Artspace China, a blog produced by the University of Sydney, interviews photographer Matthew Niederhauser who has documented China’s underground bands at the D-22 club in Beijing:
CC: I’ve heard people comparing this world to CBGBs in the 80s, or saying it’s the 60s in New York all over again. It’s tempting to make those comparisons – but would you?
MN: I don’t know. I wasn’t in New York in the 60s or CBGBs in the 80s so I couldn’t call it. But this scene is definitely grounded in China. I think it’s easy to use these purely visual cues to try to draw such a comparison in a strange way, but if you live here there is also something definitely Chinese about the whole thing.
CC: Could you to describe what that thing is? Maybe we should say what’s ‘unique’ about it. It doesn’t have to be nationalistic.
MN: I guess if you want to compare it to something like New York in the 60s or CBGBs in the 80s there is a really creative flourishing going on here right now. There are a lot of people in Beijing right now who, in the past 6 or 7 years, have been exposed to an exponentially larger amount of art and international music – and it’s just been like a shock wave. People are experimenting and playing with possibilities. I’ve often described it as a creative orgy.