Monthly Archives: July 2008

Shanghai Art and Science Fiction

Objects In My Drawer

Jiang Zhi -- "Objects In My Drawer"

I didn’t know I was interested in Shanghai’s contemporary art scene until I started reading the blog Asian Art Nerd.  The blog offers commentary and showcases Shanghai art (often via the author’s own photos) such as Jiang Zhi‘s photographs, which recallsome bizarre combination of dreams, nostalgia, and horror films:

Sucker

Jiang Zhi -- "Sucker"

Each image makes my skin prickle, as though images of my private nightmares are being put public display. It feels great to see them so clearly in focus, but also frightening, even embarrassing.

On a completely different note I’ve also been enjoying Space Canon, a blog reviewing Science Fiction exclusively. Sounds dull and common place until you actually read the thing. Here’s Space Canon’s recent review of an Arthur C. Clarke novel titled Imperial Earth:

Impetuously, a space-living
Man, still young,
Plots his first and last journey to
Earth, for him, a
Return to his long-forgotten birthplace.
In the ship, he trains for
All those forgotten rituals, including:
Life with gravity.

Everything he finds, including the most anodyne of
Animals, seems mystical, meaningful, alien.
Returning to his home on the moon of
Titan, he is
Humbled.

Here’s what the author has to say about this undertaking to read books from the SF canon:

I would like to become a kind of expert on the subject, and because there are no genuine, bricks-and-mortar institutions where a person can do such a thing. Because I would like to continue striding straight and calm into the future, assured of all possible realities, of how to foil the pitfalls of humanity when faced with sentient clouds, steel planets, and moon pools. And, while the canon of traditional literature forms a majestic, complex image of humanity, the space canon as a culture is as yet lightly-trodden, but full of important, and undoubtedly prescient, ideas.

Happy reading!

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