Commitment with Universalist Implications, Intellectual Interactions Between Christians and Zen Buddhists…


Refreshing Changchun, Rapturous Summer

    Changchun has a summer festival. For more than ten years, , Changchun’s summer festival has held exhibitions as well as economic and trade activities such as the Summer Beer Festival, the Auto Expo, the Auto Festival, the Sculpture Exhibition, the Folk Expo and the Agricultural Fair. The festival has invited domestic and foreign tourism agencies to come to Changchun to participate in the event. The summer festival has brought exchanges and cooperations between Changchun and other parts of the world, boosted the domestic and overseas tourism industry, and increased Changchun’s popularity greatly. Located in the geographic and geometric…


Stealing Heaven

The Chinese artist Ms Jing SONG has just had a solo art exhibition in Vienna with “STEALING HEAVEN” as the motif. STEALING HEAVEN is devoted to the moment at which a particular development culminates and in the end breaks off. The project tells of life in a state of wind-stillness, of circumstances to which one has accustomed oneself, of tranquil presence, trance; up to a point of realization or action. A moment of rupture in which the self is both the shipwrecked castaway and the onlooker. (1)Seconds, minutes or years can pass before the eyes open. “[…] We all want to…


Culinary Christmas Delights in Austria

In the Western world, Christmas time is considered to be the most wonderful time of the year and is celebrated accordingly. Even in today’s China, celebrating Christmas is getting more and more popular — at least in major cities, where the festival is basically embraced as a commercialized event.  Not aware of its religious background, the Chinese tend to associate Christmas mostly with Santa Claus, who brings presents as well as festive music and decorations. No wonder, China has been pursuing a consumption-driven economy for decades now. As a cultural and religious holiday celebrated by Christians, Christmas commemorates the birth…


That Other Dimension

The night comes, boosting my creativity. The night, the dream, the fever. Doors to undiscovered worlds open up. Arms reach out, arms of darkness, of light, arms that grasp my eyes and my head, forcing me into another dimension.  I have no control of it. There, I do not harm anyone, and do not get harmed.  In that other dimension, however, everything seems as usual, real. The sounds of cars passing by, as frequently as the cries of the pitch-black crows. The clock is ticking, as regularly as planes flying across the sky. It is still the usual world with…


Music

Music is a matter of taste. Yes, the kind of music someone likes often depends on where they grow up, which people they are surrounded with and how much they know about music (its history, theory or practise, etc.). However, I believe that in the end, it is very individual whether a genre of music is worth listening to or not, especially for the young generation. I grew up with classical music and shreds of Jazz. In fact, until the age of 12, I could not even bear to hear non-classical music without freaking out immediately. Often, after listening to…


BIANCA REGL: ​BETWEEN THE APPLE AND THE PLATE

“… For beauty is only a step removed from a burning terror we barely sustain, and we worship it for the graceful sublimity with which it disdains to consume us.” (Rainer Maria Rilke, from The First Elegy (Duineser Elegien, 1923), translated by John Waterfield) Born in Austria in 1980, Bianca Regl lives in Beijing since 2010. In her prior years she spent time in Los Angeles and Berlin. The theme of her paintings was, and is, the (picturesque) localization. Terms such as ‘homeland’ and ‘tradition’ face others, like ‘emigration’ and ‘hyper culturalism’. François Jullien writes that coming across China means compiling a sloping and strategic access that makes us grasp European…