Sinofuturism (1839 - 2046 AD) by Lawrence Lek, London

London – Speculative artist Lawrence Lek has created a visual essay exploring the concept of Sinofuturism.

  • Sinofuturism embraces seven key stereotypes about Chinese society, including computing, copying, gaming, studying, addiction, labour and gambling
  • The aim is to show how China’s technological development can be seen as a form of artificial intelligence

In the same way that the philosophy of Afrofuturism uses culture as a medium through which to critique negative attitudes to people of colour, so too Sinofuturism interrogates and re-examines how the Western media embraces stereotypes about the Chinese being dangerous, tacky and cheap.

Lek’s playful video piece combines elements of science fiction, documentary melodrama, social realism and Chinese cosmologies in order to subvert cultural clichés and explore the present-day dilemmas of China and the people of its diaspora.

‘Sinofuturism is a spectre already embedded into a trillion industrial products, a billion individuals and a million veiled narratives,’ explains Lek. ‘Because Sinofuturism has arisen without conscious intention or authorship, it is often mistaken for contemporary China. But it is not. It is a science fiction that already exists.’

The Big Picture

With third-wave globalisation we are moving towards a world in which transnationalism is the norm. But there are still cultural barriers to overcome. For more see our New Bricolage Living macrotrend.