Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald shows his wares. A computer graphic.

detail The Cartoon generation is Huang's term for kids born after the end of the Cultural revolution in 1976, and the "opening" which soon followed. These youth have a lifelong love affair with American lifestyle. China's generation gap is an abyss.

Detail: Koons, Haring, & Mickey

detail Huang divides Chinese society along age lines. The old geezers lived through post revolutionary times and Mao's great leaps in every direction; the middle group was defined by the Cultural Revolution; and the coming generation grew up loving cartoons.

Detail: Cindy

detail The group of artists gathered around Huang call themselves The Cartoon Generation. They want their art to groove with the kids, and bridge the gap to the gray hairs that run the show.

Detail: Kids of the Cartoon Generation

Huang holding poster that avows his love for Bugs Bunny.

The poster was plastered on walls and mailed all over China.


Beautiful Girls Fight Transformers (on a Chinese chessboard)

The story here is Japan and America fighting for economic primacy in China. Who does Huang favor, the pretty babes or the nasty transformers?



Installation Fast Food


The stir-fry wok still predominates in Chinese cuisine, but McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Japanese just-add-water Ramen noodles are disconcertingly popular. (Pizza Hut does well too, but it's upscale here.)

Feng Feng Feng is sure that fast food and condoms are the most popular items in China.

On another worrisome note, a scene on a popular TV soap has a youth berating his father for never taking him to McDonald's, never buying him a deep dish pizza.

Feng Feng with rice pot.

Here in Guangzhou, in the markets teeming with live animals, insects, and seafood, the old ways still hold: The Guangzhounese will eat anything that flies, except airplanes; and anything that has legs, except tables and chairs.


Stir-fry has acquired a pejorative connotation in China. Speculators on the Hong Kong stock exchange "stir-fry" a security by buying and selling the stock among themselves, bidding it up, until these manipulators unload the shares on a few losers.

Worse still (for the byline of these dispatches), Chinese eating habits are changing. A more up-to-date title would be "deep-fry."


Weng Fen's view of modern sex in China has nothing at all to do with traditional erotic paintings, known to Chinese as "spring palace."

Installation 'Made By Human Society' Installation
"Made By Human Society"

Weng depicts the rapidly changing sexual mores of Chinese society as follows: photos gleaned from Playboy and Hong Kong erotic mags are crossed with close-up shots of diseased genitalia, annotated with comments, "intercourse from erotic tape" and "hip of a charming young woman".

Boy meets girl The images cover three light box mounted on mannequin legs, planted in a school library. Torn books litter the floor. Weng points out that the photos are progressive -- along with female nudes is a male body.

Detail: Boy meets girl

Weng speaks passionately about his work. He places the installation in the Hainan University library because sex and books are both part of culture. No message is intended, Weng insists. He is simply showing how recent political reforms have affected sex.

previous dispatch next dispatch