Random links – cool spirit, critical spirit, and Vancouver

17 Apr

Two hip, young Chinese artists are trying to “unearth China’s cool spirit” with a series of videos, starting with this one about a “breathing bike” on which the rider generates purified air (while looking like a fighter pilot connected by a hose to his bicycle). The two Chinese, Xiao Li Tan and O Zhang, both from Guangdong, have a noble mission, to try to inspire young people by showcasing innovative people. I did think that maybe they could have started with a Chinese person. The whole setup looks a little absurd, and unsafe too as the rear-mounted air purifier generates 5000 volts and “If you ride this in the rain, you could potentially kill yourself (laugh). But in theory it works,” says the guy in the video. It’s an interesting concept no doubt, and useful if it works, but I’m still skeptical for the above reasons. I hope these ladies can do well and come up with local Chinese talent to highlight.

Another SCMP piece introduces Li Chengpeng, former football commentator-turned-social critic. Li used his fame to make critiques on society, and not content with just criticizing, tried to do more by moving into politics, before being foiled by authorities. Being attacked online, having been punched and had a knife thrown at him, he’s got some nerve (and I mean that in a good way) but it’s great to have people like him speaking up.

Well-off mainlanders are moving to Vancouver in great numbers, drawn by the very pleasant weather and lifestyle, just like Hong Kongers in the 1990s. The article mentions property price rises and population shifts, which will likely be just a large-scale repeat of the earlier Hong Kong influx. Vancouver was a very popular place for HKers to immigrate, resulting in hundreds of thousands of HK Chinese residents which actually form the majority in some places around Vancouver.

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