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Boomatang Special I
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September 1, 2013
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[Editor’s Note: Fuzhou Expat is so proud to have received authorisation from Boomatang ‘s official site to run a special feed on Boomatang, which is a skating ramp out front Feeling Bar, in Fuzhou Shao Yuan Entertainment Area. We will run a few blog articles for the special feed on Boomarang. For the purpose of sharing what’s behind Boomatang, Fuzhou Expat is running the stories in both English and Chinese to facilitate common readership. All rights of this article are reserved by the Boomatang team.Translation rights are shared by Fuzhou Expat and the Boomatang team.]

What is Boomatang?  步马堂是个什么东西?

Story by @domestikrub

Translated by Nick@fuzhouexpat.com

This article was Posted on March 30, 2013, on the official blog of Boomatang, at www.boomatang.asia.

Boomatang is a skate ramp that was built on the East Coast of China, in a city called Fuzhou. Fuzhou is about 600km south of Shanghai and is home to many factories and local businesses. Tourism and Western influence is minimal, despite the obvious concentration of commerce. There are many shops in the area selling materials including paint, plywood, metal poles and screws – all the essential ingredients for a skateboard ramp…
步马堂是一枚滑板道。它组装于中国东部沿海地区一个叫福州的城市。福州,地处上海以南600公里,有着为数很多的工厂和商业;然而福州即使身处这种明显的商业氛围中,其旅游业和来自西方的影响力仍略显式微。在这里有很多卖建材的商店,用于建造滑板道的所有材料都可以找得到。

There are many reasons behind why this ramp was not a feasible idea. For starters, the weather. For most of the year it’s either wet or humid, so a ramp made predominately out of wood for the purpose of rolling skateboard wheels, was always going to be a test for its durability. Then, there is the liability. Skateboarding is dangerous and to introduce the activity to people who are unfamiliar with the basics, and who live in an area with limited access to healthcare, some would argue, is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention that as foreigners we know very little about the law and the concept behind ‘due diligence’, which we have assumed is less about what happens and more about who it happens to. Let’s not also forget that skateboarding’s roots began in California by surfers who were looking for an avenue to rebel. How is rebellion as a tool used by the people in China and perhaps more importantly how does authority react to it?
关于步马堂建造的可行性研究似乎曾经并不乐观。首当其冲的就是天气。福州在一年中的大部分时间里非湿即潮,而以木板为主要材质滑道的使命就是接受滑板轮的考验。步马堂必须是一位有着持久耐力的行者。然后是责任归属。滑板是危险的运动;向不熟悉基本技巧的人们介绍这项运动听上去更加危险。我们如果再进一步考虑到并非普及全民的医疗保障制度,甚至会同意修建步马堂是惹火上身行为的论断。更重要的是:作为外国人,我们大概很难理解中国文化背景下“忠职调查”的概念内涵;而对于其外延,我们大概只能总结出这种制度更多关注的不是事件本身,而是发生在哪些人的身上。让我们记住滑板运动由美国加州的冲浪者发起,这可是一群追求叛逆的家伙。如果在滑板在这儿被年轻人当作叛逆的工具,步马堂的命运将有几多舛?最后,管理者们对步马堂又会作何感想?

Despite these obvious challenges, there were too many reasons to do this. Firstly, there was the support of those running the Shao Yuen entertainment area. They were completely behind this project and were looking for ways to create additional facets of entertainment. Then there were the young adults who owned the bars, or at least drank in them, and loved us and what we were doing. They were craving new forms of entertainment. Free time is not something as widely appreciated in Chinese culture as it is in Western culture, but surely we could change that… right?
尽管挑战昭然,步马堂也有理由踏上说走就走的旅行。首要因素就是来自芍园管理层的支持。芍园的当家们当时也在寻求向园区注入更多的娱乐因素,步马堂则如期而至。然后是来自酒吧业者――至少是酒吧饮者们的支持,他们渴望新的娱乐形式;步马堂和作为建筑师的我们是他们的挚爱。休闲在中国文化中并不象在西方那样受推崇,但是这一点会发生改变,不是吗?

Then there is the feeling of creation. Sculpture and art is found all over Chinese culture. It’s something widely appreciated. Woodwork is fun. Doing all of this in another country, as you make new friends, gives you a sense of purpose in a new setting. A good excuse to meet people, to be creative and to encourage others to see your vision.
接下来是对创造的追求。雕塑艺术在中国文化中随处可见,并被普遍接受;木工活充满乐趣。在另外一个国家从事艺术创作的过程,无疑也是结交新朋的体验,无疑也是探寻目的与归属的旅行。步马堂使灵感降临我们、使我们遇见他们、使他们分享愿景。

But in saying all of this there was a lot that we are still very unsure of. Whether we could make it happen or not was always only the beginning. As I write this it has mostly been completed (see video and photographic evidence if you don’t believe me!). There are still a few pieces of the puzzle to finish later in the year. The bigger question though is how will local Chinese people interact with this piece of art? and this is something that can only be answered over time.
在说了所有这些我们想法的话之后,我们仍不确定。当我奋笔此文的时候,步马堂已基本完成(如果不信哥们说的就请看视频和照片吧!)[编者注:此文写于2013年3月]下半年我们还会安装些材料上去。然后,我们成功与否也只是一个起点,更多的故事取决于本地的年轻人如何与之互动。这个问题也只有时间能够回答。

We will document our findings here. We also encourage all those reading this, anyone in China or even the region, to visit Boomatang and to get in touch with us. We’d love to find out what you think and hope that you can share something with us that will make us smile.
我们将在这里[编者注:指步马堂的官方博客]记录我们的发现。我们鼓励所有我们的读者前往参观并和我们取得联系。我们期待与您分享。

Happy skating!
滑板不败!

More about this project can be found at www.boomatang.asia.
Story by @domestikrub

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