A Modern Nation

Additional Information

Video Subject & Artist Statement (this may be publicly posted): In the distant past, some people viewed China as exotic, irrelevant and unreachable. Moving society away from that perception was important, but the current alternative isn’t necessarily the best. Most people focus on China's economic strength, which is valid, but solely looking at business makes us forget that China is up to date in ways other than manufacturing. Exposing China as modern and relevant to America meant discussing social media. The tone of the video needed to be serious and informative, but not overly boring, so there were brief moments of spontaneity. Too many people view China as a country nearly as restrictive in terms of free speech as North Korea. In China, leaders in every industry use social media as a platform to voice their concerns about pressing issues, and Chinese youth listen to them, aspiring to be the ones who solve those challenges and create meaningful changes in the world. As a Chinese-American, I hope my video can help bridge the gap between both cultures. Thank you for watching!
Anything else you'd like to tell us: This video was a lot of fun to make! The mission of the 1990 Institute is very refreshing, and I am glad to take part in such a meaningful initiative!


  • Daniel Mendes

    I C O N I C

  • 沈严妍

    To be honest, as one of those viewers going through the GFW to give out the vote, I think you just list the positive side of the subject of Chinese social media. Although, I guess 3 mins causes the major limitation. Anyway, I would like to see more of your opinions about it in the finals. XD 加油~

    • Michael He

      Thank you for the feedback! This is definitely an issue I want to address more in the future. I believe that Chinese social media has a long way to go to reach its full potential, but my main purpose for the video was the erase the perception that China is just an exploitable economic resource because the country is so much more than that. I believe that the website was censored because it aims to create collective action about a specific topic pertaining to China. While I believe that censorship inhibits many opportunities for growth and change, it has also contributed to the growth of China. Instead of following Google like the rest of the world, China has developed Baidu. The same goes for Weibo, QQ, WeChat, etc. Few countries in the world can maintain a sustainable search engine/social media because of over-reliance of American companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. I think that the Chinese government may keep that in mind for why they continue to pursue censorship! I would be glad to discuss more on this topic with you in the future–it is 3AM where I live and I’m getting tired 🙂 Thanks for posting!

      • Roseisnotred

        Interesting point. Censorship does inhibit more growth in the internet area, as Chinese people are so deep-rooted pessimistic optimists. We will do anything just to get a way out.But talking of the develpment of Baidu, think about when you type the one single key word in Baidu and in Google at the same time, the results give your the total different world. Does that really inspiring? Haha, but i cannot deny Baidu map is relatively good here. Check out Yandex in Russia and Yahoo in Japan, they also looks good. Yeah, we can have more talks on it. 🙂

  • liaofm

    victory, cheering, thsnks!