Friday Late: Sino Flux at the VICTORIA AND ALBERT Museum

The original contemporary late night event, Friday Late celebrates all aspects of contemporary visual culture and design in society, bringing audiences face-to-face with leading and emerging artists and designers through live performance, film, installation, debate, DJs and late-night exhibition openings.

As plans are afoot to construct a new Silk Road and the world’s largest airport is being built in Beijing, this month’s Friday Late event, hosted on 24th November 2017, looks at how China is reshaping its position in today’s globalised world. You will uncover a rural rebellion as Chinese artists abandon cities to create new village communities, watch trail blazing female Imams from China’s Muslim community, and discover how new notions of gender fluidity and sexuality are empowering artists. There’s also a chance to get your hands dirty crafting the perfect dumpling and build your own robot from the electronics of Shenzhen. So go along and celebrate the contemporary art, design, sounds and states of China in flux.

Performances include:

DJ Qiu
Cromwell Road, Grand Entrance
Bringing signature sounds and feel-good tracks straight from her SOAS Radio show Bang Bang Bang De Qiao Men Sheng, Tessa Qiu lines up a DJ set packed with funky beats from China’s electronic underground. Tonight she will be spinning an eclectic mix of independent sounds from across PRC’s different regions, eras and genres, exploring the Chinese diaspora and showcasing the amazing variety of music scenes thriving in China today. |

Cromwell Road, Grand Entrance
Walk through an installation of dreamy and ethereal portraits by photographer Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee. Reimaging the impact of the Great Wall of China, this photography series imagines a wall built by the hands and minds of women today, and explores an alternative Chinese history in an attempt to subvert and satirise the fetishisation of Asian women. |

Rapid Response Collecting
China, Room 44, The T.T. Tsui Gallery
18.30, 19.30, 20.30
Rapid Response Collecting brings contemporary objects that touch the world of design and manufacturing into the Museum. Join Alice Power, V&A Assistant Curator, to discover recent acquisitions through a Chinese lens. Think making, labour, technology and politics: get a unique behind the scenes view into the V&A collection and learn about China’s growing global influence. @MsAMPower

Sky In Their Eyes: The Antelope in a Vanishing Landscape
The Raphael Cartoons, Room 48a
19.00, 20.00, 21.00
Using extreme billowing shapes and innovative material manipulation, designer Rui Xu blends ancient Chinese dress and contemporary couture. Watch 11 masked dancers tell the story of the antelope in an intricate performance that explores the character of ‘Junzi’, aka the gentleman. The antelope’s habitat was once vast and wild but is under threat by the rapid expansion of China’s cities. Xu’s unique costumes, newly composed score and chorography, unravel the story of the impact of urbanization on these majestic creatures. | @ruixufashion

Making Places in Countryside and City
Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre for arts education
Driven by an urge to connect with rural life, artist-turned-activist Ou Ning has brought economic and cultural development to the village of Bishan, which was struggling to survive China’s rapid urbanisation. Join Ou Ning and Zara Arshad, V&A Research Assistant and Founder of Design China, as they question the role of the artist in gentrification and rural revival, what practical utopianism really means, and whether artivism can truly connect local communities. | @ouninginstagram

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Dumpling Pipeline
Art Studio, Sackler Centre for arts education
18.30, 20.30
Please note this workshop has limited capacity. Sign up from 18.00 in The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Sculpture Gallery, Room 21a
Dumplings have special meaning for children from Chinese families. They are little pockets of flavour, full of emotion, warmth and memories of family occasions. With each province having their own unique style, dumplings can tell you a lot about the food culture and customs of China. Join best friends and self-taught chefs from Islington’s Chinese Laundry Room as they teach you to how to fill, fold and perfect your very own feast of dumplings. | @chinese_laundryroom

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Electronic, Robotic
Lunchroom, Sackler Centre for arts education
18.30, 19.00, 19.30, 20.30, 21.00
Join designer and engineer Ross Atkin to build your own moving robot with components sourced from the legendary Huaqiangbei electronics market in Shenzhen. Explore the relationship between manufacturing and design in the UK and China, whilst exploiting your craft skills to create your own robot future. What will your creation tell us about the world we live in now and what robots might look like in the future? | @CraftyRobot | @rossatkin

Cities of the Future: Architecture and Urban Planning In China
Lecture Theatre, Level 4, The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Join V&A Curator of Architecture and Urbanism Rory Hyde, as he explores the impact and influence of Chinese architecture in the twenty first century. In this panel discussion question the rapid expansion and growth of China’s mega cities, the impact new modes of urban planning are having on China’s citizens, and what this might mean for cities and their inhabitants in the future. @roryhyde

Fashion, Room 40
Daikon* is a zine that seeks to build creative and political voices for East and South East Asian women and non-binary people in European context. Join the team as they explore the complexities of their multi-faceted Asian identities and share stories that celebrate their intersectional experiences. Preview the new queer issue zine, watch a programme of short films and participate in an interactive mural. | @daikon.zine

Purely Beautiful New Era
Sculpture 1300–1600, Room 25
Explore upturned ideas of female masculinity, stereotype and traditional notions of Asian identity with Whiskey Chow, Drag King and Chinese activist. Subverting the conventional makeup techniques of Chinese opera, watch Whiskey perform masculinity. With dumbbells in hand, Whiskey challenges notions of gender and shows the beauty of identities that blur boundaries. There will also be a chance to watch a new animation created in collaboration with digital artist Haocheng Wu as part of the performance.

AAA Cargo
Prince Consort Gallery, Room 110
Distribution networks are expanding across vast regions of China and Europe. The Chinese government’s efforts to speed up trade collide with more-than-human choreographies of sand, people and goods. Trace the movements of the New Silk Road in this spellbinding documentary, as it cuts through the Chinese landscape to reveal how desert sands, made restless by Westerly winds, disrupt roads, railways and even whole towns. | @solveigsuess

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Scroll Through Sketches
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 50b, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery
Inspired by the Hong Kong new wave and Cantonese films, illustrator Joey Yu brings her distinctively effortless, sketch-like style to this interactive live drawing session. Portraying bustling streets, from London to China, watch as this evolving landscape is captured on one continuous piece of paper. Join the ever-growing scroll and have your portrait or conversation captured through drawing.
@itsjoeyyu | 

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Image credit:

Medieval & Renaissance, Room 64b, The Simon Sainsbury Gallery
Smartphones and the selfie have changed portrait photography forever. While undertaking an artist residency in China, photographer Teresa Eng created a series of images that combine selfies taken on the phone of her subjects with more traditional portraits shot on medium format film. View portraits submitted by the public for the Friday Late to question outward expressions of self and the use of retouching apps. Join Teresa Eng as she talks about her practice and how a sense of self is shaped and manipulated in our digital world. | @teresaeng

Widow Radio Ching
Sacred Silver and Stained Glass, The Whiteley Galleries
Listen to a live transmission straight from China. Returning to the birthplace of the notorious pirate widow Ching, this live radio show transports you to market soundscapes from the backstreets of the Pearl River Delta to a late night community known as Seong Jeong Toi. Listen in, as they weave narratives and trace stories of self-organised production and myths of the market. |

An Alternate View
Europe 1600 – 1815 Galleries, The Salon, Room 4
Showcasing fresh talent and embracing new forms, listen to a series of readings which explore identity. Join the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and selected speakers to celebrate the art of the written word. @CFCCA_UK |

China: Outside, Looking In
Fashion, Room 40
Join us in the Fashion galleries as we present a rolling programme of short films exploring different stories from across China. Selected films explore a range of issues relating to Chinese identity, pushing us to see beyond and outside of the norm.

Films include Last Call to Prayer, Pink Dads and Africans in Yiwu:

Last Call to Prayer
Fashion, Room 40
China’s Hui people are the only followers of Islam where women are able to serve as Imams and spiritual leaders. Look inside the lives of Hui women and what the practice, and the religion, means to them. Unearth how this 300-year-old custom sets them apart in Islam and see how they face the upheaval of economic development and cultural shifts. The film was supported and first published by ChinaFile.
@kemc | @sharronlovell | @chinafile

Pink Dads
Fashion, Room 40
Four Chinese fathers talk openly about their experiences of having lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children. Speaking out against the discrimination and stigma faced by the LGBT community, these fathers are redefining what it means to be the head of the household in Chinese society, becoming pioneer activists in the fight for equality. | @QueerComrades

Africans in Yiwu
Fashion, Room 40
Yiwu is China’s testing ground for a multicultural city. Signs at the train station are in Chinese, English and Arabic, and the government is considering teaching Arabic in public schools due to the increased number of traders from the Middle East and North Africa. Trace the stories of people who migrated, resettled and adapted within this city and Chinese society.

Friday 24th November 2017 from 18.30 – 22.00

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All events are free and places are designated on a first-come, first-served basis, unless stated otherwise.