Industrial China: Paintings of fieldwork in a factory town

The field Note This painting scroll is a visual field not I took during my field work It shows that way I did field work in a small factory town in southeast China Besides 20 paintings and the shortened version of the translation of the calligraphy, This video also includes related photos and video clips Nowadays, when I look back, the days of reading books in the ivory tower are far far away As also are my companions on this project All I knew was how little I knew. Impatient to start At frist, everything appears so interesting and fresh I walked around without any specific purpose, just to embrace everything new Too soon that freshness will become buried in familiarity and field notes The factory entrance is the dark tunnel of time I felt I was inhaled into it After just half an hour I seek escape from incessant machine noise and the pungent smell of paint In the factory there is only the human as machine Deprived of conversation by noise and routine I have to bracket myself in times of lunch and ends of days Only then can I be present for them Only the drivers of forklift trucks escape the dominant rhythms, working as required I spend much of my time with forklift drivers It is always fine to share a table with strangers at breakfast The natural way to make strangers into friends Some mornings I eat several breakfasts While their husbands toil in the factory A young women may care for two or three children at home The afternoon goes by quickly if I help and chat What is a questionnaire, I never heard of this? My questions hide within our conversations Lying in a bed made from a protective netting The lunch break becomes a survey Outside the factory I need a research site So now I work for a mobile phone shop in the high street How to convert the life of street? I sit in a car snapping the passers-by The sites, the hairdresser, the internet cafes, the clinic, and nail shops etc. Take shape in my mind, as the map of my socializing At 35 degrees there is no air conditioner, at more there is no radiator People’s lives become restricted, so does my fieldwork Do I still have a private life? Can I refuse the 2am phone calls, and the persistent men, while still being friends with everyone? How to explain that an ethnographer is not a philanthropist or journalist? If people come for jobs or money I won’t be able to help them These Chinese character are all surnames of my informants Each group requires a balance Time-limits, Caution- friendship To help with a factory worker’s birthday dinner To help with the birthday party for the factory owners’ daughter With alcohol people relax and are talkative With alcohol I get lots of field notes Once just a researcher now a true friend This is the ethnographer’s dream I meet with friends of friends of friends… Making field nots should also be creative For me that means pen and paper, and doodling People are shy about themselves, but people love to gossip about others Always ask them about others, and what others posted online I study social media but I also study through social media The public/private spaces of QQ and WeChat is just as much where fieldwork happens The QQ chat log archive between me and a street girl she told me why she became a sex worker

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