Samantha Culp

Year of the Horse at LA Art Book Fair

YearOfTheHorse_LAABF copy

New Territories Studio will be participating in the second annual LA Art Book Fair by Printed Matter from January 31-February 2, with a selection of Chinese zines, art books and indie publishing. In a stroke of synchronicity, the fair happens to coincide with the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year – extra auspicious, which is why we’re calling our table Year of the Horse. Please stop by and celebrate by buying some books! More information below:

Year of the Horse by New Territories Studio
For the 2014 LA Art Book Fair, Shanghai-based curatorial platform New Territories Studio presents a vibrant selection of materials from China’s current indie publishing scene. In collaboration with leading Chinese zine publishers, we will showcase a diverse array of zines, artist books, experimental comics and small-run journals, many of which have never been shown internationally before. We hope to not only show but contextualize this emerging movement in China’s contemporary art/design world, and spur more exchange between Chinese zinemakers and their overseas counterparts.

Printed Matter’s LA ART BOOK FAIR 2014
January 31- February 2, 2014
Opening: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 6–9 pm
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown Los Angeles

Hours and Location:
The LA ART BOOK FAIR is free and open to the public.
Opening: Thursday, January 30, 6–9 pm
Friday, January 31, 11 am-5 pm
Saturday, February 1, 11 am–6 pm
Sunday, February 2, 12 pm–6 pm

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-6222

LAABF Opening Party

For more information, email:

Democracy and Penguins – Hong Kong 15 Years Later

“北極有企鵝,香港有民主” – “The North Pole has Penguins, Hong Kong has Democracy” –
(note: this joke only makes sense if you remember that only the South Pole has penguins…)

I forgot that these DIY-stencil magnets, ordered back in 2009 from a fellow friend of iconic HK indie band My Little Airport, were still on my old water-dispenser in Beijing, until I stumbled across them again today of all days.

Reading updates on today’s events from friends currently in Hong Kong (especially the Twitter reportage of Robin Peckham and Facebook photos from/of artist Kacey Wong), it makes me wish I could be there today. In lieu of that, I’ll post the essay I wrote five years ago for Purple Journal about July 1st 2007, the 10th anniversary of the handover. Though always cringe-inducing to revisit one’s old writing, perhaps it’s one small snapshot of where things were five years ago. It seems we can barely imagine what 2017 will bring.

An excerpt:

In the boiling park along with assorted artists and friends, Hong Kongers and foreigners both, we begin our march. We head West along Hennessy Road toward Central. I have never walked so far in Hong Kong before. Sometimes we are held up a long time behind the Falun Gong groups, who stop to do little dances or musical numbers with traditional Chinese drums, but that’s okay. We are in a sea of people: though the police, of course, estimate the turn-out at 20,000, the organizers put it at 68,000, and by the endless crowd, that number doesn’t seem impossible. We walk, and walk, and keep walking, holding our artist-made banners in the midst of all kinds of banners, watching the police watch us from the sidelines. Hu Jintao apparently knows about the protest, and while he’s not here, has approved of it on the grounds of the “civil order” of Hong Kong people. Today he is in Happy Valley Race Course, watching the “horses keep running”[1 马照跑] in a CCP-approved gala spectacle (pop stars, synchronized dance moves, official speeches, confetti). But Hong Kong’s people are here. The marchers keep marching.

(Read the full 2007 essay “Expiration Dates” here)


Tulou Open House – Preview Event in Hong Kong

In case you’re in Hong Kong, for ARTHK or otherwise, please stop by the Tulou Open House preview event on May 14 – this project has been in the works for quite a while, and we’re very excited to finally share it. Official press release to follow.

Tulou Open House: Project Preview in Hong Kong
Monday, May 14, 3 – 5pm
Afterschool Cafe
2/F, 17 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay
銅鑼灣恩平 道17號2樓
RSVP to Samantha Culp,

This Monday, please swing by Afterschool Cafe for a preview of the Tulou Open House project 2012 – a temporary, site-specific creative experiment and mini-conference taking place this June at a traditional Tulou (round earthen house) in Fujian Province. During this open-ended “expedition”, a diverse group of artists and scholars from greater China will explore the structure, symbolism, and everyday life of the Tulou as a laboratory for new projects and collaborations, a fresh lens for the concept of creative community, and a potential site for expansive future projects at the Tulou and beyond. The event will culminate in a public “Open House” event on the weekend of June 8-10, which is open to visitors and the local community alike, and will stage a program of talks, screenings, workshops, performances, guided tours, and artistic interventions.

On Monday, organizers Dana Wu (Friends of the Tulou) and Samantha Culp (New Territories Studio) will present an overview of the project, discuss its background and goals, and lead a conversation with HK-based Tulou participants and others who might like to join or learn more.


Leica x Swire Hotels Photo Contest: Beijing/HK

(by Madi Ju)

It’s not too late to submit your most striking snapshots of Beijing or Hong Kong to the Leica x Swire Hotels photography contest. Organized by my frequent collaborator Juliana Loh, the project invited four of greater China’s most talented young photographers (my friends Madi Ju and Xue Tan among them) to shoot Swire’s main hotels in Beijing and HK – the Opposite House and Upper House, respectively. They will then be judging public photo submissions for prizes like Leica cameras and hotel stays. Also important to note: “Entries from all over the world are accepted as long as they fit into the theme shot in Beijing or Hong Kong, photos do not have to be taken with a Leica Camera.”

Full details here and on their Facebook page, and hurry up to get your snaps in by November 30.

Terms and conditions:
-One photo entry per person, 300dpi, 1280 x1024, send to
-Name + email address + contact number + Facebook / 微博 username.
-Photos have to be taken in either Beijing or Hong Kong under respective city’s themes.

(by Xue Tan)

(by Han Chao)

(by Mandy Yeung)

View the full set here

Mild Gathering – Madi Ju & friends exhibition in Shanghai

Madi Ju has brought “Wild Gathering” to Shanghai but it is now a “Mild Gathering” – in the wake of recent bleak times in Japan, Yunnan, Beijing and beyond. Let’s gather, mildly, for some beautiful photographs and humble creations from Madi and friends, from April 7 at Aegis shop in Shanghai.

MILD GATHERING – art, music, photo, conversations
6-9pm, April 7th
at our friend Winston’s shop – Aegis
777 Julu Lu, near Fumin Lu, Shanghai
5403 9869

Featuring photographers Madi Ju and Peter Sutherland, and Japanese fashion designer Hiro Sawatari


3 friends
3 professions
3 countries
3 exhibition parties

Closely linked by photography, music, art, design and now – some sadness about Japan, China and Thailand earth quakes and their people’s difficulties and pains.

3 shows will happen in 3 years…

Show 2010 was Wild Gathering in Beijing, 350 people attended our party, we partied happy and wild, looked at artworks, listened to our djing, spoke about everything and nothing.

and as were planning show number 2 in Shanghai – Wilder Gathering on April 7th, because of the sadness and grey mood around us, we have decided to continue, not call it Wilder, but simply call it MILD GATHERING.

Click here for (more…)

Suitman Cycles through Beijing

The ubiquitous Suitman aka Young Kim has apparently been bicycling around Beijing and Shanghai on Diesel‘s dime. I’ve never quite understood the Suitman concept (especially as it borrows so heavily from Tseng Kwong Chi, has this ever been acknowledged?), but at this point he is a meme unto himself. The hardest-working brand ambassador in show business?

A funnier video here where the Diesel trunk turns into a sort of pop-up hawker-stand/DJ-booth/shell game, attracting the attention of the police.

More videos here, and on Suitman’s Think Silly blog
(via our friends at Theme Magazine)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival / 中秋节快乐!

Creators Project Beijing (Vice + Intel)

From September 17-19, The Creators Project set up shop at Beijing’s 798 Art District for a grand finale to its multi-city international tour. The project is a collaboration of Vice and Intel to highlight young, global creators (much better term than “creatives” in my opinion) who work at the intersection of art and technology, via an extensive website and events in New York, London, Sao Paulo and Seoul. As the last stop, Beijing’s event featured art installations spread across 798 Art District, as well as workshops, film screenings, and a night of live performances from the likes of Sulumi, White+, New Pants, DJ Wordy, and Major Lazer.

In case you missed it, here are the Beijing-related posts on the blog, including mine:

Creators Project Kicks Off in Beijing

A Night of Neon, Beats, Fog & Some Major Lazer…

Peng Lei Speaks

Chirping with Joao Vasco Paiva

Travel back in time to have a peek at the Creators Project English Twitter and their Chinese-language Weibo

As photographer Matthew Niederhauser put it, “Hopefully we will see more specialized projects focusing on fringe media and artists with big corporate sponsorship behind it in the future. Gotta pay the bills somehow.”

Here’s a nice video from Matt that captures some of the madness:

Vice in Beijing: Creators Project – 798 Art District, Beijing, China – 2010/09/18 from Matthew Niederhauser on Vimeo.

More coverage:
Some fashionable snaps from Beijing Stylites:

Pang Kuan
Pang Kuan Smashing an Apple Monitor

At the Creators Project

Stylites at the Creators Project

Cold Couples
Cold Couples at Creators Project

Factory Boy
Factory Boy

Dispatch and live track from Pangbianr:

RETROS at Creators Project
<a href="">Live @ Creators Project by pangbianr radio</a>

WHITE+, Re-TROS, and 新裤子 @ Creators Project 798 第一工厂

HO TZU NYEN: RECENT VIDEOS – Special Screening in Shanghai


It’s a pretty insane week here in Shanghai, as the “back-to-school” activities of the artworld commence, but truly looking forward to an event I’ve helped organize for this Sunday evening: two recent works by Singaporean filmmaker Ho Tzu-Nyen, to be screened in association with my friends at Future Perfect, and hosted by the just-barely-soft-opened Shanghai branch of Café Sambal. (Many thanks to Cho Chong Gee of Sambal for graciously supporting the event!)

If you find yourself in Shanghai this Sunday, please do attend – it should be a relaxing, atmospheric end to a crazy week.


Triple Major shop opens in Beijing

Triple Major is an international creative studio that previously brought Project White T-shirt to Beijing – now they have opened their own boutique in a Dongcheng hutong. The eponymous shop is “disguised as a traditional Chinese medicine clinic” but will carry “avant-garde designs from international talents as an antidote to mainstream fashion’s erosion of individuality.” The 2nd floor and rooftop will host special exhibitions and events, including one by experimental designers Ffixxed (via Australia and Shenzhen) on Oct 29.

See full coverage by Beijing Stylites here and more about their opening flea market during the October holiday. More photos by proprietor Richie Chen here and some street style snapshots for Space 1520 LA.
Triple Major Studio site, their Facebook, and Weibo.


81 Baochao Hutong, Dongcheng District, Beijing

周二 – 周日,13:00-22:00
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 13:00-20:00

T: +86-010-84020763

Urban Wildlife in Beijing: The Mysterious Huang Shulang (黄鼠狼)

Several months ago, I saw some kind of furry, long-bodied creature dart under the bushes in an apartment complex in Haidian. A ferret? In Beijing? I even asked the gatekeeper of the complex, who insisted I had seen a cat. I also remembered some friends describing a strange “squirrel-like” animal native to Beijing – could this be it? Just a few nights ago, I spotted another one, ambling along in the street-light between some cars, and a bit of internet research seems to have solved the mystery. According to Danwei, what I saw was likely a huang shulang (黄鼠狼), aka the Yellow Weasel (or more technically the Siberian Weasel, mustela sibirica). They are still apparently quite common in Beijing, especially in the hutongs, and a sighting is considered either good luck or bad luck (depending, I think, on whether you raise chickens). I hope I’m lucky enough to see one again.

More: a video featuring both huang shulang and ferrets.


Flying Bird from Samantha Culp on Vimeo.

Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong & Mei Lanfang Vintage Photo

(full size image here)

An amazing photograph from 1935 of Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong and Mei Lanfang standing in front of Claridge’s hotel in London. One can only imagine how cool their tea-time that afternoon must have been.

Courtesy of the “Room 26: Cabinet of Curosities” blog, which features new acquisitions, unique documents, and visual and textual curiosities from the collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.


Photos from Short Stays: the Making Of

Click below to play a slideshow of the Short Stays film stills and making of…

Link to set on Flickr.

Great Strides in Sino-Islamic Cultural Exchange


Shanghai Pups

Spotted near Huaihai Lu on an autumn afternoon.


These little guys appeared to be informal ambassadors for the upcoming 2010 Shanghai Expo… way cooler than the dreaded Haibao.

Shanghai Pups (上海小狗) from Samantha Culp on Vimeo.

Shanghai Style

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My rambling notes from the week of SHContemporary are up at Artforum China; read the full article online here or in the vault. They didn’t end up using all of my pictures, however, so here are a few extras below…


midnight at 10am


Where was I during the longest and most complete solar eclipse of my lifetime? On the Bund, in a rainstorm. If we didn’t see the sun, at least we saw the darkness.




Taken from the window of a passing taxi a few weeks ago. Near impossible to believe, but somehow I had never passed it since moving to Beijing last summer (there was the requisite tourist visit years ago, of course). I kept expecting it to happen on some gloriously mundane day, and by the time it did, I had almost forgotten. But suddenly one evening, I looked up and was struck by a sight so familiar, so unreal, that I knew what it was before I knew.

It still seems stuck inside my mother’s little pink TV on the kitchen counter that summer. Like all things from the past, tiny and infinite at once.

Xinjiang Time

So we went to Xinjiang.


Click here for full set.

Street Legal

Yesterday up at Gulou, I finally got around to buying the new albums by Hedgehog (just released) and Ourself Beside Me (came out in January)… Only to discover a few hours later via the salivating tweets of more media-savvy Beijingren that Google China had just launched its free mp3 service, which, of course, happens to feature both albums.

Oh well – still nice to support an actual music shop, and made an additional purchase of some Cui Zi’en (崔子恩) DVDs I haven’t seen around before. A few years ago at HKIFF, Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang described to me his first exposure to Cui’s films as something like this: “I put on the tape, and was watching it until I felt I had to turn it off, but then I couldn’t turn it off… it’s so bad that it’s fascinating, and then it becomes interesting.” Intense paraphrasing going on there, but it sticks in my mind as fairly apt. The weird, self-conscious crappiness in the aesthetic and tone of “Withered in the Blooming Season” is kind of amazing.

The Hedgehog and Ourself Beside Me albums are available for streaming and download below. (Legally! Though the concept of something that is both “digital” and “legal” in China is still confusing to me.) I’m still making my way through them…


Ourself Beside Me “Ourself Beside Me”
(Loving the Rundgren/Barrett-by-way-of-Lisa-Frank cover art; also I’m amazed that they actually did use ‘Ourself Beside Me’ as the official name on it – they had barely decided it while my THEME article on them was going to press)

Hedgehog “Blue Day Dreaming”
(I wish time machines existed just so that Hedgehog could travel back to 1993 to appear on 120 Minutes, and we could now watch it on grainy Youtube VHS capture…)

New Year’s Marathon


More pictures from the Vitamin Creative Space Beijing Mini-Marathon, 2pm Dec 31 2008 – 4am Jan 1 2009, are here.

(I also may have been blogged by Ai Weiwei here)

Presenting at Pecha Kucha Beijing, Dec 13 2008


From Vientiane to Beijing in Theme Magazine

As my last spurt of journalistic productivity before going on my present “sabbatical,” I have two pieces in the current issue of Theme Magazine (NYC). One is on Beijing band “Ourself Beside Me” (also known as “Ourselves Beside Me”; there is no definitive right spelling and I suspect the girls prefer it that way); the other on Thai television show “Dreamchaser.”

Profile: Ourself Beside Me, Theme Magazine, Issue 17, Nov/Dec/Jan 2008/2009 Eureka!

Theme: Dreamchaser, Theme Magazine, Issue 17, Nov/Dec/Jan 2008/2009 Eureka!