With its emergence as a global power, China aspires to transform from made in China to created in China. Mobilised as a crucial source for solid growth and soft power, creativity has become part of the new China Dream. Boredom, Shanzhai, and Digitisation in the Time of Creative China engages with the imperative of creativity by aligning it to three interrelated phenomena: boredom, shanzhai, and digitisation. How does creativity help mitigate boredom? Does boredom incubate creativity? How do shanzhai practices and the omnipresence of fake goods challenge notions of the original and the authentic? Which spaces for expressions and contestations has China’s fast-developing digital world of Weixin, Taobao, Youku, and Internet Plus Policy opened up? Are new technologies serving old interests? Essays, dialogues, audio-visual documents, and field notes, from thinkers, researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers, examine what is going on in China now, ultimately to tease out its implication to our understanding of creativity.
Jeroen de Kloet is Professor at the Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and affiliated to the School of Music and Recording Arts, Communication University of China. De Kloet’s publications cover Chinese popular music and youth cultures. His ERC project concerns creative practices in China.