Arts

Arts

Michelle Yeoh hopes Crazy Rich Asians isn’t a one-hit wonder
Things are changing fast in Hollywood for Asian actors, and it’s about time, says Michelle Yeoh. The Malaysian-born actress, who made her name as a Hong Kong action heroine in the mid-1980s, stepped back into the international spotlight with her performance in Crazy Rich Asians, the hit romantic movie she credits for Asian performers’ increased opportunities in American film and television. “It’s been a long time coming, so let’s not make it a one-hit wonder,” Yeoh says in New York ahead of the release of her latest film, Last Christmas, a light romance inspired by the Wham! hit of the same name. “There have been changes in Hollywood, and you can definitely see more Asian faces on the screen
Michelle Yeoh hopes Crazy Rich Asians isn’t a one-hit wonder
Life on China’s low-speed trains
China introduced its first high-speed railway service in 2008. But instead of following the “bullet train” craze, photographer Qian Haifeng, a former blue-collar worker, set out to document the country’s old, slow trains.  “I went in the other direction,” says Qian, “Treading the opposite path from the way the nation was supposedly heading, on the slow, obscure services, the cheap old trains without air conditioners – the ‘green trains’.” The green trains are cheap and often delayed. They sometimes have no air conditioning or heating.  The third-class-carriage tables are piled high with sunflower seeds and peanut shells, Qian says. Some long-distance commuters are trying to sleep, heads prop
Life on China’s low-speed trains
Blade Runner and beyond: Hong Kong is the city of cyberpunk
Nearly 40 years ago, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner hit the silver screen and changed cinema forever. The 1982 film imagined November 2019 as a dark, gritty, dystopian world dominated by inequality and technology, as it introduced a new generation of fans to cyberpunk culture. Bridging the science fiction and neo-noir genres, its cultural impact continued to resonate in films ranging from The Dark Knight series to Ghost in the Shell. And while the Blade Runner story was supposed to be located in Los Angeles, the cult film drew massive influence from 1970s and 80s Hong Kong, referencing its distinctive streets and urban panoramas in nearly every scene. We take a look at Hong Kong's enduring leg
Blade Runner and beyond: Hong Kong is the city of cyberpunk
Actor’s death prompts debate over the ‘risky’ lives of TV stars in China
The sudden death of Taiwanese-Canadian actor and model Godfrey Gao has sparked a debate over the working lives of entertainers in China.  Gao died at the age of 35 due to cardiac arrest on Wednesday during the filming of hit reality show Chase Me, a sports challenge show produced by Zhejiang Television in eastern China.  Gao collapsed at 1.30am when he was running, according to a statement by the broadcaster. He was declared dead after being sent to a hospital in the major eastern city of Ningbo.  Gao’s death has shocked both fans and fellow actors in China. In response, a number of actors have hit out at what they call a toxic work culture, saying they are doing a “high-risk” job that ofte
Actor’s death prompts debate over the ‘risky’ lives of TV stars in China
An old factory neighborhood is now Shanghai's art mecca
The Shanghai visual arts scene is buzzing and everyone wants a piece of the action. Leading the pack is France’s Pompidou Centre, which opened its first outpost outside Europe on the West Bund last week. Inaugurated by French President Emmanuel Macron and opened to the public last Friday, the Pompidou Centre x West Bund Museum Project is the latest in a series of institutional collaborations that exemplify the Chinese city’s growing appetite for culture. There is the privately run Yuz Museum, led by Indonesian-Chinese art collector Budi Tek, which has announced a partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Qatar Museums and cites exposure and cross-cultural exchange as
An old factory neighborhood is now Shanghai's art mecca
‘The Rape of Nanking’ author celebrated with California park
Tucked into a corner of northern San Jose, California, near where she lived with her family, lies a small park full of modern sculptures celebrating the life of Iris Chang, a groundbreaking Chinese-American historian and author known for The Rape of Nanking, a bestselling book that brought a brutal period in Chinese history to Western attention. Chang, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, published the book in 1997 to instant acclaim. She would publish one more book – this one about Chinese-American history – before taking her own life in 2004 after struggling with mental illness. Her death at age 36 shocked her family and fans around the world and gave rise to many now-discredited conspira
‘The Rape of Nanking’ author celebrated with California park
Ali Wong’s rules for work, love and life
Comedian Ali Wong entered my life this summer when I desperately needed her. I had returned to work three months after the birth of my fourth child. In a routine familiar to many working moms, every few hours, I excused myself to go to the nursing room to pump. Somehow, I got the idea to watch something funny as I pumped to boost my supply. It worked! For many weeks, I watched Wong’s two stand-up Netflix specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife on a loop.  Last week, the talented Chinese-Vietnamese-American performer released her first book Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life.  The book is framed as a series of essays to her two daughters. Wong isn’t
Ali Wong’s rules for work, love and life
Chinese film fans upset by Bruce Lee-related film ‘ban’
When news spread that Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was being pulled in China because of controversial scenes involving Bruce Lee, Chinese film fans reacted with collective disappointment, not support. Many Chinese netizens said they backed Tarantino’s freedom of artistic expression and hated to see another movie being “banned.” The film was due to be shown in mainland China on October 25. “Almost all the movies I planned to watch this year have been pulled,” read a popular comment on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. 2019 is a year of many political anniversaries in China, including the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Film insiders say four major mo
Chinese film fans upset by Bruce Lee-related film ‘ban’
4 facts about Can Xue, China’s foremost avant-garde writer
Tipped as a front runner for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Can Xue is one of a handful of Chinese avant-garde writers who have wowed international critics with their inventiveness. Susan Sontag was said to consider Can Xue the one Chinese writer worthy of the Nobel Prize. On Thursday, the Swedish Committee announced that the 2018 and 2019 prizes went to Peter Handke of Austria and the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. Ahead of the announcement, Can Xue said that it wasn't her time yet for the honor since her work had not yet reached mainstream readers, according to her publisher, Hunan Literature & Art Publishing House. Can Xue, a pen name that means “residual snow,” had been named by bookmake
4 facts about Can Xue, China’s foremost avant-garde writer
Lion dancing isn’t just a sport for boys
Growing up in Philadelphia, when Cassandra Liu wanted to join a lion dancing team in the city’s Chinatown, her mother said no. “She said it was too far and too dangerous,” Liu says. Her mother’s other big concern was that lion dancing was “a sport made for boys.” Today, the 26-year-old is living in Southern California. Not only is she a lion dancer, but she is also the captain of her troupe and is using her position to make sure that no aspiring lion dancer is ever discouraged like she was. She insists that no matter what your background or gender, you too can be a lion dancer – if you are willing to sweat. The proof of her vision is in her team: the Shaolin Entertainment Lion Dance Troupe,
Lion dancing isn’t just a sport for boys