23 10 / 2012
The biggest obstacle to develop local art communities in Hong Kong comes from challenges imposed by governmental bodies.
Woofer Ten is a community art platform operated by a dozen local artists in Yau Ma Tei. At noon today (Oct 23), it posted the following status update:
Right, Hong Kong Art Development Council (HKADC) has taken the first step to clamp down on Woofer Ten!
Earlier we heard news that the committee(s) of HKADC is(are) unhappy about us not working on art and not putting HKADC’s name on our newsletter.
Yesterday we received a call from HKADC. A staff member of theirs will collect keys of an upstairs apartment next week. The water and electricity supply will be cut off. They are taking back the apartment.
We are shocked! Woofer Ten has been managing that apartment the whole time. We store art work for exhibition there. It is also where we store our materials and documents. The apartment is frequently used. We held workshops, meetings and a June 4 exhibition there. Mr. Wong (a neigborhood craftsman) uses the space to make traditional paper flower panels too.
What Woofer Ten has achieved over the years is obvious. Our activities always make full attendance. We have the necessity to expand and we keep applying for more space in the past 3 years. Not that there is no increase in fundings, they (the HKADC) want to take the remaining space away from us too? It is obviously a persecution against Woofer Ten!
When I asked what would happen to the apartment, the staff said it would be left empty until the next open auction! Woofer Ten is putting the space in good use, and you want it to be left idle? Is that how HKADC manages its resources?
Stand up to oppression! We insist to not return the apartment. Dear friends, join us in the fight!]
As opposed to the cultural policy, a number of government departments go hand in hand to remove local art communities.
Hidden Agenda (live house in Kwun Tong) relocated 3 times due to government harassment. Joint departmental investigations threaten to shut down the music venue for good. A documentary about Hidden Agenda was screened in Venice Biennale 2012, Korea and Japan; when the story hit local newspaper, the live house had yet another harassment from the government: Fire Department and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department immediately “followed up” on Hidden Agenda’s operation.
In a feature story of Sing Tao Daily, local art groups addressed difficulties to sustain and thrive because of contradicting government policies.
11 9 / 2012
11 9 / 2012
07 9 / 2012
In the week-long anti-national education protest outside of the government headquarters, Scholarism and the Anti-National Education Alliance have repeatedly urged CY to come out of his office for an open dialogue. But CY has been missing in action.
During his campaign running for Hong Kong Chief Executive (HKCE), CY Leung paid visits all over Hong Kong with a pen, paper and a foldable stool. He says he would keep listening to what people in Hong Kong have to tell him. The stool has words on it that say “United.”
A freelancer Wong Ping drew the following illustration dedicated to CY’s missing:
He has not returned since his victory*
He used to sit on a foldable stool with pen and paper;
smiling, repeatedly humming his desire
to listen to stories of people
People who witnessed his leaving said,
in the moments of his victory,
a cloud of mist came out of his bottom,
within a second his body launched into the sky
people were too stunned to tell if that was a fart or smoke alert
but he disappeared in the mist and has not returned since
Left on the spot they found that foldable stool he sat so tightly on, on it wrote “United”
People are confounded
Some say it’s a designer stool that’s worth a ton
Others say it must be an inspiration he left for everyone
they never realized it’s another piece of worthless props,
like the people themselves
being abandoned here
people stare in union at that “United” foldable stool and hope he would come back
to listen to their stories
*in running for HKCE against Henry Tang
Translated from http://nowhynowhy.com/archives/992
Wong Ping is also the illustrator of this other comics “President Hu (Jintao) came visit us!” On security barriers set up at key locations during Hu Jintao’s visit in Hong Kong in late June/early July.
《主席來 看我們》”President came visit us!”
主席來看我們。the president is here to see us.
「主席香港感覺如何﹖」”President Hu, how do you feel about Hong Kong?”
「看出去很窄很迫，”It looks really narrow and crowded from here,
怎麼都是直線條紋﹖」how come it’s all vertical stripes?”
Besides political cartoons, Wong Ping produced this beautiful album cover for No One Remains Virgin!
More Anti-national education comics
by Honkaz Fung
06 9 / 2012
lokandload asked: Thank you for translating the piece "Confession of a girl who's received 16 years of National Education in China". Saw it posted everywhere on FB, but my Chinese isn't up to par. It's been quite difficult to keep up with the national education news with my rubbish Chinese!
glad it helps! you may follow on twitter under the hashtags of #HK #AntiNationalEducation #NationalEducation #NationalEdu #Brainwash or so, there’re more English materials over there ;)
05 9 / 2012
In the midst of protest against national education outside of government headquarters, a girl’s article circulated on Facebook drew huge response on the internet. As someone who had been through a 16-year national education in Mainland China, she wrote:
You can never wake a person who pretends to be asleep - Hu Qingxin
What are the reasons to oppose to national education? It does not seem to be a problem, but I spent a long time pondering. As an ordinary citizen, my parents do not have the chance to send me to international school or study abroad. Like most ordinary students in China, I completed my 16-year education - from primary school to University - in public schools. “National education” has always been there, yet it does not seem to have caused any effects on me or my friends. None of my friends are loyal to the Communist party, none of us believes in the party’s greatness and righteousness. It seems that the 16-year national education has failed completely in practice. So Is it necessary to oppose to national education? I would try to examine the issue from the perspective of someone who has been through a 16-year patriotic education of “a selfless, righteous party” here.
When I was in primary school, we had a class called Moral Thinking. The definition of an intelligent person with good ethics naturally refers to someone who loves the party, the country and the people. The descriptions are vague, unlike the downright honesty presented in the national education materials in Hong Kong. Besides that, compulsory participation is required in writing and speech competitions on important anniversaries of the party and country. Primary school-aged kids are expected to be eager to participate and describe the glories and greatness of the party. We received “national education” at a very young age without understanding much about it. We got to know about the great change of tactics in the Long March (when I entered University to study history, I realized that the communists were only escaping from the attack of Guomingdang), we learnt about the bravery of the party in fighting Sino-Japanese war (later in University I discovered that the fighting was mainly done by the condemned traitors Guomingdang. The Communist party was too busy at the time trying to engage in land reform and establish the republic). But then none of these teachings went deep into our hearts even to the most outstanding student cadres, we were like talking birds mimicking the speech. Why? Compared to other subjects, national education is the least relevant to our lives. We had never experienced anything about the new life, new China glorified in the subject. Our parents might be very concerned about how we do in Chinese or Maths, but they could not care less about this important national education.
When I was in secondary school, Political Thinking replaced Moral Thinking, same difference. On top of that, we had a class teacher who often made us stay after school to conduct thought education. The rebellious secondary students grew increasingly irritated by the content that requires memorization and the old lady who kept babbling about Marxism-Leninism. We slowly understood the rules in the adult world and knew that the class teacher does not really believe in what she said. Her aggressiveness in our patriotic education was to ensure better performances in our class. As our class teacher, she could present our great performances to the school principal for great appraisal and raises. And if the school has more role model teachers and classes, the principal would have better records in the local education bureau thus promotion and raises. Of course officials in the local education bureau would be rewarded from all this too. Ultimately whatever we were taught directly or indirectly was merely means for teachers to achieve personal gains.
Later in University, we had Situation and Policy education besides Political Thinking. We were bombarded by Marxist, Leninist, Mao’s and Deng’s theories. But we all looked down on the teacher of these courses. We openly skipped these classes or talked loudly, ate, watched movies or slept during her lessons. We would jeer at students who answered questions seriously. The teacher could do nothing about us because she had lost our respects before losing her authority as a teacher. We all knew only a benighted person would teach such things. Her only strength might have been brown nosing and that’s perhaps how she got such a sweet job in the university.
Do you think national education has been successful? It can be seen as a disaster. After a 16-year bombardment, no one - including both teachers and students - believes in anything it says. But you can also see it as incredibly successful. Even though everyone knows it is only a lie, national education has still been taught in schools for decades.
Is national education frightening? The words in black and white are not threatening. The more extreme the propaganda is, the more laughable it becomes. But it is also terrifying that the lie would appeal to an entire nation; it determined the fate of many students. We know that it is a lie but we still have to copy and answer each question very seriously. We wrote something we did not mean. Teachers knew how absurd it is but had to teach it as the truth and use it as the criteria to judge a student’s ethics.
This is the most horrifying of national education!
What is written on the page is not the most horrifying. Hymns glorifying the party are not the worst of national education. What really terrifying is, national education makes everyone in China – including students, teachers and everyone in the fundamental education – lie out of a habit!
In schools, we clearly know that no one in the society - including our teachers – believes in the theories of national education. Teachers feed us these lies either because they have no choice not to, or because they value their personal gains above everything else. They force us to memorize things that perhaps they do not understand either. And only by memorizing everything should we achieve great scores and become good students. In case we tell the truth, we would be criticized, get low scores and be labeled as bad students. For a long time it has been a vicious cycle. Slowly, both parties on receiving and giving ends become numb. We both become used to saying bullshit like that, it doesn’t really matter.
When we look at the current Chinese society, people can go against their consciences for money or benefits. They do not have a bottom line. When you are capable of doing anything, you would perpetually be involved in pursuance of benefits brought by the market economy. We deemed “National education” to be absurd and a joke, but there is a certain truth that it trained us to not feel anything about lying.
Teachers’ responsibilities are to educate and assist students in learning. They also play a key role in shaping students’ perspective on life. Since the day we begin schooling, we observed in our teachers that for the authority of national education they could forget about truths, principles and their consciences to lie and even feel proud about lying. Lying is a means to an end. Perhaps there were teachers grumbling in their office, criticizing all these lies. But when they got in the classrooms, they were so full of concerns that they decided to stick to the script. These teachers might make students feel a little bit sad, but ultimately we learn from them to succumb to power. We know the truth but dare not to speak the truth. In our first life lesson, national education is like a mirror. It allows us to see that the most important things on earth are power and benefits. Everything - including one’s self, conscience or principle – bends knees in face of power and benefits. National education also defines what a good person means, what a successful life means. Like the model teacher who aggressively ruined us with patriotic education - you not only have to succumb to the power, but participate in strengthening the power to keep benefits rolling in.
This is the most horrifying of national education. It is not to tell you fake history, a fabricated world or a fake conscience. National education is not about justifying these lies; the truth might not even matter. The implementation of national education is to tell you how the truth, your consciences or history does not matter in this world; what matters are power and benefits.
You ask any Chinese today if they believe in Communism, Communist Party or the government in power; you probably won’t get any affirmative answers. In a net era, information society, it is hard not to know one thing or two about the injustice and crimes committed by the party. The people know about all that but they choose to live in silence. Many even benefit from the system and choose to not only remain silent, but rationalize all crimes and slaughters conducted by the party. Or perhaps more people are satisfied with material gains and decided to turn a blind eye to what is happening in the country. A majority of them live at peace like that.
Perhaps a few people still sincerely believe in communism and what is written in textbooks of patriotic education. And these people become the surviving idealists who live in a naïve Utopia. They cause the least effects and harm to this messed up society. If you ask what the evils in power believe, they would never give you a concrete answer – even those who blabber on and on about principles with loads of supporting evidence, you can try again once they step down or retire from their positions. You may then realize they were only staging performances of bullshit.
In the news, I came across this picture of a banner that says “The Scream from a Metal House” in front of the government headquarters. It almost made me cried. I therefore decided to write this long article to detail the national education I had been through - how it impacted China, how it has undeniable responsibilities in creating a stagnant Chinese society.
There is no way to tell if national education would transform the future of Hong Kong into the likes of today’s China. I call for the termination of national education and I hope that more teachers, especially teachers in fundamental education would participate in the movement. Please understand that each and every line of praise you teach the kids would cause an impact beyond the words! You have the future of Hong Kong in your hands, you would determine if consciences, truth and ethics, or power and benefits are the only things that matter in the future society.
What national education nurtures are not slaves to the communist party, but slaves to power and benefits.
What national education is shaping are not people who sleep in a metal house, but people who pretend to be asleep. You can always wake someone from sleep, but would never be able to wake someone who pretends to be asleep!
Translated from https://www.facebook.com/huqingxin/posts/10151376967198294
19 6 / 2012
Shaanxi villagers discover masturbation toy in a well. Local TV news crew reports object to be medicinal fungus.
Xi’an TV station received a hotline call. Some villagers reported they found a piece of strange “food” when a bucket was down a well for about 80 meters for water.
A reporter arrived at the village. Villagers told her a few days ago they found a “meaty” food down a well. An 80-year-old man said he had never seen something like this before.
“A friend asked me to get a water pump; when the pump went down to about 80 meters of the well, we picked up this meaty stuff. We don’t know what it is, it has a nose and a face.”
Then the TV camera zoomed into the “meaty food,” the female reporter continued to describe it having two “mushroom heads.” “We can see there is something like a mouth; and on the other side there is a hole that connects all the way through to the other end. It is very smooth. It feels very much like meat. We measured it with a ruler, it’s approximately 19cm.”
Another villager said even the 80-year-old elder had not seen something like this before. “Just checked online this thing is called ‘Taisui (Meat Lingzhi)’.”
The reporter gave more ‘in-depth’ details about the ‘Taisui’ after. She discovered on the Internet that ‘Taisui’ is a Meat Lingzhi mushroom. The “mushroom” had been found in many provinces in China before. Because it requires special growing environment, the mountainous area in Shaanxi is particularly favorable to the growing of this kind of Lingzhi mushroom. As the “Meat Lingzhi” is often grown deep in the soil, it is rarely discovered.
She also mentioned rumors about this “Meat Mushroom” on the Internet. When the first emperor who unified China, Qin Shi Huangdi, was looking for the longevity drug, this Meat Lingzhi mushroom was supposedly among the ingredients. The mushroom is also listed in the Compendium of Materia Medica (a pharmaceutical text written by Li Shizhen during the Ming Dynasty).
The villagers are now keeping the mushroom. Xi’an TV station will come back with an herbal specialist tomorrow to further examine the “Meat Lingzhi.”
Doesn’t the “Meaty Mushroom” look like these on sale in a Japanese store…?
15 6 / 2012