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Critical Copying in China's Contemporary Urbanization







Big Aggregate Data of Social Activities




Oil Painting, Acrylic Painting, Body Painting



| Photographs Remixing and Book Making

16-18 20-21 23-24

Qualitative Research

Plagiarize the past? Critical Copying in China’s Contemporary Urbanization

1 Introduction “Copy”, as a verb, is the process of making similar or identical versions of things. It is also a long-lived cultural phenomenon that has existed both in China and worldwide. In essence, copying is a process of exchanging values between “origins” and “copies”, in order to obtain the cultural identities for the copies as well as the copiers. In the end, the copy might transcend the original and become the new original. China has its own traditions and origins in terms of “copying”. However, from the modern period, the word “copy” has been greatly devalued, with the advent of concepts— “originality” and “authenticity” (Schwartz, 1996). “Copy” is then no longer an arbitrary and subjective experiment, and “originality” is strictly protected by “copyright” laws (interestingly, “being copied” has even become a “right”). Under the influence of modernization and globalization, copying is more recognised as a form of plagiarising in China. “Shanzhai” culture, which refers to imitation and pirated brands and goods, is becoming popular and raising heated debates about genuine creativity and property rights in China in recent years. It shows the changing concepts of “copy” in China and the Chinese’s changing attitudes towards “copy”. A great amount of the contemporary Chinese urban phenomena are currently related to “copy” — copy from the Past, copy from the West. In this research, I would like to focus on “Copying from the Past” that contributes to the understanding of cultural conditions in the modern Chinese cities from a comparative-historical perspective, to examine how the Chinese copy and make use of their own past to create their own presence now, what are the objects and forms of copying, how should we evaluate these copies in their own contexts and think critically who leads the act of copying and what is the network of power behind copying, and finally to analyse tourists’ attitudes towards copies in contemporary China. Even though my concentration is “copying from the past”, this research can’t escape talking about the ideological conflicts between China and the West, because the

modernisation and globalisation process has intertwined the values from countries all over the world and enables them influence each other on a large scale and in a deep depth.

2 Changing Concepts of “Copying” in China China has its own traditions and origins of “copying”, especially in traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphies. In Tang Dynasty, copying famous paintings was a large-scale activity directed and supported by royal court. Gu Kaizhi (344–406), a prominent artist in East Jin Dynasty, was well known for copying magnificent paintings and calligraphies in his times. Copying, in the ancient China, is not only a popular and effective method to learn from the great “Masters” and study the past, but also a way to preserve and spread masterpieces, since all the traditional paintings are made on rice paper, which could be easily damaged. Copying a painting or calligraphy also needs virtuosity. In his book The Problem of Forgeries in Chinese Painting, Wen Fong defines four distinct types of copies in traditional Chinese painting: 1. Mu, 摹 (mó), a trace; 2. Lin, 临 ( 臨 , lín), a loose relative 3. Fang, 倣 (fǎng), an adaptation; 4. Tsao, 造 (zào), an invention (Fong, 1962) All of these categories are slightly different, and could be creatively used and adapted to different kinds of Chinese art creations. In ancient China, copying was seen as a creative way of making arts. Besides copying arts on paper, the ancient China also copied architectures. In Shiji ( 史记 , Scribe’s records) written by Sima Qian (145 or 135 – 86 BC, a Chinese historian of the Han dynasty), it is recorded that every time after Qin Shi Huang (260–210 BC, the King of the state of Qin) conquered one of the other Warring States, he copied the main palace of that state and rebuilt it beside his own palace in Xi’an, to flaunt his power as well as Qin’s important position in the country. Therefore at that time, copying served as another function: displaying one’s power and strength. In the pre-modern times of China, copying is never equivalent to forgery or simple imitation. Copying is a process of learning from the past and remembering the past. The main focus of copying is never 3

Final Paper for DES3333 Culture, Conservation and Design Instructor: Susan Snyder & George Thomas December, 2015

the “thing” itself, but is the spirituality and symbolic significances behind the thing. For paintings and calligraphies, the aim of copying is “to learn the essence and spirit of you.” For architectures and palaces, the aim of copying is to “show that I have the ability to conquer and possess your ‘past’ and your ‘Qi’ (spiritual core).” Based on a sinologist Pierre Ryckmans’s viewpoint—Chinese attitudes towards the past— exists in spirituality not materiality. (Ryckmans, 1986) A parallel line could be drawn here, that for the ancient Chinese, the aim of copying is never the thing itself, but the spirituality behind it. However, as modernism made its way through the Western world, the act of copying has been devalued, whereas originality and authenticity have gained primary importance. As the Chinese “gate” began its opening to the westerners since the Opium Wars, the concept of “copying” has been changed tremendously and the modern concepts of “originality”, “authenticity” and“heritage preservation” have been introduced to China. In the sphere of city and architecture, Liang Sicheng (1901-1972) is apparently a key figure in changing the definitions of “copying”. Liang received professional training in University of Pennsylvania from 1924 to 1927 and he was profoundly influenced by the Beaux-Arts tradition in the university’s School of Architecture. In his book The Architecture of the Confucius Temple Complex in Qufu and the Plan for its Repair ( 曲 阜 孔 庙 之 建 筑 及 其 修 葺 计 划 ) in 1935, Liang put forward that “we have the responsibility to preserve or restore the original state ( 保存 / 恢复原 状 ) of the architecture of different periods”. In 1963, in one of his articles An Informal Discussion on the Repair and Preservation of Ancient Architecture ( 闲话文物建筑的重修与维护 ), Liang proposed a principle of historic preservation “repair the old as it is” ( 修 旧 如 旧 ) against copies/forgeries. As Liang plays an extremely important role in the field of Chinese architecture, his words were regarded as general principles. What’s more, the Athens Charter of 1931 and the Venice Charter of 1964 swept the entire historic preservation field in China in 1980s and the concepts of “authenticity” and “originality” have deeply rooted in the minds of historic preservationists. So far, the traditional Chinese concept of “copying” has been greatly influenced by the modern western definitions of it.

3 Case Study: Pseudo-Classic City in Datong Background In recent years, the trend of “constructing city movement” has engulfed cities nationwide in China. The gradually deepening process of globalization compels Chinese to concentrate on the local characters of a city and its own historical and cultural values. People are realizing that the “past” is a great asset. And the easiest way to recall the past is to copy it. Datong, a city with three million population, is one of the most typical case of involving in “constructing city movement” by using the method of copying the past. Datong lies on the Loess Plateau in Shanxi Province of northern China, was an ancient capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty 1600 years ago. Since the beginning of China’s open and reform period, Datong’s industry of coal mining has been booming and became the city’s pillar industry. However, decades of the rampant mining heavily polluted the whole city, depleted energy resources and stagnated the economy, earning Datong a reputation as one of the world’s ugliest cities. When the former Mayor of Datong—Geng Yanbo (also famous for the name of “Demolition Geng” or “Geng Smash Smash”) took his office in 2008, he spread his belief to his people that only culture could save Datong instead of coal mining. He has to play the history card and put the “history” on the stage in order to save the dying city. Mayor Geng began to copy the city’s past—he demolished nearly all the houses inside the old city and replaced them with with newly built “ancient” replicas, relocated 50 million residents (72% of Datong Old City’s total population), and transformed the old city into a stage for the past and a tourist site where no actual people live in it. However, the past that he copied is a selective result, which could be recognised as a representation of “spatial cleansing”, as Michael Hertzfeld describes it, that tourists, locals, the governmental power, rich people and other higher classes “clean” the space in their own way for the sake of their own benefits. (Hertzfeld, 2006) What’s more, Geng thought the city’s future was lying in “copying the past”, but the “past” he chose to copy is segmentary, only representing one dynasty, which could be seen as a way of “temporal cleansing.” “Datong has to seize the opportunity. History won’t give Datong another chance.” 1 Mayor Geng said in seriousness in front of a camera. But in 2013, he was suddenly appointed to the provincial capital of Shanxi Province by central government and no one knows why. What Were Copied? What has been copied exactly in Datong’s case? According to “The Decisions on Protecting and Repairing Datong Old City” ( 关 于 大 1 Zhou, H. (Director). (n.d.). 2015. The Chinese mayor [Motion picture].

同古城保护和修复的决定 )2 enacted by the Standing Committee of Datong City People’s Congress in 2008, the “copy” project was divided to three steps based on the difficulty level of the work. In three to five years, all the historic buildings should be “repaired” or “restored” (here “copied” is a better word to define the project), including the old city walls, Daiwang Mansion ( 代王府 ), the State Office ( 府衙 ), Huayan Temple ( 华严寺 ), Shanhua Temple ( 善化寺 ), Fuwen Temple ( 府 文庙 ), Zong Zhen Shu (General Bureau of the county, 总镇署 ), and etc. All of these buildings for copying are highly selective, serving as centres of power in ancient Datong, which are described as “iconic, special and representative” in the official document. Based on the secondary source, there were “four streets, eight lanes and seventy-two alleys” in the Old City of Datong. According to incomplete statistics, during the process of restoration project, more than one-third of the streets, lanes and alleys have disappeared. Most of them were in residential areas. It also shows the imbalance between copying the architectures of the powerful and copying the architectures of normal residents. “In order to build a parking lot in front of the Daiwang Mansion, at least three alleys are torn down,” a resident said in disappointment in an interview. 3

to be added in newly built houses. The “copied past” is no longer the “real past”. “The past is a foreign country,” the famous historian and geographer David Lowenthal said. It is both because the past is distant from the present, and it is somehow distorted in narratives and representation by people today because of that distance (Lowenthal, 1985). What we have copied will always be the projection of the past upon the present. The imagined past is more as an alternative than a precedent. Just like the case of pseudo-classic city in Datong, the copied city walls and historic districts never belong to the past, but belong to the ongoing life of the city. As Lowenthal continues to argue in another essay, the ultimate objective as we distinguish this past from our present world, is simply present-centered. (Lowenthal, 1989)

In terms of the temporal dimension, the selections seem a little bit arbitrary. In the conception of Mayor Geng, the Old City of Datong which will be soon represented historically is a Ming Dynasty style city. But inside the Old City, Huayan Temple and Shanhua Temple were restored as Liao-Jin Dynasty style buildings, together with other historic districts in Ming-Qing Dynasty style. The act of copying is more like a collage of different periods, as long as there are “good stories” to tell. In this case, copying from the past is doomed to be a misplacement of history. Past, from both spatial and temporal perspectives, is largely tampered with, or chosen to be perceived or forgotten in its negotiation with the impact of modernization. What Types of Copying? Interestingly, the restoration process in Datong didn't follow the principles of Liang Sicheng—“repair the old as it is”, but was in search of another path—copy the old critically. In terms the old city walls, what were copied is the appearance of the wall (figure 1). The basic structure of the walls are made of cement instead of bricks, for the purpose of building tougher walls and save materials (figure 2). Besides, the copied historic buildings are taller than what they used to be, making it look bigger and more magnificent. Chimneys are left out in copied buildings, because heating installations are considered 2 Decisions on protecting and repairing Datong Old City. Retrieved from:, Dec 12 2015. 3 大同的文保逻辑 . 经济观察网 . Retrived from: http://www.eeo., Dec 12 2015. 4

figure 1.&2. Reconstructed City Walls in Datong (from Internet)

The Network of Power of Copying In the “constructing city movement” of China, copying a city’s past, which has become more and more popular among Chinese cities, is a governmental act. In the case of Datong, the former Mayor Geng Yanbo and former Secretary of Municipal Committee Feng Lixiang (Feng was held in detention because of corruption in 2014) were in charge of the pseudo-classic city construction project. these two figures are under the guidance of central government. In central government, basically two institutions direct, examine, authorise and give appropriation to the restoration work of Datong: Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, and State Administration of Cultural Heritage. Besides, since Datong was designated as National Famous Historical and Cultural City in 1982, it is under the supervision of Committee of National Historic Cultural City (an affiliated institution of the two departments mentioned above.) It is interesting to see that the officials of central government have criticised the impetuous and less gentle policies carried by Mayor Geng in 2011, but they didn’t stop it. Maybe because Mayor Geng has given them a solid reason to do his project. But after 5 years of rapid copying process, the central government made an unruly change of personnel, transferring Geng to another city without giving public a reason. That is the condition of political system in China: full of political arbitariness.

What’s more, two kinds of research groups supported the restoration work in Datong. One is official research group namely as Datong Old City Protection and Research Board (DOCPRB), the chairman of which is the former vice secretary of municipal committee, having close relationship with the government. The other kind is non-official research group such as Chinese Old Capital Research Institute who issued Datong as “the ninth old capital in China” in 2010 through “Datong Declaration”. In general, they are both the tongues and throats of the government. Cooperating with government for promoting Datong to be a “historic city” never does harm to themselves. So they copy the city’s past without doubt. Like Doreen Massey argues, “...what gives a place its specificity is not some long internalized history but the fact that it is constructed out of a particular constellation of social relations, meeting and weaving together at a particular locus.” (Massey, 1994) And these meeting and weaving-together social relations, as the embedded forces behind places, shape and reshape the copying process continuously, create a “persistent” but not “static” place identity.

figure 3. Network of power in Datong’s “copying” project (drawn by the author) 5

4 Why Copying from the Past Subjective Consciousness of Chinese Culture When the New Confucianism recalls the topic of “Chinese traditions” from the early 20th century, it is the time that Chinese traditional culture has been immensely impacted and challenged by the western ideas. Nowadays, China is rising and the Chinese people are increasingly realizing that western culture and so-called “universal values” have been largely dislocated and playing a relative ineffective role in the Chinese context. But continuous revolutions in China in the 20th century were destroying the traditions repeatedly and a breakage emerges between the past and the present. So in this critical period, the whole country is looking for its lost “subjective consciousness” of Chinese culture. “What makes China ‘China’?” An answer to the question is that, “China has a long and continuous history, which exactly made the China today.” Therefore suddenly, the Past turns to be countless treasures to the Chinese. Lost in the dizzying cultural changes that also left billions of citizens overwhelmed in China’s fastest-rising metropolises, people want to hold a memorial ceremony for the Past in order to find their cultural roots and regain the cultural confidences. The most direct way to do this is to copy from the past, providing a national identity for the country (so-called Chineseness, a root for itself, a validity and legitimacy), and maybe also providing individual identities for certain groups of people. That is reason why the culture of “copying from the past” is becoming more and more popular in all kinds of cultural fields in China, including building architectures and making cities. At a national level, the government supports a public face that emphasizes the unity of the past, and a sense of universality and timelessness, through adapting Chinese icons in making a traditional Chinese city and re-adapting the non-Chinese as symbols of cosmopolitanism. All of these could be copied easily. Indeed, a huge amount of cultural heritages are contained in the traditional culture that Chinese hope to copy entirely. However, being repeatedly destroyed by modern revolutions, the traditional culture couldn’t recover itself, even though it has a history of thousands of years. The subjective consciousness of Chinese culture, which the Chinese try to gain through copying from the past, turns to another solution—combining itself with imaginations of the past and modernism at present. As Datong embarked on a crash course of modernization, the city has assumed a mythical status for its past as an idealized image of glories, which can be seen as an “alternative modernism” at present. In this process, nostalgia for the “Old Datong City” facilitates a spatial imagination necessary for the process of modernization in Datong: the image of Old Datong City lies both in the past and in the future of this city. The subjective consciousness of traditional culture will be finally obtained through endless imaginations of the past as well as imaginations of the future, and copying from the

past is a critical and practical way to do it. Copying from the past, such nostalgic evocation is taken as a cultural stratagem to lessen the resistance towards urban renewal, and justify the legitimacy of the ongoing modern reconstruction. Ironically, in real life the act of copy is barely unveiling the breakage between the past and the present, and making the differences clearer. To some extent, copying promotes China to become a “museum” of times and spaces and the fragments of times and spaces become the new spectacle of China. A professor of comparative literature in Peking University— Dai Jinhua once commented: China is experiencing three spatialtemporal layers of history at the same time: pre-modern, modern and post-modern, which is morbid but also vigorous (figure 4).

consumerism. For the spreading of tourism and consumerism, copying from the past is just a tool. Or, a fool. Tourists are always seen as vulgar (Henry James, cited Pearce and Moscardo, 1986), for they continuously intrude the local residents’ everyday lives unmannerly and assume they understand part of the place’s culture in their own conceits, even only by touching several superficial landmarks of the place. However today, so-called “authentic” tourists’ experiences are getting more and more important. With the higher accessibility to information on tourists’ destinations, tourists are never satisfied with arriving at some landmarks and taking photos (even though Chinese tourists are still in favor of “I was here” mode), they are in endless process of pursuing “authenticity” (Urry, 1990) to live like the locals. In order to meet such need, copying the past provides a stage for the tourists to “explore” authentic experiences, distorts and mystifies history to make it digestible for tourists. Then both the tourists and copying participate in acting a play on that stage. In the case of Datong, it is pretty clear to see what the tourists consume is the spectacles of iconic Chinese features, such as the buildings with “big roofs”, courtyards made of grey bricks, etc. “This omnipresence of pastiche is…with a whole historically original consumers’ appetite for a world transformed into sheer images of itself and for pseudoevents and ‘spectacles’ (the term of the Situationists).” (Jameson, 1984) Besides that, copying also uses either anachronism or anachorism as rhetorical devices to present more traditional spectacles, such as the combination of Ming Dynasty style city walls and the Liao-Jin Dynasty style temple. “This situation evidently determines what the architecture historians call ‘historicism’, namely the random cannibalization of all the styles of the past, the play of random stylistic allusion.” (Jameson, 1984)

figure 4. Mechanism of copying in today’s China (drawn by the author) Tourism and Consumerism in the Era of Global Capitalism Tourism, as well as consumerism, is another aim of copying from the past. In his book “The Revenge of the Crystal” in 1999, Jean Baudrillard points out that the postmodern times are the period of “the end of production”. People encounter copies everywhere, and the copies are the extension of identical consumerism which are in conformity with the desire of interests and the logic of capitalism. Tourism is also wrapped up in the process of the third-world globalization through the copies of cultural-ideological form of

All in all, the traditional icons that tourism has brought and consumed create symbol values. “Icon-made” spectacles attract tourists’ eyes and involve itself in the era of global capitalism finally. This is what Mayor Geng exactly wants by saying “only culture could save Datong.” When he said that sentence, he meant that only tourism could save Datong, and copying the past, is a best way to regenerate culture, to attract tourism, and then to gain profits. It might be good to mention that the ticket to the Datong City Walls costs 5 dollars per person.

5 Tourists’ Attitudes Towards Copies in Datong

and “Dianping”2 (more local). I divide the reviewers into three groups based on their registration geographical infomation: foreign tourists, Chinese tourists and Datong locals. After scraping data from both websites by using an online tool “import. io”, finally I got 18 pieces of ratings/reviews from “TripAdvisor” (83.3% of the reviews are from foreign tourists) and 42 pieces of ratings/reviews from “Dianping” (100% of the reviews are from Chinese tourists and Datong locals) . Below is the general analysis of the data.

figure 5. Ratings in TripAdvisor

figure 6. Ratings in Dianping

If one of the major function of copying from the past is for entertaining the tourists, what are the tourists’ attitudes towards these copies? In this research, I choose the copied Datong City Walls as a case and do a study of the ratings and reviews of the copied city walls as a tourist destination. All the data of ratings and reviews of Datong are from two travelling websites: “TripAdvisor”1 (more international)

For “TripAdvisor”, the average rating of Datong City Walls is 3.61 stars; and for “Dianping”, the average is 3.40 stars. It can be concluded that the rating of Datong City Walls from foreign tourists is slightly higher than it from Chinese tourists/locals. It is also shown in figure 5 and figure 6 that reviewers mainly choose “5/4/3” stars (literally means “excellent”/“very good”/ “good”) to rating the copied city walls and seldom choose “2/1” star(s) which means “general”/“bad”.

4 TripAdvisor:

5 Dianping 大众点评网 :


To be more specific, after dividing all the reviewers into three groups: foreign tourists, Chinese tourists and Datong locals, we could see an interesting result of the ratings. The relationship of average ratings from three groups is: foreign tourists > Datong locals > Chinese tourists. A possible explanation will be that foreign tourists lack of knowledge of local culture are more likely to be attracted by traditional Chinese icons such as copied city walls. Chinese tourists (excluding locals) are the ones that keep the most skeptical eyes on copies.

table 1. Ratings of Datong City Walls from 3 categories


chart 1. Relationship between ranks of reviewers and the ratings In terms of the reviewers, the experiences and knowledges of travelling might influence the ratings and reviews. Senior travellers may have a more critical eye on the tourist destinations and could distinguish the copies from the origins easier than travellers without many experiences. Therefore, I analyze the relationship between ranks of reviewers and the ratings on both websites. The rank of a reviewer is an indicator of tourists’ experiences on both websites, depending on the number of reviews/attraction reviews/helpful votes. From chart 1, it shows that the ones who give 3 stars to Datong City Walls have the highest rank on the websites and the ones who give 1 star to Datong city walls have the lowest rank. And we could also see the trend that tourists who have more experiences on travelling are more likely to give good ratings to Datong City Walls. That means the copied Datong City Walls are acceptable or even appreciated in the minds of senior tourists.

6 Conclusions The concept of copying and the attitude towards it are always changing. Copies have been a powerful cultural force in every age, for the purpose of making the past known to a large public (Homburg, 1996), declaring a faith in the past, regaining subjective consciousness of culture, attesting identity and affirming worth for certain group of people, so it is described by Lowenthal as “a mountain of false information” and is doomed to be biased. The past is also appropriated, dislocated, remobilised through copying by the process of modernization and capitalization which have the dynamics of ever widening economic, political and social networks. These networks, are increasingly significant in cities worldwide and are often made use of by tourism and other forms of commodification of the past, which we should be vigilant about. What’s more, copying is a kind of transformation of restoration, and could be seen as a legitimate function of government (the past is as a tool), and stresses that the ideal of beauty and order has already been legitimated and integrated into the power structure in unmistakable terms to state, officials and citizens (Whitehill, 1966). David Lowenthal argues that material preservation is an illusion, saving old things is against the spirit of modernity (Lowenthal, 1989). He also analyzes material preservation’s alternatives: fragments, process and representation and appeals to learn from some ancient civilizations such as China, whose people long took for granted that spiritual continuity far transcends the physical world. The contemporary copies of Chinese traditional architectures and cities, as a form of material preservation, have overlooked the spiritual continuity in the Chinese traditions and misplaced the Chinese past. But is this misplacement a fragmentation of the past, which would further become a kind of “critical” way thinking about the Chinese past and adapting the past to the present? The original past has been transformed to a copy of itself and the copies become the new originals. The cultural subjectivity is rewritten through the transformation of origins and copies. Maybe it is the time to abandon any distinction between original and copy and explore the intersection of identities caused by copying with an eye to their social, political implications and complications.

Fairbank W. 1994. Liang and Lin—— Partners in Exploring China's Architectural Past. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Fong, Wen. 1962. Problem of forgeries in chinese painting. Ascona, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae. Herzfeld, M. 2006. Spatial cleansing: Monumental vacuity and the idea of the west. Journal of Material Culture 11 (1-2): 127-49. Homburg, Cornelia. 1996. The copy turns riginal : Vincent van gogh and a new approach to traditional art practice. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Jameson, Fredrick, 1984. Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism. Studies, 29, p.54. Liang, Sicheng. 1935. 曲阜孔廟建築及其修葺計劃 ,. Beiping: 中國 營造學社 ; Zhongguo ying zao xue she. Liang, Sicheng. 梁 思 成 . 1963. 閑 話 文 物 建 筑 的 重 修 与 維 护 . Cultural Relics(7): 5-10. Lowenthal, David. 1989. The timeless past: Some anglo- american historical preconceptions. The Journal of American History 75 (4): 1263-80. Lowenthal, David. 1985. The past is a foreign country. Cambridge England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press. Rowe, Peter G. 2002. Architectural encounters with essence and form in modern china, ed. Seng Kuan. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Ryckmans, Pierre. 1986. The chinese attitude towards the past. Canberra: Australian National University. Schwartz, Hillel. 1996. The culture of the copy : Striking likenesses, unreasonable facsimiles. New York: Zone Books.


Urry, John. 2003. The ‘consumption’of tourism. The consumption reader, pp.117-121.

Baudrillard, Jean. 1999. Revenge Of The Crystal-Classic Edition: Selected Writings on the Modern Object and Its Destiny, 1968-1983. Pluto Press.

Wang Fengzhen, and Xie Shaobo. 2006. Globalization and the reproduction of culture and space in china. 社会科学 (1): 154-63.

Benjamin, Walter. 1969. Illuminations, eds. Hannah Arendt, Harry Zohn. 1st Schocken pbk. ed. ed. New York: Schocken Books. Danto, Arthur Coleman. 2000. The madonna of the future : Essays in a pluralistic art world. 1st ed. ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 7

Whitehill, Walter Muir. 1966. The right of cities to be beautiful. Zhou, H. (Director). (n.d.). 2015. The Chinese mayor [Motion picture].

Quantitative Research

Health-Care Equality in the Aging New York City

Group Work Collaborators: Xinhui Li, Yue Shi, Yuanjie Li, Vipavee Sirivatanaaksorn SES5407 Spatial Analytics of the Built Environment Instructor: Andres Sevtsuk November, 2015

This project studies health services (hospitals/daycare center/senior centers) as resources and investigate how elderly residents aged 65+ in New York City can access services from their places of residence. High

Accessibility Analysis: 2012 Home Sales - Home Values + Street Network (ArcGIS Closest Facility Tool) Routes to Closes Senior Centers Routes to Closest Hospitals


Accessibility to hospitals/senior centers from block groups: 1. Gravity from household to hospitals/senior centers 2. Capacity of hospitals/senior centers

Accessibility to Senior Centers From Block Groups

Shorter Distance

Longer Distance



Accessibility Analysis 11

Accessibility to Hospital From Block Groups

Big Aggregate Data of Social Activities

Group Work SES5407 Spatial Analytics of the Built Environment Instructor: Andres Sevtsuk Collaborators: Xinhui Li, Yue Shi, Yuanjie Li, Vipavee Sirivatanaaksorn December, 2015 Introduction: Hubway, as a bike sharing system providing more than 1,300 bikes at 140 stations throughout Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville , is used by not only tourists but also local residents to fit their various needs on commuting in the city. However, commuting after drinking at a bar at late night is often overlooked by researchers. Because of drunk driving being banned from the law and it is not very safe walking at night, people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have many choices on transportation back home after drinking. Due to our daily observation, some people will choose to use Hubway as a convenient way to go back home after having fun at a bar. But, obviously, drunk riding bikes at night is potentially dangerous. There is data showing that 13% of cyclists killed on the roads were above the legal limit for alcohol - whether or not alcohol was a factor in their deaths. So it is interesting to see the relationship between temporal pattern of using Hubway and bars (numbers, rates, reviews, etc,.). Study Area: Harvard Square & Union Square Harvard sqaure is a place of interest that is frequently visited by both local residents and visitors. As a result the restaurants and bars around it are of better quality and attract more patronages. Union Sqaure is surrounded by residential areas and the restaurants and bars around it basically attract less patronages compared with Harvard Sqaure. Datasets: Hubway: 1. Arrivals and departures from 7pm to 3am next day; GooglePlaces: 1. All the restaurants and bars around the two squares;

See more details at: 12

Yelp: 1. Number of reviews of all the restaurants and bars around the two squares; 2. Average rates of all the restuarants and bars around the two squares; (Hypothesis: the consumption each person per time in a bar is approximate the same.)

The temporal pattern of each square are not the same. For Harvard Square, in most of the days of a week, the number of rentals just drops down from 9PM to 3AM (except a little peak at around 12PM on Friday). However, for Union Square, the variation of Hubway rentals between weekdays and weekends (here weekends include Thursday) has different patterns. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, there is no peak at night. But on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, a peak emerges around 11PM-12PM. The difference of temporal pattern between the two squares might be due to the reason that Harvard Square has adequate mass transits at night (T-station and more bus services), but Union Square doesn't provide sufficient public tranportation at night, so more people choose to use hubway around Union Square after they have fun at a pub. Therefore, we think that the potential drunk riders are more likely to appear in pub areas where sufficient night-time mass transits are not provided. Government should pay more attention to these areas to prevent bicycle traffic accidents at night. 13

Art Work










Individual Work: "Breakthrough" Acrylic Wall Painting at Gund, GSD VIS2448 Painting for Designers: Techniques, Methods and Concepts Instructor: Ewa Harabasz April, 2016 16

"Texture", 24"x24"oil painting on canvas, 2016

"Memories", 20"x20"oil painting on canvas, 2016


"Red-Brick Museum", acrylic painting with body movements, May, 2016 18












Simulacrascape in China

Individual Work Summer Research Funded by MDes Final Project Award July, 2016

"Hallstatt See" (a copied Austrian town), Huizhou, China

World Park, Beijing, China


"Hallstatt See" (a copied Austrian town), Huizhou, China

World Park, Beijing, China

















This non-linear maze book was an attempt to explore the possibilities of generating abstract narratives through form.

Title: Zooscape Photographs: collected from performing a tag search of "animals" within the American Professional Photographers Collection (APPC).

The Song of Lunch is a nostalgic narrative poem, telling a story of a publishing editor who has lunch with an old flame in a Soho restaurant. The first part of this poem expresses the nuanced feeling of "a larger excruciation" and "breaking free" of middle class in the modern ages. That is also analogical to the conditions of animals.

Text: A poem--"The Song of Lunch"--written by Christopher Reid, 2009 2





















offences against











the dead




















its on;
















His colleagues won’t be seeing him for the rest of the afternoon.



2 i “gone








emptily, he


enclosed and


downwards to







shuts the door









the sleeping of


dog his departure

With not











bound and


he To

is meet




own hurries

free! person at



juncture would





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Boya guo portfolio  
Boya guo portfolio