A piece of Chinese heritage struggles to survive
It’s 5.50am, with just a faint purple light glowing on the horizon, when a group of children aged six to 15 march diligently towards their classrooms.  At 6.15am, they begin lessons in Chinese, English and math. At 7.50am, they stop for breakfast.  There’s no time to linger, students must be clean and dressed by 8.30am, when they head upstairs to two spacious rooms on the first floor of an L-shaped building near the center of Liaoning’s provincial capital, Shenyang.  Here the real training begins. This is not academics, but acrobatics. The boys and girls prepare to bend their bodies back­wards until they can hold their legs with their hands.  “One, two, three!” instructs Wang Ying, 47, head
Fans call out Taiwan pop star Jay Chou’s new hit song for being ‘sexist’
Despite breaking the Chinese internet with a new hit song, Taiwan’s “King of Asian Pop” Jay Chou has received some heat for promoting “sexist” values with a music video that features the female lead sacrificing for her boyfriend.  The star’s latest single, Won’t Cry, has sold millions of digital copies and topped charts in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan hours after its release on Monday night.  But for some fans, the song depicts an ancient and tired archetype of a self-sacrificing woman expected to exhaust herself in order to support her man. In the video, the female lead, played by Japanese actress Ayaka Miyoshi, supports her boyfriend’s dreams of becoming a professional photographer
Billionaire owner of ‘American Factory’ defends his anti-union stance
The Chinese billionaire featured in the Netflix documentary American Factory has defended his country’s labor practices by criticizing unions, saying they hurt efficiency.  In China, American Factory prompted a wave of soul-searching about the human costs of the country’s economic success and the rise of super-rich entrepreneurs such as Cao Dewang, who owns factories at home and abroad.   The film, backed by Barack and Michelle Obama, documents what happens at two factories owned by Cao – one in Dayton, Ohio and the other in Fujian, southeastern China. Cao is a main character of the documentary, in which he comes across as a pragmatic Chinese businessman bringing jobs to America’s Rust Belt.
‘American Factory’: What Chinese see when they watch China go to Ohio
For American audiences, the Netflix documentary American Factory reveals the life of US workers on Chinese-owned production lines.  But for Chinese audiences, the film serves as a reminder of the human costs behind China’s rise as a manufacturing superpower.  The film, backed by Barack and Michelle Obama’s new production company, documents how Chinese auto-glass company Fuyao built a factory near Dayton, Ohio, where thousands of workers were laid off when General Motors closed its plant in the Rust Belt a decade ago.  Fuyao brought not only new jobs to Ohio, but also the high expectations and harsh management that are customary in factories across China. It most notably spent more than $1 m
A Bruce Lee-inspired dance show
A modern dance drama inspired by Bruce Lee’s “be water” mantra is being staged in Hong Kong, his childhood home.  The Odyssey of Little Dragon, produced by the City Contemporary Dance Company, portrays Lee’s life in Hong Kong and the United States, the development of his kung fu philosophy, and the merging of his Eastern and Western identities. The performance is being staged from August 16 to 18, during a time of political unrest in Hong Kong.  For more than two months, anti-government protesters have been taking to the streets, often clashing violently with police.  For activists, Lee’s “be water” philosophy has become a key strategy guiding them to be nimble and flexible during confrontat
Inside the reggae empire built by a Chinese-Jamaican family
Almost five years ago on a local TV show in New York, the host was taken aback when the Jamaican reggae artist Gyptian was introduced by a diminutive, elderly Asian woman. “He was not expecting to see a Chinese woman talking about reggae,” Patricia Chin, now 82, recalls with a laugh, during a telephone interview from New York. But the half-Chinese, half-Indian Chin, who was born in Jamaica, knows just about everything there is to know about reggae.  She and her late husband, Vincent “Randy” Chin, helped build the nascent reggae music scene in the late 1950s from their home in Kingston, Jamaica, along with the likes of the legendary Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. In 1975, the Chins emigrated to t
Gemma Chan wants to tell stories for Asians everywhere
Since Crazy Rich Asians hit theaters last August, life hasn’t been the same for Gemma Chan. After making a mark on-screen as the rich, elegant Astrid Leong-Teo, she has graced international magazine covers and starred in films Mary Queen of Scots and Captain Marvel. The world is now her oyster, but what she really wants is to help to tell stories about Asian people living everywhere. “What’s really good for me is to find stories that aren’t just pigeonholing Asians in Asia,” she said. “I think Crazy Rich Asians is a wonderful example of an Asian story but it’s also about the diaspora and what it’s like for Asian people living everywhere.” “And, some of the similarities and differences betwe
China’s top 10 biggest flicks of 2018 — and its 5 biggest bombs
It looks like China’s massive film market is slowing down. Film-goers spent $88.7 billion at Chinese cinemas in 2018 – up on the previous year, but only by 9%. Of the top 10 movies at the Chinese box office in 2018, four were Hollywood productions and the rest domestic. The top three films, each of which took more than $435 million at the box office, were made in China. While growth may be slowing, the market is still huge. In the first three months of 2018, it outstripped the US in box-office takings, and the nation already has more movie screens than the US after years of rapid expansion in cinema networks. Here are the top 10 performers at China’s box office in 2018: 1. Operation Red Sea
Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding on not being Asian enough
When Crazy Rich Asians premiered and became a worldwide smash hit, it wasn't just a moment for the Asian community to bask in the spotlight. It was also the moment that the little-known male lead of the film, Henry Golding, became a star. The only acting experience Golding had before his casting was a role in a Subway commercial, in which he and his real-life wife Liv Lo picked out each other’s dream footlong sandwiches. Meanwhile, his co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu had been acting for decades. But by the night of the premiere, he was not a complete unknown anymore. The casting net for the character of Nick Young, the Singaporean, Oxford University-educated, stupendously wealthy hun