Love Letter from Mian Mian: Freeway Mayo

“You don’t own me,
I’m not just one of your many toys
You don’t own me,
don’t say I can’t go with other boys”

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, November 25, 2008 @ 9:28 pm

Love Letter from Mian Mian:Tsukasa Thei

“sex is just some wonderful drops
after a long dark day…”

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 9:27 pm

Love Letter from Mian Mian: Iris Ophelia

“I am not happy and I will not smile because life is hell when you are unhappy. I realise I have done to much damage to you in the past few days… I can totaly understand you when you say that you dont want to see me and I promise to leave you alone!!!
I have made many mistakes in my life but I have never been so depressed as this time…
It is sad what has happened between us and I realise now that my heart is more broken because I love you… not like a friend but like my true soulmate lover… I want you to believe me when I say that and I dont care if you dont love me anymore… I will always carry you in my heart…
Please dont stay away from me too long… this would destroy me and I could not live with that.
I am very very tired and will sleep now…”

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 9:17 pm

Architectural Traditions and Futures

The other day, I saw that my friend had an interesting Facebook status update posted:
“Winnie Chan is… so amazed that architect used to work long hours in Song dynasty China (14.4 hours in summer and 9.6 hours in winter)”

This made me laugh a bit, as we RMB Kids have sometimes been working late hours these days, as Beijing night falls earlier and earlier, and the days get colder and colder. I sent a message to Winnie (who is an architectural student, one of the creators of Green Map HK, and my former studio-mate from Fo Tan), asking where she got this information. She replied that it was taken from the Song Dynasty architectural manual “Yingzao Fashi” (營造法式) (which she was reading even though her study period is Qing Dynasty gardens and city of Yangzhou).

I became curious about this book, and after a bit of Googling, found that it was written by Li Jie (李誡), an architect and author who unified several older treatises on architectural methods into one document, which was then published by the Song Emperor Huizhong in 1103, to provide a standardized methodology to architects, engineers, and government officials.

Especially as we are in the process of exploring the possibilities of feng shui in Second Life and RMB City, it is interesting to think about traditional bodies of knowledge, and how and when they are standardized. The idea of an “instruction manual” with absolute rules, guidelines, and styles for building a palace, a city, an empire, is simultaneously worrying and attractive. Would it help or hinder creativity? In some unintentional way, have China Tracy and Jia Nootan (RMB City’s Artistic Coordinator) been forming our own “Yingzao Fashi” in the process of working with our engineers Avatrian? In the rapidly-evolving field of virtual architecture, where cities can rise in the blink of an eye and disappear as quickly, is there any need for such discrete units of systematized knowledge? Our RMB City Archive, and the upcoming feng shui project, aim to explore just this.

Yingzao Fashi detail… People’s Palace detail…


Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, November 19, 2008 @ 1:19 am

RMB in the News: Urbane

Architecture and Lifestyle magazine Urbane gives a short blurb about the RMB City in their recent issue.
To read the whole article, click here

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 1:11 am

RMB in the News: NWN on Mian Mian’s Love Letter project

James Au, the Second Life expert and RMB City’s good old friend, just posted a blog post on RMB ‘s Mian Mian project: “Love Letter to an Avatar”. James Au described Mian Mian as “Shanghai’s literary bad girl”, as her books have been banned by the Chinese government since 2000. The Second Life first-hand reporter also talked to the controversial writer on the love letter project, to read their conversation, see here

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, November 18, 2008 @ 3:14 am

A sneak peek into RMB’s newsletter

People’s Monthly – RMB City’s newsletter which contains all RMB-City-related statistics, interviews and articles – is going to be launched in January 2009. For those who want to know about this exciting publication, we offer a little preview of the newsletter – a flyer that is available in the Shop in Jian Wai Soho – for them to get a glimpse of this coming-soon RMB City production.

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, November 15, 2008 @ 12:55 am

RMB corner at the Shop

The RMB City team is excited to see the RMB City corner at the Shop – a new space run by Vitamin Creative Space founded by Hu Fang and Zhang Wei.

At the Shop’s opening (Nov 8th, 2008), among different works by artists including Huang He, Chu Yun and Duan Jianyu (and of course Yan Jun’s mantra-humming-esque work), one piece that drew people’s attention was the four videos of RMB City by Cao Fei (aka China Tracy), juxtaposed with spades and safety helmets with RMB City logos. The physical form of these construction tools , materialized the intrusion by the imagination of Cao Fei into the reality and also the minds of the viewers. The overlapping of reality and cyberspace in the RMB City corner demonstrates an interesting process of symbolic exchanges between the reality and virtual space. The set of symbols that is external to the virtual world is a Big Other which allows and also restrict the viewers of the RMB City, wherein they can immerse in its virtuality with a “distance (that) is rather a positive condition of immersion” (“The Cyber Space Real”, Slavoj Zizek).

With expected updates, this RMB City corner will become an information center for people who are interested in RMB City/ Second Life. Not only does the corner offer a ride to the virtual experience to these people, but also act as a crack which allows the virtual realm filled with Chinese icons.

Blog — Nokan Vlodovic, @ 12:36 am

CHANGE we can believe in

RMB City team decided to celebrate a little bit with the paper-cut-out Obama in the NO LAB project space – only to find our engineers Avatrian had the same idea, and were already there to take commemorative photos as well! Soon we all put on our Obama shirts, and gave a few cheers for this exciting day.

If you’d like to take your own photos with virtual-Obama in NO LAB in RMB City, please add your photos to our Flickr group pool or send to!

Miniature Tigerpaw cheers virtual Obama

The project and building teams join together, across a few oceans
Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, November 5, 2008 @ 3:29 am

NO LAB in RMB City, New World Notes

Longtime friend of RMB City Wagner James Au stopped by NO LAB in RMB City during the opening days and wrote about it on his renowned Second Life blog, New World Notes.

“In the far Northeastern corner of a fantasia Beijing is an even more fanciful version of New Orleans, and if you are standing in the right place at the right time, Barack Obama and Spike Lee’s avatar will come out and greet you, as another flood sweeps over the city.”

Read full entry here.

Wagner James Au in NO LAB


Blog,Press — Miniature Tigerpaw, November 4, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

Love Letter to an Avatar: a special project by Mian Mian for RMB City

RMB City is pleased to announce a special project by acclaimed Chinese writer Mian Mian entitled “Love Letter to an Avatar.” From now until December 15th, anyone in Second Life can commission an original love letter from Mian Mian – all she needs is a photo of the recipient (in Second Life), and a payment (amount to be chosen by the buyer). However, the recipient of the love letter must be a stranger to Mian Mian in real life. See details below and commission your love letter today…

Mian Mian, one of the most celebrated and controversial Chinese writers of her generation, will write a love letter just for you…

To order, please send: 1) A portrait of the recipient (SL avatar photo, but needs to be a portrait). It does not have to be the one who orders, but should be of the individual who will finally read the letter. 2) The buyer can choose their own price (starting at $1 Linden), but must send the payment to RMBArtDealer Xue with their submission. Please include the following information in your notecard order: your own avatar name, the avatar name of the intended recipient/photo subject, your payment amount, and your email address.

When RMBArtDealer Xue receives the payment and photo, they will be passed on to Mian Mian. She will compose the letter within 1-3 days based on these materials, writing in both English and Chinese, or in Chinese (then translated to English or French), depending upon Mian Mian’s choice.

Buyers will have the right to use their letter freely until December 15, and if they wish to have permanent copyright of this letter afterward, they will need to negotiate with RMBArtDealer Xue. All portraits and letters will be displayed in RMB City, unless specified as confidential by the buyer.

Deadline: December 15, 2008. Contact for more information.

In Second Life: RMB City: People’s Worksite, RMB City 2 (221, 196, 21) City 2/221/196/21/

Guest Artist Bio: Mian Mian (Shanghai, China)

Mian Mian is a true icon of China’s alternative culture over the past decade. Starting from age 17, her writings helped spark international interest in contemporary Chinese literature, despite the fact that her novels were banned for their treatment of sensitive issues such as sex and drug use. Her best-known book “Candy” was an underground best-seller, and has become a classic work of youth literature in China. Mian Mian was also one of the first organizers of rock and electronic parties, and her works and life have had an influential impact on the generation of Chinese youth born in the 1970s and “80s. Her most recent books are “Panda Sex” and “On High Blue Tomorrows”.

Download press release here (PDF)

Blog,Events,News,SL Events — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 12:19 am

RMB City at “the shop” (Beijing, China)

Cao Fei’s RMB City project will appear in the first “edition” of “the shop”, a new experimental art/creative space in Beijing conceived and produced by Vitamin Creative Space.

Starting November 8, 2008, visitors to “the shop” can experience a corner devoted to RMB City, including videos, custom furniture, and can even pick up a preview of the upcoming People’s Monthly, the official newspaper of RMB City…

Read more details on Vitamin Creative Space’s blog. (more…)

Blog,Events,RL Events — Miniature Tigerpaw, November 3, 2008 @ 3:20 am

RMB in the News: The Beijinger

The Beijinger did a quick Q&A with RMB City Project Manager (SL: Miniature Tigerpaw) for its November issue, and touched on a few interesting questions…

“The Beijinger: RMB City is a new-media art piece. Innovations in media are often “driven by the desire to overcome mediation” – does RMB City work towards that end?

Miniature Tigerpaw: RMB City engages many forms of media at once. It exists in Second Life, which could be called the primary “medium” for the piece, but also encompasses video, writings, performance, social interaction and research. It acts as a bridge between “First” and “Second” lives, and is very much about confusing/connecting these divides. Obviously virtual worlds or metaverses like Second Life are a fairly new medium for art and cultural production, but I think they have a particularly interesting potential to challenge the typical “mediation” of more standard media.”

Read full interview here.

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, @ 2:26 am

RMB in the News: CIAC’s Electronic Magazine

In the recent issue of CIAC’s Electronic Magazine, no 31/2008, artist and academic Patrick Lichty (SL: Man Michinaga) has an interesting essay entitled Why Art in Virtual Worlds? E-Happenings, Relational Milieux, and “Second Sculpture”. In it, he considers the work of several prominent artists using Second Life and gives a very useful framework for viewing SL works in terms of RL art history. Excerpt below; read full article here.

In RMB City, Cao Fei plays with (dys/u)topia in assuming the role of a virtual developer for an interpretation of Olympic Beijing. The city contains virtual analogues of the Koolhaas’ CCTV headquarters, pandas on construction cranes, a Duchampian (Ferris) wheel and many other signifiers of emergent Beijing. In addition, Cao Fei, reflecting the opening real estate sales scenes of iMirror doubles the speculative aspect of the signified city by offering development opportunities in RMB.”

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, November 2, 2008 @ 3:34 am

Photo Souvenirs from RMB City

SL Resident Molly Montale has posted some very nice photos of her avatar in RMB City these days – looks like she even visited NO LAB in RMB City on the past two preview days.

no lab_002
Billboard chillin’
no lab_013

RMB City2_001

Blog — Miniature Tigerpaw, October 31, 2008 @ 5:45 am
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