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๐Ÿ”— The Rise of Rock Climbing as a Lifestyle in China: Cultural Impact and Brand Opportunities

๐Ÿ”— The Rise of Rock Climbing as a Lifestyle in China: Cultural Impact and Brand Opportunities
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Following the trend of โ€œcitywalkโ€, there's a new buzzword surfacing on Chinese social media lately - โ€œwildeatโ€. This trend embodies a longing for a more natural, minimalist, and outdoor-centric lifestyle among Chinese youth, intertwining elements of camping, picnicking, and social media sharing.

๐Ÿพ Some are drawn to it for the allure of experiencing the most primal and simplistic dining methods of early human ancestors, while others simplify the preparations for camping or picnics, opting for a more trendy interpretation. Either way, these young individuals are constantly seeking activities that offer them a sense of freedom and relaxation. ๐Ÿƒ In addition to the ongoing fervor for outdoor activities, tourism across China was notably vibrant over the recent holiday period. Drawing from the Ministry of Culture and Tourismโ€™s figures, the 5-day May Day holiday saw a total of 295 million domestic tourist trips, which is a 7.6% increase from the previous year. This represents a substantial 28.2% jump when measured against the same period in 2019.

๐Ÿ”— Brand Color Marketing and Semiotics: Interpreting Consumer Emotions and Social Change

๐Ÿ”— Brand Color Marketing and Semiotics: Interpreting Consumer Emotions and Social Change
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Spring 2024
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Shanghai MuseumMajestic Theatre
In this exhibition, Shanghainese artist Hu Yun explores the dissemination of knowledge during the 16th to 19th centuries, examining the impact of imperialism and modernization on the spread of natural science and theology by scientists and missionaries.
Rockbund Art Museum
Riding the wave of a successful TV show earlier this year after a stage debut in 2018. In addition to the stage play of Season 2, Meiqi Theater also hosts an exhibition displaying first-editions and translated versions of the novel that inspired the play.
The exhibition juxtaposes Chinese paintings with European Renaissance artworks as part of the 'Dialogue with the World' series. Featuring 18 pieces each from renowned Renaissance painters like Da Vinci and various Chinese dynasties, the exhibition hall is uniquely designed, creating an immersive dialogue between paintings from different times and regions.

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Team trip to Hua Hin, December 2023

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Winter 2023
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TR LabFotografiska Shanghai
As part of the ongoing exhibition series that examine the hegemony of meaning and explore alternative systems of knowledge, artists Yu Ji, Dong Longyue, and Wang Xiaofu bring an โ€œassembly of made and found objects, works on paper, moving images, sound, text, and performanceโ€ as a โ€œtotal artwork,โ€ experimenting with the โ€œlimits of how we know things.โ€
We the Singular in Multiple Ghosts, I the Multiple as Parts of Whole
Newly opened renovated warehouse shows Feng Li's mix of editorial, street, and elevated image making from his reportage career are on display.
Capitol Theater, built in 1928 during the golden age of Shanghai cinema, is revived via a commission by TR Lab x Rockbund Art Museum, and artist Six N. Five. A multimedia installation of lights and mirror designed for the selfie audience.

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We spent time in Seoul this week for a fashion project. Between research and retail observations we held lots of pop-up analysis sessions in Seoul's many coffee shops and listening bars.

In popular style and culture areas like Seongsu-Dong we noticed evolving trends in vintage clothing selections and bakery themes, but the most acutely visible theme was the dialogue between brands' increasing urban media presence and the gentrification of traditional industrial areas.

As an example, a Burberry exhibition straddling several unused buildings and featuring the Norman's Cafรฉ installation that has been heavily criticised in the UKย for 'cosplaying the working class' sits literally a unit away from a metalsmith and repair shops. With this in mind, Burberry's approach does feel deliberately provocative; perhaps riffing on their own conflicted relationship with class (with questionable success). It feels markedly different from other forms of civic branding strategies we see from luxury brands.

Take Louis Vuitton, who are currently partnering with the newly opened Fotografiska in Shanghai. The strategy centres on an extension of their City Guide series and branding transportation like the Suzhou Creek boat stops. Like their events in other cities like Qingdao, the brand 's approach is more civic - choosing to celebrate the places that can bring inhabitants of cities together across a range of cultural destinations, rather than further expose the economic and identity fault lines that divide them.

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Alex Wilson
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Music For Thinkingยฉ Studio daytime playlist for focus work. Ambient, Downtempo, New Age, and Noise.
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The film 'In Her Time' by Diane Severin Nguyen posits practice as performance. The artist / actress skips through personal memory and collective history, with rehearsal as a means to confront trauma and the re-enactment of pain an end to expression. The narrative relays a struggle and ultimately a convergence between the private world of her nostalgically lit and soundtracked bedroom and the production of her character in a war movie filmed at Hengdian Film and Television City. Themes of historical narratives, violence, and desire are explored in the repetitive loops of her spoken lines and circular experiences.

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โ€œAn arcade is a city, a world in miniature.โ€

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project

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Four advertisements from the early 20th century, Paris. Especially noticeable are the cartooned figures of military prowess, choices of maroon, grey, and off-white, array of carefully picked, carefully set fonts, and classical figures representing war and peace in the backdrop - visual codes that are foreign yet refreshing to the Chinese eye. A portrait of the city's morale and eco-political mental space in between the two world wars - the liminal space of peace, powered by intellectual, artistic engines of development and modernization. Snapped from the two-floored exhibition of Paris Modern: 1915-1945 (Power Station), an exhibit that invites viewers to compare modern Paris with 20th century Shanghai while reflecting on modernistic diversity, how "humanities and the arts" contribute "to a city's historical transformation."

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Fishermen on Suzhou Creek. In summers past, children would try to grab a watermelon from the barges bringing produce, according to local residents.

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'Traveling in the Dark', an art project conceived by film director, poet, writer, anthropologist, sound composer, literary and art theoretician, Trinh T Minh-ha, specifically designed for Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai. It is a visual, sonic, poetic and philosophical experience that explores themes around โ€œrealityโ€, re-representation, and knowledge production. Excerpts from her writings were "exhibited", complementing her experimental film essays shown in makeshift dark rooms. "The unknown, like the fantastic, is never merely out there," she writes. In what way can the dark open up spaces of unsuspected visibilities, of active resistance and of solitary connivances? "It is always already here, there, where one neglects to look with eyes wide shut."

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๐Ÿ”— Contemporary Folktales

๐Ÿ”— Contemporary Folktales
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New Man ๆ–ฐไบบ by ๅ•†ไบฎ at Made In Gallery. These large-scale paintings recall the super strength mode of an Anime transformation sequence and for me raise comparisons about current online discourse about hyper masculinity and identity.

Lunar Calendar 2023

Lunar Calendar 2023
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At Ed Atkins's exhibition 'Refuse' at Tank Shanghai, a computer simulated and animated "list" or iteration of wastes (like broken furniture, dead fish and shredded paper)ย falls through forms a heap of rubbish. In an interview, the artist says while the emphasis is the list itself, the intention is also to create "a play of unwanted things returning".

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Podcast: marketing through the tough times

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"It is of ultimate importance today to ask how modernity can be overcome from a non-European perspective. One such possibility can be found in reflecting on the varieties of aesthetic and technological experience in order to rearticulate a program after the postmodern"

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Yuk Hui, Art and Cosmotechnics

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๐Ÿ”— Meme my valentine: Balenciaga and the aesthetics of Tu Wei

๐Ÿ”— Meme my valentine: Balenciaga and the aesthetics of Tu Wei
Alex Wilson
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