A dream of SMART kids by Alex Huanfa Cheng 成焕发 is a project inspired by a Chinese youth subculture called SMART KIDS (杀⻢特Shamate).
Most SMART kids are known as the second generation of rural factory workers, contributing silently to the rise of the China economy and global made in China products. Going to work in a factory is their only option for making a living. But they are not as obedient as their parents, they are unwilling to trade their lives away in exchange of tiny salaries. They dress up in alternative fashion and exaggerated hairstyles, as porcupines defending themselves from discrimination. They look for dignity and a sense of belonging in their online communities. They prefer to quit their jobs and find some joy even so briefly using up the little that they have.
SMART culture has been popular since 2008, and almost disappeared after many vicious takedowns since 2013, because the mainstream people didn't understand and appreciate their fashion style at all. This project tries to bring people into an immersive experience by reviving SMART kids’ dream through fashion.
"Aesthetic freedom is the beginning of all freedoms." said LUO Fuxing, the founder of SMART culture.