Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A multimedia collection of stories, interviews, and guides that vibrantly portrays the lives and worlds of young Chinese creatives.
A multimedia collection of stories, interviews, and guides that vibrantly portrays the lives and worlds of young Chinese creatives.
A multimedia collection of stories, interviews, and guides that vibrantly portrays the lives and worlds of young Chinese creatives.
236 backers pledged $12,810 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Multi Entry - Telling the Stories of Young, Creative China

$12,810

236

About Multi Entry

Multi Entry is named after the Multiple Entry visa; since 2014, US citizens can now obtain a 10-year multiple entry visa to China (and vice versa). This new agreement has made it easier than ever to visit China frequently, but simply going there isn’t the same as really getting to see it. For that, you need entry points into the culture, and that's exactly what I hope to provide.

From September to November of 2015, I’ll be living in various cities in mainland China: exploring subcultures, falling down internet rabbit holes, and making friends with strangers. Through it all, I’ll be documenting the stories of intriguing young Chinese people you’d want to befriend, exploring their world(s), and eventually sharing what I observe, hear, and learn with YOU!

The exact content of Multi Entry will depend on who I meet and where they take me. However, some topics I'd love to cover include:

    Multi Entry will mostly exist online, but I’m also collecting and making some physical stuff as part of the project, all of which I'm offering as rewards. The main thing is the Multi Entry Travel Companion, a 32-page zine that will cover all of my most important tips and recommendations for traveling in China—the dead tree form is sure to avoid even the most comprehensive GFW ban!

As a first-generation Chinese-American, I'm making this collection because it's what I've always wanted to read about China. I'm dedicated to making sure that Multi Entry tells stories that: respectfully center the experiences of Chinese people, don't fall into lazy tropes, and never, ever use Engrish as the butt of a joke. If this resonates with you, please back the campaign and/or share it with your friends!

The Backstory

Min (left) and I doing important baby things
Min (left) and I doing important baby things

My family moved from Fuzhou, China to the United States when I was 7 years old. Like many other first-generation immigrant children, I often wonder how my life would have turned out if we hadn’t left. Luckily, I have a pretty good reference: my cousin Min. It was hard to stay in touch when I moved to the US, but every few years I returned for a visit and we would learn about each other's lives, interests, and hobbies, marveling at the similarities and curious about the differences. It was amazing to realize that though we grew up across the world from each other, we were always still more similar than not.

Min taking a selfie with another relative on her wedding day
Min taking a selfie with another relative on her wedding day

In the last few years, I've been going to China as an adult—which is to say, for work and play and unaccompanied by parents—and it's granted me the opportunity to befriend even more amazing young people. These engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, and designers show me a side of Chinese culture I rarely see in the news: one that’s creative, funny, and vibrant.

During my last few visits to China, I started sharing my observations and experiences in photos accompanied by field notes. I was surprised by how enthusiastically these were received, especially by other Chinese-Americans who craved a fresh perspective on Chinese culture. So I started doing even more—writing about WeChat and QR codes and tea ceremony on Medium, figuring out what Chinese fans call Nicki Minaj on Weibo, making a fashion face mask collection on Pinterest, reposting viral videos from WeChat to Vine—and the interest kept building. A few months ago, I realized that this was important enough to me that I needed to go back to China again so that I could keep learning and sharing these stories.

Who are you exactly?

RIP Fung Wah, miss u bb
RIP Fung Wah, miss u bb

Oh, right. Hi! I'm Christina Xu. I'm an ethnographer and organizational designer living in Brooklyn who spends too much time on Twitter.

I've always being interested in the intersection between subcultures, independent creators, and technology. In the past, that's meant doing things like:

  • ROFLCon, an internet culture conference/convention I co-founded back in 2008.
  • Entrepreneurial Design, a class/reality show I co-teach in SVA's Interaction Design program.
  • the Awesome Foundation, a global group of guerilla microphilanthropists I kitten-herded during its formative years.
  • Breadpig, a company that offers sidekick services like logistics and crowdfunding production for creators, which I ran for 3 years.
  • This reggaeton remix of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, because life is too short to not throw a dembow loop on everything you love.

Almost everything I've done has required identifying and supporting people doing interesting things, and I'm excited to apply those skills in China!

The Plan

The exact itinerary for my two month trip to China will depend on the availability of my interviewees and collaborators, but it’ll look something like this:

I'm already tapping my existing network there (family, friends, and a few professional contacts) to find people to hang out with. Once there, I'll spend all of my days loitering observantly, meeting up with people, and documenting everything in sight.

After returning to the U.S., I’ll immediately get to work turning my notes, photos, and audio files from traveling into pieces for Multi Entry, prioritizing the pieces that will be included in the Travel Companion. I hope to finish everything by the end of December 2015. After a round of polish and design, the Travel Companion (and other rewards) will be off to the printers by early January 2016 so that everything can be turned around and shipped by February 2016.

Flying LED kites by the river in Fuzhou, 2010
Flying LED kites by the river in Fuzhou, 2010

Risks and challenges

I'm fluent in spoken Chinese and pretty good at texting in WeChat, even if I'm not fully literate. I'll hire a part-time translator for all the important, complex stuff.

My luggage carrying the rewards could get lost in transit! If that happens, I'm prepared to use my (cousin's) Taobao ninja skills to get replacements.

Anything can happen with printing, but I have a lot of experience keeping this stuff on the rails from my time at Breadpig working on some massive publishing Kickstarters.

Regular updates may be difficult while in China due to the GFW, but I should have at least slow access and, if all else fails, I'll just post everything once I get home.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The FAN(NY) PACK: a sticker pack including 3 pixel art Chinese meme stickers designed by Jason Li. You'll also be notified of every online update to Multi Entry.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    34 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE TRAVEL COMPANION: The best of Multi Entry's practical tips and evocative stories, collected in portable dead tree form. (At least) 32 full-color pages, 5"x8", with plenty of photos and illustrations.

    You'll also get the Fan(ny) Pack above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    115 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE FLASHCARDS: A set of 10 flashcards to teach you Chinese internet slang, featuring commissioned illustrations by Chinese artists and printed on heavy glossy cardstock.

    You'll also get the Guide and the Fan(ny) Pack above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    THE PACKET: I'll buy the most outlandish USB drive I can find and fill it with digital goodies and artifacts produced and found on my travels: photos, videos, songs, audio clips, etc.

    You'll also get the Flashcards, the Guide, and the Fan(ny) Pack.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE MYSTERY BOX: I'll send you a special object found on my travels that tells a complicated story about China, along with my explanation of the context that produced it.

    I'll also add you to the exclusive Multi Entry WeChat group for this trip where I'll be sending pictures / videos / thoughts live from China—think of it as the behind-the-scenes pass to the stories! You'll receive the best of my collection of custom-made WeChat stickers.

    You'll also get the Flashcards, the Guide, and the Fan(ny) Pack.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE CARE PACKAGE: A personally curated selection of Chinese goodies found on my travels, with info on where they came from and where you can find more! This might include things like a selection of 5 postcards from Chinese artists, a fashion face mask, a curated candy assortment, really good tea, and other surprises.

    You'll also get the invitation to the Multi Entry WeChat group as well as the Flashcard, the Guide, and the Fan(ny) Pack above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 22 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE TOUR: I'll make you a custom one-day itinerary for **any city** in mainland China. This itinerary will be compiled from a mix of actual experience, recommendations from friends, and/or vigorous Chinese internet spelunking. It'll include five places to eat (go hard or go home, you know?), two activities to check out, and a recommendation for a place to stay.

    You'll also get the invitation to the Multi Entry WeChat group as well as the Care Package, Flashcard, the Guide, and the Fan(ny) Pack above.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE TALK: I'll come to your company / organization / favorite coffee shop sometime in 2016 and share what I've learned on my trip for up to half a day. This could be a talk or a 1:1 meeting. Travel and accommodations are not included if not in New York.

    You'll also get the invitation to the Multi Entry WeChat group as well as the Care Package, Flashcard, the Guide, and the Fan(ny) Pack above.

    Send me a message for more details!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)