Tang Ping or Tangping is a movement in China that translates roughly to “lying flat”. Although China is a communist country and the United States is a capitalist one, what the two countries have in common is a ethos of “work hard, do everything right, and you will be rewarded in life” And what exactly does it mean to be “rewarded in life”? It means marriage, kids, a fancy car, and a big house. The problem with this comes down to two things: 1. many people are waking up to the fact that the game is rigged. 2. Are these rewards even worth it?
Those that belong to the movement seek to live a life of simplicity. Rather than work as much as they can, they work just as much as they need to. They live a life of minimalism. They don’t chase social status by spending their money on fancy things. They instead find pleasure by living in the moment and enjoying the simple things in life.
I’m reminded of the quote: “The only way to win is to not play the game”. Rather than continue to slave away, do the opposite: lay flat.
Although this is a movement that started in China, it’s definitely one that resonates with similar movements here in the United States. Mainly:
- Simple Living
I was reading in the New York times yesterday that apparently the Chinese government felt so threatened by the movement that they have banned the selling of any T-shirts or merchandise depicting Tangping. A quick image search online didn’t reveal much. Either the images used in China had been scrubbed from the internet or they never got to the point of having a lot of graphics. I felt inspired and actually spent all of yesterday creating some pro-tangping graphics.
I went ahead and created some T-shirts and stickers for my etsy shop. According to what I could see, I am the only person on etsy selling Tangping merchandise. All of my products are made in the USA, so I’m easily able to get around the ban in China.
Let me know what you think! I plan on making more images today!