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Posts from the ‘Music, books and art’ Category

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 urban decadences.

Some of Satan Lucky’s cartoons depict fantastic beats that seem to have no connection with contemporary reality, while others can be read as critical commentary In the gallery below, for example, 404 (the error number most Web browsers indicate when trying to access a blocked site in China) is depicted as a beast that sits on the computer, blocking access to Youtube and Facebook, while Flesh Net Beggar refers to the way in which resourceful people can avoid paying fines to the Flesh Net Beggar and “jump over” the Great Firewall.   Read more

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 Landedited by Angilee Shah and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, published by the University of California Press, © 2012 by the Regents of the University of California. Click here to buy the book.

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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). Read more

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 his project: Read more

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 a propaganda poster, but for her most defining feature: her breasts. Full and beautiful, they are much too large for polite society. Read more

Han Han the novelist versus Fang Zhouzi the fraud-buster

It’s been an exciting two weeks on China’s microblog scene. Megablogger, rally racer, and novelist Han Han has been defending himself against science writer Fang Zhouzi’s charges that he didn’t write some of his most famous work.

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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”. Read more

Liu Jing and his comic book history of China

Liu Jing (刘京) is a Beijing-born entrepreneur, designer and cartoonist. He recently published Understanding China Through Comics, a book for iPad and Kindle about Chinese history. Read more

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 is part of an exhibition for Beijing Design Week: You can see it at the Northern Electric Relay Factory in Dashilanr, south of Qianmen gate. The exhibition opens 6pm  on Saturday September 24, 2011, and runs until October 3.

The video below was shot ands edited by Jonah Kesssel. You can also watch it on Vimeo and on Tudou.

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) and contrabass: Diyinruan (低音阮) versions. Read more