chapter  8
Worlding through shanzhai: the evolving art cluster of Dafen in Shenzhen, China
Pages 16

Introduction For many Chinese cities, urban initiatives of negotiating a position in the global landscape of power are frequently caught in two entangled circulations: the low vector of global intersections involving migrant labourers, petty traders, trivial commodities (Mathews, 2011); and high-profile citational practices that borrow symbolic images from established brands and/or advanced cities (Ong, 2011b). Perhaps it is the two happening in tandem that leads to the emergence of so-called shanzhai industries and shanzhai global cities. Shanzhai, the Chinese term for ‘fake’, has triggered heated debates since 2008.Scholars have revealed that shanzhai entails multiple layers, from resemblance to subversion (Chubb, 2015; Wu, 2010; Zhang and Fung, 2013), while the shanzhai global city may be a valuable field to reveal the situated urbanisation of Chinese cities (de Kloet and Scheen, 2013), where all cities are treated as ordinary (Robinson, 2006).