BIG TAIL ELEPHANTS IN THE 1990S
In 1990, after a decade of development, the city of Guangzhou entered a period of transition, changing from a traditional urban area into a modern city. Many problems emerged here for the first time in a Chinese city. Although never seen before in China, these were very typical problems, including the demolition and relocation caused by the rebuilding of old neighborhoods and the road expansion and new road network development required to resolve traffic congestion. The entire city appeared to be involved in full-scale reconstruction, projecting a strong contrast between the old and the new structures. During the same period, a great number of people from rural areas poured into the city. A rather interesting phenomenon occurred. On the one hand, the city was moving in the direction of an international metropolis. On the other, new villages emerged in certain parts of the city. Rapid business growth occupied an overwhelmingly dominant position on people's agendas. Everyday hard working people traded their spiritual desires for indulgences and debauchery in entertainment venues and newly emerged sex establishments. Everything became money driven; even colleges and universities, where high-minded intellectuals cluster, were no exception. The cultural and artistic communities, which had been affected by Tian'anmen tragedy in 1989, now went into a downcast mood.
Within such a social environment, the Big Tail Elephant group was formed. Its initial members included Chen Shaoxiong, Liang Juhui and myself. At a later date, Xu Tan joined in, and Zheng Guogu also worked