Nonconformism or debauchery?

By Cai shangyao

Shanghai Star. 2004-04-08

Not so long ago, both Chinese ladies and gentlemen hid their faces and left the theatre cursing after seeing the scene in the movie "The Wilderness" in which Liu Xiaoqing indulged in sexual intercourse with her lover.

But today, even in the remotest village in China, even the most conservative of old ladies is inured to stark-naked stripteasers on earthen stages where the whirling of youthful bodies puts the audience under a spell. The Chinese are becoming more and more tolerant of and liberal about sex, at a pace even faster than the GDP growth.

Humans are characterized by the pursuit of fashions. The boldest of fashions may be called "avant-garde", so the bold leaders of fashions consider it a high honour to be described this way. The forerunners draw sufficient attention to allow them to retire, so their followers have to go even further if they are to be counted truly avantgarde in their turn. Avant-garde women are surging onward at lightning speed, nothing less would enable them to draw enough attention.

Just before the half-veiled "Shanghai Baby" Wei Hui and its attendant commotion had faded into the background, Muzimei suddenly appeared online. Since June 19 last year Muzimei began posting her personal diary on the website she had set up at BlogChina. This diary is a record of Muzimei's sexual experiences with different men. Muzimei immediately became a hot topic of discussion on and off the Internet.

"I want to record what my life has been like even if I'm interfered with, destroyed ..." Muzimei may still persist in living a radically nonconformist life. After creating an orgy of moral and psychological scourging, Muzimei retired from the public eye. Nevertheless, this woman who gained overnight fame by writing with her body has evidently outdistanced even Wei Hui.

As people are fervently talking about Muzimei, a new public tumult has arisen, this time from a writer known as Zhuying Qingtong (Bamboo shadow green pupil) on the Internet.

Zhuying Qingtong, a known female writer at a web community, was already a controversial figure due to her provocative writings that challenged established social norms. She once called herself a "mortal sinner", and declared that "Zhuying Qingtong" would be renowned among mankind. Since February 2003 she began writing articles to publish on the web, which drew eager attention very quickly. After this, Zhuying Qingtong gained added popularity by regularly updating her nude photos on the web. About her nakedness, she had this to say: "Why should I feel ashamed? I take nude photos of myself because I'm drawn by an irresistible impulse to do so. I want to see my lovely form, and let others see it. I'm wondering if I will go off my head one day and die of love for myself."

What kind of "avant garde" novelty can we expect to see after Zhuying Qingtong? What needs tp be done to be considered truly avant garde? Time will tell, so let's wait and see.

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