Chinatown

07 September 2011 - 6 May 2012

What is a Chinatown? For some it means everyday life, work, and a link to the Chinese "homeland". For others it constitutes a segregated, alien space that reflects fantasies and ascriptions.

Chinatowns became the focal points for Chinese migrants, providing the necessary infrastructure as well as access to economic and social networks. Apart from that, they provide a link to Chinese home country. Already by the end of the 19th century the Chinatowns had become a tourist attraction. A tour could include a visit to temple or a Chinese theatre; it certainly meant stopping off at a Chinese restaurant.
Chinas's economic and political rise in recent years has also had an impact on the reputation of Chinatowns worldwide. Not only has the government of the People's Republic of China but also the political representatives of the host countires increasingly relied on their contacts in the respective Chinatowns when planning new joint projects. In fact, occasionally modern cities go to great lenghts to "institute" a local Chinatown because urban planners see in them a strong marketing impulse.

The dragon is one of the most complex symbols of Chinese culture. On several occasions every year he performs his dances in the Chinatowns of this world.