Fulbright Scholar Jamel Mims Brings Chinese Hip Hop Culture to Harlem with Multimedia Exhibition
New York, New York (June, 2010)—Jamel Mims debutted his recent research on hip hop culture in Beijing, China, titled, The Misadventures of MC Tingbudong, on June 18that Azucarera Gallery, located at 414 West 145thStreet. Awarded the Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship to China for Sociology in 2008, Mims now plans a three-week exhibition of the “multimedia ethnography” to run at Azucarera from June 18th through July 8th.
The exhibition, which is itself a collection of photography, film, and sociological anecdotes, is the result of a year long participant observation study as a social researcher living in Beijing’s hiphop community. Drawing methodological influences ranging from KRS-One to sociologist Elijah Anderson, the project is built on living and participating with practitioners of hip hop culture in Beijing who demonstrate its four pillars of cultural expression: emceeing, break dancing, DJing, and graffiti.
Gathered from a collection of concerts, dinners, and homestays, the exhibition takes the form of a “multimedia ethnography” in order to adequately display a subculture which, although relatively small, is both dynamic and multidimensional. Through multiple mediums, the research conveys hiphop’s critique on public space, ethnic identity, capitalism, and gentrification—and its transformation by the particular conditions in modern day Beijing.
Bringing this exhibition to New York is a crucial part of the ongoing process of mutual understanding advocated by the Fulbright—and to include Chinese hip hop in a global conversation.
“In Mandarin, 'Tingbudong' literally translates to: 'I don't understand,' but with this exhibition Jamel shows a clear understanding of this subculture and the elements that are helping to push it forward" --Justin Korkidis, Complex magazine
Mims was born in Washington DC, where he first began to learn mandarin at Sidwell Friends School. Since returning from China in 2009, he has continued to share his research with local galleries and schools, and profile independent hiphop music culture in New York City. For more information about the artist, please visit his website at: http://www.jamnopeanut.com.
sociologist by degree. teacher by trade. procrastinator by nature. writer by hobby. digital artist, cuz it's a digital world. Wannabe B-boy. Microphone Checka. Originally from Washington DC, most recently a Fulbright Scholar doing research on Beijing's hip hop scene, now seeing what New York (and the rest of America) has to offer.