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China's 'weird' buildings: President Xi Jinping wants no more of them

During a literary symposium in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged architects to produce work with "artistic and moral value."

October 23, 2014 |
The Guangzhou Circle.

During a literary symposium in Beijing last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping read a two-hour speech addressing Chinese architects and artists who have contributed to China’s sizable stock of avant-garde structures.

Architects, along with authors, actors, script writers, and dancers, were urged by the president to not pursue commercial success at the expense of producing work with artistic and moral value, national news agency Xinhua reports. For architects specifically, the president encouraged them not to “engage in weird building.”

In his speech, Jinping said that art should “be like sunshine from the blue sky and the breeze in spring that will inspire minds, warm hearts, cultivate taste, and clean up undesirable work styles.”

He also reminisced how art and literature during his childhood—a period when China was going through the so-called Cultural Revolution—was more respectful to history.

Many news agencies, both Chinese and International, interpreted the president’s speech as a call to more patriotic, socialist, and nationalistic art closer to traditional Chinese aesthetics.

Hong Kong-based news agency Wen Wei Po says it means China won’t have any more da kuzi (“big pants”) in the future, the nickname Chinese Web denizens used for Rem Koolhas’ CCTV building in Beijing.


The Guangzhou Circle. Wikimedia Commons/Amprogetti


The CCTV Building in Beijing has been nicknamed "Big Pants." Wikimedia Commons/Verdgris

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