Episode #932

Made in China

Entire program originally aired: November 16, 2007

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Studio 360 Episode 932, Made in China Chen Xing singing his “The Drifter's Song” (Gideon D'Arcangelo)

China’s global spotlight didn’t start with the Olympics; its openness to cultural expression has been making waves worldwide. Hear about China’s strategy for remaking its public image in time for the Games. Meet a musician who sings of the woes of 100 million migrant workers who have left rural homes for China's booming cities. And Kurt Andersen talks with Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee, who negotiates the divide between Shanghai and Hollywood.

Branding Songzhuang

Some years back, a group of artists were hounded out of Beijing by authorities. Some went to Songzhuang village, a farming town an hour away. Now, that village is a boomtown –- based on the market for contemporary Chinese art. Communist officials drink beer with bohemians. Will the ...

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Soft Power

China’s government has a strategy of using “soft power” to improve the country’s image –- promoting the arts, building language schools abroad, and, of course, remaking Beijing itself for the Olympics. But it’s a strategy with some pitfalls. Kurt talks with Orville Schell, a journalist and scholar ...

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Overseas Chinese

A generation of Chinese artists left the country in the 1980s and 90s. Some found great success in the west, but China still looms large in their minds. Lu Olkowski talks with artists about why calligraphy and ink drawing seem so 21st century.

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Poetry from the People

A few weeks ago, after featuring actor Bill Murray’s passion for poetry, we asked you to send us your favorite poems. Kurt calls up a few listeners -– including a surprise celebrity listener -- to tell us theirs.

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Migrant Workers Lovesong

100 million Chinese have left rural homes to work in the booming cities of northern China. Their lives are hard, dangerous, and lonely. Songwriter Chen Xing wants to soothe their troubled minds. Produced by Gideon D’Arcangelo.

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Bonus Track: "Drifter's Song"

"Drifter's Song" from Chen Xing's album New Ballads for Migrant Workers. (Guangdong Provincial Record Co. Ltd.)

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Ang Lee

The director's latest film, Lust, Caution, is set in World War II Shanghai, occupied by Japan. As if a Chinese movie by a Taiwanese director wasn’t edgy enough, the film is so erotic it made Ang Lee himself intensely uncomfortable. Kurt talks with Lee and ...

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