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CHINA INCIDENTAL
2008
Sound Installation / Headphone Walks

Production Consumption Interpretation – (Un)familiar Territories

Yan Jun, Zhong Minjie, Lin Zhiying, Hitlike (Zhang Liming)
curated by Matthias Kispert

Production Consumption Interpretation

A slice of contemporary China that is not seen but heard, presented through the work of some of China’s leading experimental artists, including Yan Jun (Beijing), Zhong Minjie (Guangzhou), Lin Zhiying (Shenzhen) and Hitlike (Harbin). Commissioned by CHINA NOW, the UK’s largest ever festival of Chinese culture.

For eleven days, the Foyer of the Royal Festival Hall will be infused with real-world sounds from China. The recordings create a fluctuating, unpredictable mix that changes with the time of day, causing a shift in localities between the grand concert hall and the world of everyday life on a different continent.

The three themes, production, consumption and interpretation, are a reference to the changes that are currently affecting all layers of Chinese society. With the rapid increase in production and private enterprise, the emerging consumer culture and the availability of spare time to spend as one wishes, comes a continuous need for communication, interpretation and re-evaluation of people’s everyday living realities.


Royal Festival Hall London, UK 18 April 18 April – 1 May 2008

(Un)familiar Territories

A series of headphone walks by Yan Jun (Beijing) and Hitlike (Harbin) which provide a glimpse into life in China today using the evocative qualities of sound.

Visitors to Chinese Arts Centre will be able to pick up a Chinese MP3 player and a map which together will take them on a walk around Manchester city centre and an aural journey through a major Chinese city. Carefully edited sound recordings of everyday moments in a Chinese city link with locations on a half hour walk around Manchester city centre. Dislocated from their original surroundings and re-routed into the ears of listeners, the sounds of Beijing or Harbin transform the landscape of Manchester as the walkers encounter familiar territories in unfamiliar ways.

The walk will end at Chinese Arts Centre where there will be an exhibition of photographs by Zhu Ying of the locations in Shanghai where Yan Jun’s the sound recordings were made.


Chinese Arts Centre Manchester, UK 24 May – 22 June 2008