A Field Guide To China’s Most Indispensible Meme

In China, the digitally-active keep folders of 表情 (biǎo qíng), which literally means “facial expression.” In the digital world, biaoqing refers to any image that adds a visual and emotive layer to text-dominant online conversations: at its most expansive, it refers to everything from emoticons to reaction GIFs.

Making as an Act of Caring

These projects and activities are often packaged as ‘fixing’, ‘jugaad, or ‘up-cycling’, and remain on the periphery of the dominant maker-culture discourse. These approaches are often associated with resource stripped individuals and communities (especially Jugaad in India), or some sort of hippie do-gooders.