Satan Lucky’s Floating World

Satan Lucky is the pen name of cartoonist and illustrator based in Beijing. He publishes some of his work on Weibo. His style is based on Ukiyo-e — literally “pictures of the floating world”, the traditional Japanese style of woodblock prints and paintings of nature, history, scenes from the theater and of geishas and other …

Out of Tibet

Now readable in full on Danwei, and with a new update from the author two years on, “Out of Tibet” by Alec Ash is a chapter in the new book Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, edited by Angilee Shah and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, published by the University of California Press, © 2012 by …

Gao Xiaosong on America

Gao Xiaosong (高晓松) is a Chinese media personality known for his music, film work, and perhaps most influentially in his role as a judge on China’s Got Talent (中国达人秀) and Super Girls (超级女声).

The Swahili-Chinese Dictionary Project

Shen Yuning is a lexicographer working on a Swahili-Chinese dictionary.  He is currently studying African languages and cultures at the University of Hamburg and lives in Tanzania.  Completing a comprehensive dictionary can be a tedious task, but Shen sees it as “a small personal initiative for translating knowledge.”  Below he answers questions from Danwei on …

Northern Girls: interview with author Sheng Keyi

Qian Xiaohong is a young woman from a village in Hunan who went to the boomtown of Shenzhen in the 1990s in search of work. She is bold and optimistic, if sometimes a little naïve, and has short black hair with just a hint of curl. She has the round-faced look of a peasant girl from …

The Devil pays a nighttime visit to Mr. Qian Zhongshu

Scholar Christopher G. Rea is the editor of a new book of translations of Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and Essays by Qian Zhongshu. In an article on The China Beat, Rea says Qian “might be called the best Chinese writer you’ve never heard of”.

Tricycle water calligraphy

Water calligraphy is a poetic activity that you can observe in many Chinese parks: Artists use a large brush to write Chinese characters using water instead of ink. Minutes after the characters are written, they disappear. Media Artist Nicholas Hanna built a tricycle that writes Chinese characters on the ground as it moves. His tricycle …

The ruan (zhongruan)

The ruan (阮) or moon guitar is a four-stringed Chinese instrument similar to the pipa. It is also sometimes called the qin pipa (秦琵琶) and ruanxian (阮咸). The most common ruan is the zhongruan (中阮) or tenor ruan. The bass ruan (大阮) is also fairly common; less frequently heard are the soprano (高音阮), alto (小阮) …

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