The last ten years have seen a genuine transformation in China's arts world, as a large sector that used to be dependent almost exclusively on government funding has been downsized into the maelstrom of the market, leaving survivors to navigate not only China's rapidly changing market forces but also the vagaries of state preferences and political vacillations.

This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy take a closer look at what these changes have done to both larger and smaller arts studios, in conversation with Alison Friedman. As the founder of Ping Pong Productions, an organization at the crossroads of the Western and Chinese art worlds, Alison has spent the last several years helping Chinese performers find work outside China while also setting up tours and collaborations for performers visiting the country from abroad. She has an insider's view on the arts scene here that has made her one of the only foreigners regularly consulted by the Chinese Ministry of Culture for her expertise in China's contemporary performing arts. We are delighted to have her in our studio.

Enjoy Sinica? As always, let us remind you that if you'd care to subscribe to Sinica via iTunes, you can do this by clicking on the "Advanced" file menu and selecting the option "Subscribe to Podcast". iTunes will show a popup prompting you to enter the URL of your desired podcast, at which point you should enter We also encourage all listeners to download the Sinica show as a standalone mp3 file for listening or sharing with friends. Enjoy!
 said on
August 9, 2013


1. The writings of Claire Conceison on theatre in China

2. The writings of Emily Wilcox on dance in China

3. Go see The Red Detachment of Women


Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization - Originally published as How to Win a Cosmic War, by Reza Aslan


The Music of Zhu Zhongqing (朱中庆) at 

The Crab Song (螃蟹歌) by Zhu Zhongqing

(see: end of the episode)

 said on
August 17, 2013
That was good. And on a broadly related note, how about a show on Ai Wei Wei's rather unusual position in China?
 said on
September 25, 2013
+1 Good idea, Ai WeiWei would make a good story here too! Will.
Mark Lesson Studied