After exploring the ancient beginnings of the Chinese comics tradition, I take a look at manhua in the early 20th century.
Posted in Culture and tagged art, china, Chinese, comics, culture, history, manhua, satire
This year’s Qixi (Double Seven) festival was marked in a few interesting ways. Western brands like Gucci released ‘couple’ ads featuring LGBT partners, and Gong Jun, star of hit series Word of Honour appeared on Xuehua Beer cans. Though dressed in modern clothing, he is depicted wielding a paper fan, and surrounded by a colour scheme reminiscent of his character’s signature teal hanfu. He is just one of thousands of Chinese stars who lend their images to advertising, and there is a particular dynamism to Chinese drinks can and bottle art, which has flourished over the last decade, inspiring the art of other media and reaching far outside China.
Posted in Culture and tagged advertising, art, bottles, cans, china, Chinese, culture, drinks, food and drink, marketing, pop art, pop culture, soft drinks
Tomorrow is China’s National Day, established on the 1st of October 1949, when the country gained its independence. Nowadays in the West, most people’s association with this occasion is Golden Week, one of the few times of the year when China takes a break. Another connection that Westerners have with the founding of the People’s Republic is Xuan Chuan Hua, Chinese Propaganda Art, which is now iconic around the world. This art style would never have existed without the decades of commercial artistic development that preceded it. This year I’m taking a look at 月份牌 Yue Fen Pai, Calendar Posters, an art form centred around early 20th century Shanghai.
Posted in Culture and tagged art, Calendar Posters, china, Chinese, culture, National Day, propagada art
I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Chinatown Arts Space and Asia House, to interpret for renown Singaporean artist and winner of the SUSTAIN award, Chua Boon Kee in his sculptor master class, which took place earlier this week, during the auspicious time of Mid-Autumn Festival. His commissioned sculpture, FLOW, has been installed on the corner of Gerrard Place and Shaftsbury Avenue, and was unveiled this afternoon.
Posted in Translation and tagged art, Asia House, CAS, china, Chinatown, Chinese, culture, london, master class, sculpture, Singapore, SUSTAIN
This last season, London’s theatres, galleries and museums have rolled out a fantastically full programme of exhibitions and plays on China and its culture. Many of those I have reviewed for other publications, but have yet to post anything here. A few of them continue into 2014, but if, in these few days between Christmas and New Year, you have time to visit the V&A, you can still catch “Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900”
Posted in Commentary and tagged art, Buddhism, china, comics, culture, Daoism, dragons, Gongbi, landscape painting, london, manhua, painting, Qing Dynasty, Suzhou, Tang Dynasty, V & A, Xu Bing
Today is International Translation Day. Translation is about more than just knowing two languages. It’s about knowing two cultures. Translators allow treasures hidden within one culture to be experienced by another. However, with that ability, also comes a lot of responsibility, not just to represent the meaning, nuance and voice of the original text, but also to express things in terms that the target culture’s readers will understand. Some of my readers who have found this website through my translation work, may be interested to see an original text side by side with my translation. Both the English and Chinese text were edited before publication. This is one of the more challenging pieces I have worked on.
Posted in Translation and tagged art, book, china, Chinese, International Translation Day, literature, poetry, translation