Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture

Will ‘Parasite’ make it past China’s film censors?
Chinese film fans still don’t know if, or when, they will get to see Parasite, the South Korean film that made history by winning the 92nd Academy Award for best picture, along with three other Oscars. Some expressed doubts the film would be shown in China given its unflinching criticism of social inequality and extreme poverty, and its amoral storyline. It wouldn’t be the first Korean film to fall foul of Chinese censors. Korean directors have not been shy about depicting their country under dictatorship, and are likened to French filmmakers in their stylistic portrayal of sex and gore. Chinese censorship rules ban the explicit portrayal of sex, violence, sensitive political issues, practic
This woman uses wacky dresses to help change the world
Most people choose what they wear to flatter their bodies.  For Chinese artist Kong Ning, fashion is a soapbox she can employ to call people’s attention to some of the most pressing issues affecting the world. And when she uses that soapbox, Kong goes all out. In 2015, she wore an outfit dotted with hundreds of anti-pollution breathing masks and sauntered around smog-choked Beijing.  In 2013, she stitched 999 respirators onto a wedding dress. She titled it “Marry the Blue Sky” and wore it at the Beijing Exhibition Center. In 2016, she wore a wedding dress – made of 100 inflatable white doves – at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York. She attached plastic models of Notre
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
The icemen behind the world’s largest ice and snow festival
Each winter, about 100 workers toil on the frozen Songhua River in Harbin to harvest ice for the city’s famed Ice and Snow Festival, the largest of its kind in the world. The blocks will be moved to the capital of China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang where they will be shaped into giant crystal palaces and sculptures at the event opening in early January. 
Chinese playwrights seek artistic freedom on the streets
Some independent directors in China are avoiding performing in traditional theater venues in favor of the streets. Official theater spaces require pre-approval of scripts and are often frequented by government officials monitoring for sensitive content. Instead, many directors are opting for pop-up style performances on the streets in an effort to balance censorship and artistic freedom.
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
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