Ending on a High Note

by on Wednesday, 08 January 2014 Comments


To commemorate the ten years of eRenlai being published, we wanted to make a homage video to thank all the friends who have been involved in making this a great magazine during the past decade. With that in mind, no music seemed more appropriate to serve as soundtrack to that video than the classic Chinese song "Friends". We hope that you enjoy this video and that it can convey to you the way we have felt about making this magazine.


In addition, we have included an open letter by Jacques Duraud, the publisher, in which he reminisces about Renlai and thanks everyone involved. For the original Chinese of that article, please click here.

When you read this letter, it will be time for us to say goodbye. Goodbyes are difficult, since they signify the end of an era and tell of the separation to come. But after analyzing facts, we have come to this hard and inescapable conclusion: "Renlai" will be ceasing publication as of January 2014, thus signifying the end of our paper magazine.

Renlai began in January 2004. At that time, many people were pessimistic about the possibility of this magazine, even predicting that it would only last two or three years. The editors straightforwardly named the first issue "Unapologetically facing failure", highlighting their own unafraid determination. We have discussed ugliness and beauty, university education, building construction, songs and poetry, documentary photography, Austronesian culture, youth issues, the unfavorable situation of Chinese migrant workers, etc. In this way, with very limited resources, we have edited and spread one issue after another; from planning the cover issue, requesting drafts and editing interviews to finalizing the packaging and sending it out. One issue, two issues, three, four... right up to the current issue 110.

However, no matter how hard we worked, threats to the magazine's very existence never loomed far. Because of this, the special 100th anniversary edition of January 2013 was named "In troubled times, we more than ever need Renlai". With this issue we sought to ponder the past, to find affirmation of the value of Renlai's continued existence, and to adjust accordingly for the future. From the beginning we have never forgotten our original aspirations, since we cannot simply call ourselves Renlai (human flute) and not live up to the name; it needs to give rise to dialogue and discussion. In these ten years, we have received warm encouragement and clear responses from all of our readers. However, from beginning to end, the large piles of magazines gathering dust in warehouses and the low sales numbers have been a clear reminder that this magazine is still unknown to the majority of readers.

This harsh reality has forced us to make the decision to close the magazine. To all of us friends who have participated in Renlai, this has been an amazing adventure, but adventures always have an ending. When looking over issues one to one hundred, dear readers, we won't say that Renlai has set any brilliant records, or that it occupies any special position, but every page and word contained within it are a reminder of our hard work together, and when all is said and done they will remain an unforgettable memory.

Renlai, January 2004-December 2013

These are just a few short words recording the beginning and ending of this magazine, they are unable to cover all the small details of these ten years. A heartfelt thanks to all those people who have been there all the long, helping each other on- including readers, writers, or supporters- thank you for enriching this magazine and enriching us. Even if, from 2014 on, there won't be a thick copy of Renlai resting in your mailbox, and it's red title won't be seen in bookstores anymore, we still believe that the sound of Renlai will ring on. And one day, you might just remember that you once read a magazine called Renlai.


Daniel Pagan Murphy (李大年)

Graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA Chinese-International Relations in 2009. He has been living in Taiwan ever since and has been working at eRenlai since 2011.

Help us!

Help us keep the content of eRenlai free: take five minutes to make a donation


Join our FB Group

Browse by Date

« March 2021 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

We have 9228 guests and no members online