Deliciously dark out of the blue: a review

by Julie O’Yang

There’s a dream that returns to the factory at regular intervals. Not a nightmare exactly, but it still comes pretty close.

In Requiem for the factory, the protagonist is She, factory. “The last time she punched out, she felt it was her that was being clocked.”

The protagonist, no matter how hard she labours to forget who she is, no matter how much time and effort she is putting in forgetting, she just can’t help remembering the factory machines that go on and on and on. She gets stuck in the loop of Time, and she thinks she is working but she can’t get anything done…So the factory decided to look for a writer, a photographer and an artist to help her end her torture.

This is a book that sounds like a song, a stream of consciousness that is experienced through a cacophony of broken windows, abandoned chimneys and brick walls full of shouting graffiti; words of ancient factories that no-one bothers to hear. The sounds of the highly ornamented, rapid mezzo soprano are dissonant and sometimes arhythmical. This is perhaps something of an acquired taste.

There is an extraordinary connection between the creators of the factory’s swan song, each complementing or riffing off the others with seemingly little pause or consideration, but pushing through the theme and subject with the single mindedness usually only paralleled by a one-man team.

It is a dream that perhaps reflects China’s past, a work ethic, and the force that drives a fear of failure. Perhaps, Requiem for the factory is, more than anything else, about Creation. The process of Creation and the fear of it. (Text: ©2013Julie O’Yang)requiem - Cover highres

Requiem for the factory ISBN 978-9810743369

Jeremy Fernando (text)

Kenny Png (photography)

Yanyun Chen (layout)

with an afterword by Lim Lee Ching


bookcovers horizontal     butterfly Spanish cover

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julie 超辣

Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.

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