dåy dreåm genêsïs • the untöld tåle øf //а$iåп dੰρε βةًчz//
Perhaps it was a morning in May, sometime around noon. The smell of laurels and leprosy permeated the air. The air was wet, steamed with polymorphous daylight that showered the pilgrims of the universe, dated all the way back to 11th century b.c. everything dispersed, flew into impermanence along with the Ganges river. but it was a frozen moment when the idea of ‘asian dope boys’ came into his mind — before he abandoned himself to dreams, he was having breakfast at a small hotel in varanasi.
“It could be interpreted in various ways. there’s no fixed definition.” this is how tianzhuo chen, one of the asian dope boys speaks about @asian_dope_boys (aka adb)— the Shanghai based creative collective which is now pur(r)-ging the current youth underground world, radiating its sonar incarnation from one of the most impossible places on earth - the p.r.c., and it has absolutely nothing to do with politics.
In fact, it doesn't really matter where it first started or where it is based or, even what it is. The boys seem to be much more relaxed about the discursive discourse of what they came up with in 2016. When interviewed two years ago, Tianzhuo revealed the importance of distancing adb from any artistic practices: ‘…asian dope boys is purely a party label. it is anything but an art project.’ baby china yu once upon a time also tried to verbalize the process of development in adb:“…we started to make fun clothes..then we thought why not throw out an after party, since we enjoy clubbing, our models enjoy clubbing, our friends too. and then we infused the party with some things we love and are good at, for example music and performance. Then we started to invite our friends from all over the world to be part of it…”
I recall the boys were busy with preparing adb’s three-year anniversary in Shanghai. When asked again about the nature of adb, tianzhuo replied, ‘whatever’. this playful, yet serious ‘whatever’ illustrates the growth of asian dope boys. Throughout the various ecstatic-hyper-dionysus moments they created together over the few years in ‘whatever’ forms: be it performance, party, concert, workshop, fashion show, in ‘whatever’ city: Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhuo, Shenzhen, Berlin, Munich, New York, Leeds, Zurich, Amsterdam, adb shifts itself in between tangible dimensions becoming something transcendent. it is the imperative of imperative of imperative of the cooked contingent cult; the (one and only) pathway squeezed into abstract itinerary tripping into space, and a ‘hyper-object’ (Timothy Morton would agree on this) that cannot be reduced into language, existing autonomously in its own, a curated day dream reality.
In a sense, what I am trying to do here is futile. except, again, perhaps (in a derridean sense) I could come back to my pure curiosity and ask the fundamental question — why asian dope boys? ‘…it was all about the Shiva’s revelation,’ the (buddhist) Tianzhuo speaks, softly, sincerely, half-joking, ‘I remembered that I was at this little hotel in Varanasi, having breakfast.’ or, simply, axiomatically, it is about making the girls, the boys, and everything in between and beyond.
m . o. v. e.
Nevertheless, the tale goes like this…
//Doors open. purple clouds burst out of the mental gates for the moment of explosion. they cannot wait to get out — for the encounter of curious minds, and the chemical reactions with the fresh unpredictable human molecules. (as if) they have been awaited for a million years.
You are queueing, showing the ticket to the door man while being told to store your big heavy school bag in the cloakroom. A glimpse of the mysterious purple light escaping from the unknown space fascinates you, but you have to head the opposite direction for the sake of following certain facility rules — a shout from the (socially constructed) reality slows you down. However you cannot help turning around your head for another glimpse. You hear the beats before the music. you hear the music before your (own performative) entrance.
The beats grow, expand, wrap you up when you explore the space as if they are coming from underground. Through the purple smokey clouds you discover the peculiar figures that are scattered around: sitting, washing, sewing, awakening, coming back to life…you look around, feeling spaceless, even though there is no ’theatrical darkness’. Everything is lit by a coalescent stream of colors that flows with the mists. your sight is perfectly clear, allowing you to reorient yourself in between the living sculptures that are already set on display.
There is no seat nor single distinct stage prepared for you — what is left for you is only the space in between: the space that shifts, transforms, is unable to be defined; the space connects you and the figural bodies you see through the purple smoke while your ‘role’ as the audience was not even given as an option. Then after awhile, when one of the figural bodies — the ‘drag - cheshire cat’, known as the evil wife (played by baby china yu) later in the performance, who is laying on the bar table looking straight into your eyes seductively sleepily winking, thinking, observing, then offering you a glass of beer, you may, perhaps, start to wonder ‘am i becoming one of them…’— as an invitation sent — specifically address to you — ‘to become one of them’ is the secret code to enter the techno-pop-dithyrambic fantasy of а$iåп dੰρε βةًчz…//
Photos: Peiyu Shen
Words: Oxi Pëng / Yiou Penelope Pëng