Thursday, March 15, 2007

Está en Chino!

I should stop pretending being a designer and become a Clarivoyant Wise Shaolin Sensei and give advise to bring much needed enlightenment (and some common sense) to urban planners. For many years I've been saying that Auckland needs a Chinatown, or better yet an "AsianTown". Every time we go to the supermarket or stores in New Market, I visualize that zone as a 'pedestrian only' AsianTown. It has already a big Chinese market... that's where we buy fish and Yakult every week. One of the streets is full of asian restaurants and stores... So it's half way there. Another idea is to have a chinese and bollywood only movie theatre... who knows, maybe the so called (watties) Spaghetti Junction could become a 'Chow mein noodles motorway' one day. That would be better than spaghetti pies or spaghetti on toast bread!
No ChinatownThe Long March , Cultural Signals and Gus Fisher Gallery are inviting entries from all interested parties to a competition and public exhibition aimed at imagining a Chinatown built for Auckland on the infamous waterfront site.

A familiar and historically rich example of cultural displacement and reassertion, Chinatown is seen here as a metaphorical site to explore general notions of performed and constructed identity as well as a specific cultural example with localised resonance in Auckland’s own recent history of Asian immigration. No Chinatown will revolve around the premise of Auckland considering a relationship to Chinatown.
  • Should we have a Chinatown?
  • Do we in fact already have many Chinatowns?
  • What constitutes a Chinatown or any cultural identification with place?
No Chinatown will raise these questions and the space for any number of simultaneous answers, at times lamenting a lack, proposing an action, at others giving voice to confusion or resisting an over-determination. While proposed designs for sites other than the waterfront will be welcomed, we suggested this site to open up dialogue in relation to reclaimed land and recent issues such as the foreshore debate, the coastal real estate boom, and of course the use of civic space in relation to our own national identity, so hotly debated with the proposed Rugby World Cup stadium.
You can download the brief and information/application pack at Cultural Signals or get a "takeaway" form at the Gallery and build your own model/entry with the materials provided on site. It's free to participate.

Jaa ne
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Blogger Axl Kun said...

Hey there!

just wanted to let you know that "Shaolin Sensei" is not quite an appropriate expression. Shaolin is Chinese and Sensei is japanese. Maybe "Shaolin Sifu"? ;-)

Have a good one!


7:57 AM  
Blogger Fernando said...

I guess that means that I CAN'T be a good "Shaolin Sensei" because I have no idea how to say Sensei in Chinese... nor a Sumo Sensei, because I lack the body... which reminds me of a German (Austrian) song that goes something like :

Ich bin ein Mischung, die ist ziemlich lecker, aus Alber Einstein und Arnold Schwarzenegger
soweit so gut, doch das Dumme ist nur, ich hab schwarzenegger´s Hirn und von Einstein die Figur

I guess, I will remain a simple designer...

mata ne

1:46 AM  

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