Exploring Bagan

September 18, 2016 2016年9月18日

Sarah Ong and Eu-Jinn Teh are the husband and wife duo behind The Silver Lining, an awe-inspiring space in which the couple share their collective love for “life, people, gatherings, nature, creativity and art.” The pair recently travelled to Myanmar, to explore the country in which Sarah’s parents grew up before immigrating in 1971. This journey brought Sarah and Jinn to the peak of ancient temples, into the thick of bustling local markets, and floating through Old Bagan on a hot air balloon. Below, they relay some of the highlights of their Myanmar travel log and share a few travel tips for enjoying the very best of Bagan.

Once home to over 10,000 temples, the otherworldly historical city of Bagan is not to be missed. More than 2,000 of these ancient and unmistakable pagodas still stand, and walking amongst them seems to transports you back to the 11th century when Bagan was the thriving capital of the Pagan Empire. The temples are mostly dedicated to Buddha, although dotted with the odd Hindu shrine, range vastly in size from imperious monuments several stories high to tiny stupas that only allow one or two people inside at a time. The smoky atmosphere (attributable to the numerous household cooking fires in the area) and entirely unique landscape makes every single sunrise and sunset a breathtakingly different experience.

Present-day Bagan is separated into three distinct regions – Old Bagan, New Bagan and Nyaung Oo. Old Bagan is the heart of the old city where you’ll find most of temples. There are a number of hotels and resorts but they tend to be pretty pricey. New Bagan was essentially created by the government to prevent locals from living in and among the temples and is honestly fairly bland and characterless. There are many very affordable places to stay In Nyaung Oo, and the town is a fun 20 minute bike ride from Old Bagan. It is also home to F.I.T. Street where you will find a number of great restaurants to eat. You can get to and around Old Bagan by foot, bicycle, electrical bicycle (E-bike), car and even horse cart if that so tickles your fancy.

The number one experience is a hot air balloon ride that takes you on an unforgettable, peaceful sunrise glide over the heart of Old Bagan, just high enough that you feel like you could graze the very top of the Dhammayangi Temple. There are three ballooning companies, all of whom cost roughly the same, setting you back a hefty $350 USD per person, a worthy price for the experience.

For another magical sunrise experience that’s completely free, cycle to Bulethi Pagoda at the break of dawn to catch the balloons wafting by. This is still a relatively unknown sight, and definitely worth becoming a morning person for. Must-see pagodas include Shwesandaw during sunset (expect crowds and tour buses but also a sunset that will make you forget about them all), Dhammayangi, Ananda, Htilominlo, Sulamani, and Manuha Paya (for its giant reclining Buddha). The best thing to do is just generally get lost in and amongst these ancient structures and just go wherever your exploring feet take you.

Nyaung Oo Market is also worth a gander. Beyond the food market, there are many beautiful fabric stores. The region is known for their exceptional lacquer ware, an ancient craft that originated from China. It involves a labour intensive process that consists of building up over 20 layers of various naturally occurring substances to create beautiful and very hardy pieces, which can range from very functional bowls and plates to purely ornamental art pieces. There are, as always, cheap knock-offs but search out a place called Lotus Collection in New Bagan to find an artisanal studio versus a number of the larger factories that give off a “mass-produced” feel.

Bagan is accessible by air, road, rail and boat, depending on where you’re coming from. Coaches are available and are a good way to see the countryside but can take a long time (around ten hours from Rangoon/Yangon). Be sure to bring along your camera, a pair of energetic legs for cycling and pagoda climbing, a bit of extra cash for an unforgettable balloon ride, and your best mingalaba (a Burmese greeting that means “May your day be filled with auspiciousness!”) to soak in and explore Bagan, a truly historical and spiritual centre of Myanmar.

Website: thesilverlining.co


Contributor: Whitney Ng

Game City

September 15, 2016 2016年9月15日

In an effort to curb the problem of video game addiction, the Chinese government passed a law in 2000 that banned the production and sale of game consoles, in addition to all gaming accessories. It wasn’t until 2013 that the ban was lifted. In these 13 years, Microsoft came out with XBOX, Nintendo came out with Wii, and the Sony Playstation 2 evolved into its 4th generation. During this period of rapid development in the gaming industry of home consoles, Chinese players could only really buy pirated games and equipment through rather unconventional channels. During this time, the traditional arcade has managed to survive in China.


The Beijing-based Portuguese photographer Ana Pinto, who is also an avid video game enthusiast, has been documenting arcades in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and other Chinese cities, and the people that she encountered in them, for about two years now. Ana started this project partly out of curiosity and surprise that so many arcades still existed in China, but also partly out of her own nostalgia for such places. Many of the subjects that Ana would encounter seemed “completely absorbed in this world of colorful artificiality and constant stimulation of flashing screens, having become detached and oblivious of everything else around them.”

现居北京的葡萄牙摄影师Ana Pinto,作为一个电子游戏爱好者,一方面出于对中国传统街机厅这种现状的惊讶和好奇,一方面也出于怀旧情绪,她从两年前开始举起相机,在北京、上海、广州等城市的街机厅里边游戏,边记录下她看到的人群。正如所有沉浸在游戏中的玩家一样,Ana所观察的这群人也是心无旁骛,“看起来完全被眼前那个五彩斑斓的虚拟世界,以及闪亮屏幕带来的持续性刺激完全吸进去了。”

Usually when taking these photos, Ana tries to avoid disrupting or distracting her subjects, but on the occasions when she was noticed, it produced some interesting reactions. “All I can say is that the ones that did acknowledge my presence and intention would smile, giggle, or proudly try to show off their dancing skills,” Ana admits, “I definitely felt that the dancers – more than anybody else – loved being photographed. They felt special.”


At first, Ana was surprised that arcades were still popular here, but after realizing that until very recently home consoles were banned, it made a lot of sense. She was also especially impressed with the popularity of dancing games like Dance Dance Revolution, and how some people would play the game as a way to keep fit, sometimes even showing up at the arcade in their gym clothes. “I also became acquainted with the Chinese fishing game, which is used for gambling,” Ana tells us, “and actually, some arcades in China only serve as a front for such illegal practices, and I ended up running into some of them.”


Now with the increasing popularity of home consoles and smart phones, China’s arcade market will inevitably face some decline. But as a consumer, Ana believes that the arcade experience is irreplaceable and unique. When thinking about its future, she ponders, “as long as there are nostalgic enthusiasts, who knows? The U.S. has been experiencing a minor arcade resurgence. It is like with Polaroids and vinyl records. People love revivals.”


These photos, in addition to capturing the nostalgia associated with the video games from our childhood, also draw attention to the great and significant cultural relevance of video games. Her series of candid portraits Game City examines our sometimes conflicting relationship with technology, reiterating our relentless engagement with screens, which she doesn’t “necessarily perceive as a negative thing – but as an interesting and inevitable force that will shape things to come.”

而在这个系列的图像中,除了追忆我们童年时期屏幕上的娱乐体验,Ana更强调的是电子游戏的文化相关性。这个叫做《Game City》的偷拍肖像系列,不可避免地审视着我们和科技的关系,重申我们和电子屏幕之间无尽的牵连。而这种牵连,“我个人并不认为这些行为是消极的,而是将它看作一个不可避免的有趣驱动力,这种驱动力也决定了其他由此而发的事物形态。”



Contributor: Banny Wang



供稿人: Banny Wang

Bike Rides Around Kyoto

September 14, 2016 2016年9月14日

Visiting bike rental shops has become a favorite pastime of mine when traveling to new places. Bicycles can get you to your destination faster than on foot, but at the same time, they still allow you to stay engaged with your surroundings and take in the scenery at a relaxing pace. Add to the fact that it is also good exercise, which can help develop an appetite for some good local cuisine, it can be hard to resist wanting to take a bicycle around everywhere. With a variety of bike rental shops to choose from, riding around Kyoto couldn’t be any easier. Rentals are simple: after a quick deposit and signing just a few forms, you’re off – with the wind blowing through your hair.


There is definitely a more ancient feel to the city of Kyoto. The graceful poise and traditions of Japanese culture can be experienced on street corners and within the bustling alleyways. The manner in which a large number of people go about their daily lives seems to be a reflection of times long past, many centuries ago. As an observer, it is easy to be completely captivated by the abandonment of modernity in certain areas of the city. Gion, the famous entertainment and Geisha quarter, is a good example of this. Riding through the tiny alleyways and cobbled streets that wrap around teahouses and quaint shops unveils a different side of Japan. In this area, many tourists and visitors dress up in traditional kimonos and take to the streets. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a real geisha, or a miko making an errand run between teahouses.


It is roughly 12 kilometers from Gion to Arashiyama’s Sagano Bamboo Forest, depending on which exact area of the Gion district you’re riding out from and which route you take. Consisting of mostly flat roads, the journey isn’t overly strenuous. The Sagano Bamboo Forest is a magical place that has an ethereal quality to it, created by the filtered overhead sunlight that peeks through the towering bamboo. Walking further into the lush bamboo grove and past the Tenryū-ji temple entrance, you can find one of many spectacular views of the dense forest. Taking in the surroundings, it is easy to see why bamboo is so prevalent in Japanese mythology and legends. In traditional Japanese culture, bamboo is symbolic of strength and prosperity – and it is also widely used for construction, household goods, and textiles in Japan.


After treating yourself to a matcha-flavored soft serve, you will be ready to make your way to the Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. It is just a 13 kilometer bike ride from Arashiyama to Fushimi Inari without any major inclines or declines. The relaxing ride will expose you to the raw parts of the city and the Japanese suburbs. After parking the bike at the shrine entrance, you can begin to make your way up the footpath, which is lined with bountiful carts of delectable street food. The shrine was dedicated to the god of rice and sake – and since the hike to the top takes around two hours, this might be a fitting location to replenish your energy by enjoying some local delicacies and taking a short rest.


The stunning shrine gardens and seemingly never-ending torii gates that repeat in alluring patterns overhead guide visitors up the mountain. The vibrant orange torii tunnel, made up of over 4,000 torii, is the perfect visual backdrop for the kimono-wearing locals and tourists who are making their trek up to the top of the peak. The shrine also features many foxes, which are considered to be messengers for the god of the grains, Inari Ōkami. Standing in the tranquility of the gardens and experiencing the sheer number of torii, you cannot help but be filled with a sense of awe and wonder. It was the perfect ending for my bike tour around Kyoto.


Contributor & Photographer: Mireille Paul

寄稿者&カメラマン: Mireille Paul

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Puppets of Myanmar

September 13, 2016 2016年9月13日



“Some say that the culture behind traditional Burmese puppets has been around for thousands of years, perhaps since the 11th century, but I’m not certain.” says Mr. Khin Maung Htwe, owner of the Htwe Oo Myanmar Puppetry Home. “Although I’m sure that it originated from over 600 years of ancient culture; we have discovered that wooden puppets were a major form of entertainment for Burmese royals ever since the 15th century. During the period of colonialism, this art migrated along the Irrawaddy River, before settling amongst the local community.”

有人说缅甸木偶文化自11世纪起,已有上千年的历史。我不确定这个一千年的说法,但我肯定它是已超过六百年的古老文化,在15世纪,它是专门作为皇家贵族的娱乐后来在殖民期间,木偶文化沿着伊洛瓦底江迁徙,最后在三角洲地区安顿下来…… ” Khin Maung Htwe先生娓娓道来,他是位于仰光Htwe Oo Myanmar Puppetry Home的木偶剧团负责人。

As with the rest of the world, cultures and old traditions are slowly fading into the background within contemporary Myanmar. However, Khin Maung Htwe remains adamant in upholding this piece of Burmese heritage, by performing alongside his family-run puppet troupe at Htwee Oo Myanmar Puppetry Home. Each puppeteer, which includes Khin Maung Htwe’s own wife and daughter, uses all ten fingers to intricately animate wooden marionettes with every pull, twist, swing, whirl and shake. There are 28 main characters in traditional Burmese puppet shows, ranging from gods, animals, monsters and royals. Traditional Burmese puppets are carved, polished, sanded and painted, before they are dressed in hand-stitched costumes; the entire process requires around twenty days of production from start to finish. Strings are also attached to every joint, including the puppet’s eyebrows in order to allow for more flexibility during each performance.

与世界各地一样,缅甸的传统文化也面临着改变和消失,但仍然有像Khin Maung Htwe先生这样热爱木偶文化的人坚持将其传承。Htwe Oo Myanmar Puppetry Home是半家族式的剧团,Khin Maung Htwe先生的女儿与太太也是木偶表演者。传统的木偶角色有神、动物、妖怪和帝王将相等28种。木偶戏剧表演艺人通过十个指头,让这些本来无魂的木偶,通过线牵艺人巧妙的运用提、拔、勾、挑、扭、抡、闪、摇等技巧,顿时有了生命一般。做到如此这般,也得益于缅甸木偶复杂精细的制作工艺。一个木偶的制作周期通常为20天,需要经过四、五道程序。从雕刻、加工、刨光,到贴金、上漆、打磨、上色、修整,从头部到身体各处13个关节,再逐一用线将上肢、下肢、腰部、颈部、手掌、甚至眉毛等串起来……此外,木偶身上的服装也都由手工艺人一针一线缝制。这样,一个木偶才拥有了神灵具备的可能性。

Unlike most performing arts, language barriers don’t exist and do not hinder the audience’s enjoyment and connection with the puppet show, and in turn, this has preserved the art form for centuries. Previously, it was even possible for a single puppeteer to control 60 strings at one time; however, this is a skill that has been lost over the years. Modern-day puppeteers usually learn to control at least 12 puppet strings.


Despite the increasing rarity of traditional Burmese puppetry, there are still some prominent figures within the community who are determined to keep the art form alive. We also encountered a puppet theatre group at Nanda Restaurant in Bagan, whose elderly leader was proudly passing down the art form to his grandchildren. He describes traditional Burmese puppetry as being like a performance from the soul, which is evident as he seamlessly guides and controls his puppets across the stage with both eyes completely transfixed. Building up to the climax, the veteran puppeteer twists the puppet in a 360 degree spin before catching the puppet on his shoulders, all in one continuous motion. Deeply focused on his craft, he has the expression of someone who is simply full of dedication and reverence for this ancient art form.


With every passing scene, the puppeteers bring each character’s personality to stage. Storylines are derived from a variety of plot lines that range from ancient myths and legends, infused with a great deal of humor, folklore and everyday life. Singing artists further bring these expressionless puppets to life; their vocals give personality to the characters and heighten the atmosphere, creating a more unified and enchanting performance.


While there are now no more than a dozen independent puppeteer groups left in Myanmar, it remains highly regarded as a unique art form that is heavily steeped in the country’s rich, traditional culture.


Website: htweoomyanmar.com
: ~/htweoomyanmarpuppetryhome


Contributor & Photographer: Chan Qu
Videographers: Chan Qu, Leon Yan

网站: htweoomyanmar.com
: ~/htweoomyanmarpuppetryhome


供稿人与图片摄影师: Chan Qu
视频摄影师: Chan Qu, Leon Yan


September 12, 2016 2016年9月12日
With a population of over 20 million people and a history that dates back three millennia, it can be hard to comprehend a city on the scale of Beijing, China. The country’s capital and political epicenter, Beijing is home to legendary historical landmarks and modern business districts alike. But the heartbeat of the city lies in its people — those who walk its streets, attend its schools, and work in its towering skyscrapers.


A glimpse into the energy of daily life in Beijing can be found on VSCO. Alongside ancient temples and the Great Wall of China, we see the everyday activity of Beijing’s residents on their commutes, in the city’s museums and markets, and during thoughtful moments of calm. View select images of Beijing below, and use the Search function on VSCO to see more of China’s expansive capital.


This story is part of a content partnership and media exchange between Neocha and VSCO®. To see more of VSCO’s Asia content on Neocha, click here.


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The Story of Split Works

September 9, 2016 2016年9月9日

In the early 2000s, China’s live music scene was still nearly non-existent. Even in Beijing, where arguably the music scene was the most developed in China at the time, there weren’t many music festivals that could compare with the likes of some of the more well-established festivals in the West, like Coachella and Bonnaroo in the U.S., or Glastonbury and Reading in the U.K. With the state of live music being so dire then in China and in need of some help, Split Works entered the scene. This ambitious music events company has been working tirelessly to improve the live music scene in China for over the past decade, which they have done with many successful festivals, such as Echo Park, JUE, Black Rabbit, and more. Split Works has also brought in numerous legendary acts to China, including bands like Sonic Youth and hip-hop icons like Talib Kweli and Grandmaster Flash.

本世纪初,中国现场音乐的发展还几近一片空白。即便是在北京,这个当时或许算得上是音乐发展最为先进的城市,也并没有几个拿得出手的音乐节可以与业已成熟的西方音乐节相媲美,比如美国的波纳罗音乐节和科切拉音乐节,或者是英国的雷丁音乐节和格拉斯顿伯里音乐节。就在中国现场音乐的发展一片黯淡之时,Split Works横空而入。这个有着雄心壮志的音乐公司,在过去十年间不断努力,致力于推动这里音乐的发展。迄今,他们已成功举办了诸多音乐节,如回声公园音乐节、觉音乐节、黑兔音乐节等等。同时,Split Works也为中国引入了诸多世界级传奇音乐人的演出,诸如美国噪音摇滚乐队Sonic Youth,以及hip-hop偶像级人物,如Talib Kweli与Grandmaster Flash。

Founded in 2006 by Archie Hamilton and Nathaniel Davis, Split Works’ goal was “to create a more sustainable ecosystem for music in China.” In 2005, Archie had moved to China and met Nathaniel just two days after arriving. The serendipitous meeting would turn into a decade-long partnership that would be integral to the development of China’s music scene. What had brought Archie to China in the first place was its lack of an established music industry. “I wanted to be in a place that wasn’t necessarily controlled by an industry,” Archie tells us. “I’m not very good at working inside of an industry – and I felt that Europe and other mature markets around the world were very much owned by corporations.” And so, without an overbearing industry controlling the scene in the country, he decided that being in China would allow more flexibility to do what he wanted to do, to fulfill his vision as he sees fit. “The flipside of this is that we didn’t really have an audience.” At the time, many people in China didn’t see buying tickets for live shows as a good way to spend money. Instead, Archie sought other ways to turn his vision into a reality. He began approaching brands armed with nothing but a proposal and a simple pitch: do you want to be responsible for the birth of a live music industry in China?

由Archie Hamilton和Nathaniel Davis于2006年创立,Split Work致力于“在中国构建更具可持续发展的音乐生态”。2005年,Archie移居中国,并于抵达仅两天后结识了Nathaniel。他们的这一次偶遇终转化为携手十年的合作,而这份合作成为中国乐坛发展不可或缺的一部分。吸引Archie来到中国的正是这里未成熟的音乐产业。“我想要一个没有被完全产业化的地方,”他说:“我并不擅长在一个已经非常成熟的行业中工作,我觉得欧洲和全球其他很多成熟的市场已经被各大集团掌控。”在没有垄断性公司把控音乐行业的中国,他认为有更大的空间供自己发挥,引进符合他音乐理想的项目。“不过这同时也存在一个问题:未有广泛的受众基础。”因此,在大众并未将购票看现场音乐视为合理消费的大环境下,Archie寻求其他途径以实现自己的理想。他从零开始寻求品牌合作,全凭一个直指中心的简单提案——你愿意为中国现场音乐产业的诞生出力吗?

In the beginning, Bacardi and Converse were the only two real brands that were adventurous and far-sighted enough to invest in Archie’s vision. Bacardi sponsored a series of live shows that led up to the first ever YUE Festival in 2007, an outdoor festival held in downtown Shanghai that at that time boasted the strongest roster of international acts the city had ever seen. Later in 2008, Converse worked with Split Works for Converse’s “Love Noise”, an indie rock music showcase, which at the time was something simply unheard of. Brands in China back then were far more interested in putting money behind big-name pop stars and huge advertising campaigns. “Converse actually put their money where their mouth was and said ‘Ok, we’re going to invest in something cool, something interesting, something new,’” says Archie. This slow shift in mentality was an exciting pivotal point for China’s live music scene.

最开始,只有几个具有冒险精神和远见意识的品牌——Bacardi和Converse愿意投资Archie的抱负。Bacardi赞助了一系列的演出活动,并促成了2007年十跃音乐节的诞生。这个在上海市区举办的户外音乐节,在当时汇集了这座城市有史以来最耀眼的国际音乐阵容。之后在2009年,Converse携手Split Works推出了Converse Love Noise,一个在当时前所未闻的独立摇滚演出。彼时,中国的品牌商们尤其看重邀请流行大牌明星和策划大型广告活动。“Converse则拿出了实际行动,表示’行,我们要投资一些很酷的事,有意思的事,新鲜的事。’”Archie说道。这个心态上的缓慢转变,对于中国的现场音乐发展来说,确是个令人振奋的转折点。

“One of the main problems with doing business in China is that a lot of people, particularly investors, don’t have a lot of patience. They don’t want to invest in things for the long term,” Archie says. “Lots of businesses in China do well after a month, or six months, or a year. They show promising signs of doing well early on. When you look at a music festival, where you need three to five years just to get close to breaking even, a lot of people will think ‘This is too risky. This is fucking insane.’” After Black Rabbit Festival in 2011, it took Split Works a few more years to find a patient investor who was willing to buckle in for the long term, which brings us to more recent times with Concrete & Grass, the new rebranded version of Echo Park, their successful 2015 outdoor festival. “People are reluctant to be the first. It’s particularly extreme here. They want to see it. They want to hear it. They want their friends to go to it and say it’s alright before they go.”

“在中国做生意存在的一个问题就是,太多的人,尤其是投资者都不太有耐心。他们不喜欢投资那些长期性的项目,”Archie说,“在中国,有很多生意在一个月、六个月或者一年后就会出业绩。它们在初期就显露出良好的发展态势。但当你再看一个音乐节的投资项目,这种需要三五年才能勉强收回成本的投资,很多人的感觉都是:‘这太冒险了,这他妈不是疯了吗!’”2011年黑兔音乐节之后,Split Works又花了几年的时间寻找到有耐心和意愿做长期性项目的投资者。由此,2015年时候成功举行的户外音乐节“回声公园音乐”节近期才正式更名为“混凝草音乐节”。“人们不愿意成为第一个吃螃蟹的人,这点在这里尤为极端。他们要实实在在先耳闻目睹一番;他们要听到他们的朋友们去了说这个好,才会参与进去。”

Douban, a website that allows users to share information about films, books, and music, entered the scene at around the same time as Split Works. When Douban started gaining traction and popularity, China went through a creative renaissance of sorts. The widely used platform is considered by many to be one of the most influential websites in China. Its impact on the country’s previously stagnant music scene is undeniable. “Suddenly the whole environment just changed completely. These kids could find out about stuff and share what they knew with other people. It went from having zero access to content, to having almost an unlimited access to content,” Archie says. “The years since then, there has been a learning period where people in China are faced with a deluge of content and opportunity, but no one really knew what anything was. It’s like walking into a record shop when you are nine. There are CDs, tapes, records, and whatever else everywhere – but you didn’t know anything. It can be intimidating, and you might end up picking up some pretty crap albums; but over time, you find out what you like and what you think is interesting.”

豆瓣,一个允许用户分享书、影、音方面信息的网站,和Split Works差不多在同时间起步。当豆瓣网渐渐获取关注和用户时,中国经历了一场创意上的“文艺复兴”。这个有广泛用户基础的平台在很多人看来,是中国最具影响力的网站之一。它对中国之前停滞不前的音乐场景有着不可置否的影响。“突然之间,整个环境彻底改变了。年轻人们能够挖掘信息,也可以和他人分享自己掌握的信息了。从零开始,到丰富的内容,再到能够找到各种信息的无限渠道,”,Archie表示,“那之后,纷繁的信息和机遇迎面而来,中国人进入了一个学习期,但也没有人真正懂。就像是,九岁时的你走进一家唱片店,里面有CD,磁带,专辑……玲琅满目让人眼花缭乱,但你却一无所知。那会让人恐慌,最后你很可能只是挑选了一些质量堪忧的专辑。但随着时间的推移,你会找到自己喜欢、觉得有趣的东西。”

This digital flood of creative content naturally appealed to the Chinese youth, and Archie feels like the diversity and quantity of all the music being introduced into the country has in turn led to many new Chinese musicians becoming more bold and experimental. “Some of the bands that have emerged out of China over the last ten years have been some of the most exciting bands to emerge anywhere in the world,” says Archie. “Nobody felt like, ‘We like Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, so we now need to like Soundgarden.’ There wasn’t that sort of delineation of ‘I’m this, so therefore I have to be that’. But in China, it’s just like ‘I like music, so what’s out there?’ They don’t have a kind of derivative channel that they grew up with here. Musicians in China might mix hardcore with ambient, or hardcore with trap, or whatever else. They don’t know any better. No one’s telling them they can’t do that.” Archie feels like Concrete & Grass is a direct reflection of this genre-defying attitude that many of these Chinese musicians have been creating with. “We got Korean traditional post-metal, Chinese black metal, classic American hip-hop, Indian Bollywood EDM, and so on. It really is so far across the board. It’s a music festival for music fans. For anyone who comes – even if you don’t know anything about the music – you can go to every single stage and get something out of it.” Concrete & Grass is happening later this month in Shanghai on September 16th and 17th. You can find out more about the event on their official website.

这个创意内容数字化的浪潮,自然引发了中国年轻一代的关注。Archie认为,大量多样化舶来音乐的进入,让很多新生代的中国音乐人也更加大胆,更敢于尝试。“在过去十年,中国涌现了一些让世界也为之一亮的乐队。”Archie说,“不会有人认为‘我们喜欢涅槃乐队和Kurt Cobain,我们就也得喜欢声音花园乐队’。这里没有“爱屋及乌”那种派系定论。在中国,那就像是‘我喜欢音乐,那,都有些什么音乐呢?’他们在成长过程中,没有接触到固定的流派设定。中国的音乐人可能会把硬核和氛围音乐混到一起,硬核和trap混到一起,或者任何别的什么。他们不知道,也没人告诉他们不能那样做。”Archie认为,当下很多中国音乐人所持的这种反类型的音乐态度,都将在混凝草音乐节中直接映射出。“我们有韩国的传统后金、中国的黑金、经典美式嘻哈,印度宝莱坞电音等,真是什么音乐都有。这是属于乐迷们的音乐节。我想无论是谁,即便是对音乐一窍不通的人,也可以在每个舞台前都有所收获。” 混凝草音乐节将稍后于本月,即九月16号和17号在上海演出。更多信息,请点击访问音乐节官网



Contributor: David Yen
Photographers: David Yen, Wang Xin, Zhu Qi, Zeng, Yu Hao Yuan, Chang Tong, Dong Luan



供稿人: David Yen
: David Yen, 王新, 朱祺, 曾晓, 于昊元, 童畅, 栾东


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The Tree Project

September 8, 2016 2016年9月8日

The adorable cupcake brand Pantry’s Best boasts two beautifully designed stores in Shanghai: a bite-sized concession in the K11 art mall, and a seated eatery in the basement of the luxury mall L’Avenue. Mark Heutsche, a former computer scientist who finally pursued his life-long passion for baking when he relocated to Beijing, founded the company in 2009. He began by hand-making his grandmother’s pie and cake recipes before delivering the goods by bicycle to his friends around the city, a humble beginning for what has grown into a fully established dessert store and delivery service.

纸杯蛋糕品牌派悦坊,在上海开设有两家精心设计的实体店面:一家是在K11购物中心的玲珑小店,另一家在奢侈品购物中心L’Avenue的地下商场,并提供店内坐席。派悦坊创始人Mark Heutsche,毕业于斯坦福的计算机专业,移居北京后,最终决定追随他一直以来对烘培的热爱,并于2009年成立了自己的品牌。一开始,Mark按照他祖母的派和蛋糕食谱亲自动手制作甜品,然后骑着自行车给北京城里的朋友们送货上门,就以这样简陋的方式开始,他将派悦坊一路发展成如今的甜品店,并拥有成熟的配送。

Nestled into the basement of L’Avenue mall, Pantry’s Best has been sculpted into an unassuming dining area by local firm Lukstudio, offering a clean, casual space for children and adults alike. Characterized by smooth surfaces, creamy textures and curved lines, the store is a delectable replica of each hand-finished cake.


Lukstudio has incorporated a central column into the design, transforming it from an obstacle into a tree-like sculpture that extends from the ground and expands into a ceiling of icing-inspired ripples. The stylised installation is further perforated with peepholes, to give the impression of a woodpecker’s pecks up and down the trunk. The brand’s K11 concession carefully maintains design continuity. It features many branch-like cylinders dangling above the retail display and rows of stump-like plinths standing on the counter to showcase the brand’s signature desserts.

芝作室在店面空间内大立柱的设计上颇费了一番心思,他们将这原本空间中的障碍物,转变成树形的雕塑。这个树形雕塑从地表迸发而出,直立耸入天花板,并在上方“激起”一片糖霜般的“涟漪”;“树干上”嵌着不同的“猫眼 ”,刻意营造出一种有啄木鸟在树干上来来回回啄洞的迹象。而在另一家位于K11购物中心的分店,这种设计概念得到精心的延续。在这里,柜台上方饰有枝叶般的柱形物垂直悬挂,台面上则设有树桩般的基台用于展示品牌的招牌甜点。

Christina Luk founded Lukstudio in Shanghai in 2011, and has worked with her team to create an extensive portfolio. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she later received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto before finally returning back East in 2007. Christina has always been greatly inspired by her artistic and innovative surroundings, particularly in Asia, and Lukstudio’s nuanced design of Pantry’s Best represents the firm’s passion for choosing top quality materials and detailed craftsmanship.






B2/F, 99 Xianxia Road
Changning District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China


K11 Art Mall
B2/F, 300 Huaihai Middle Road
Xuhui District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China






中国 上海市 长宁区
仙霞路99号, B2/F



K11 Art Mall
中国 上海市 徐汇区


Contributor: Ruby Weatherall
Photographers: Peter Dixie, Christina Luk

Images Courtesy of Pantry’s Best & LOTAN Architectural Photography

供稿人: Ruby Weatherall
摄影师: Peter Dixie, Christina Luk
图片由提供派悦坊与LOTAN Architectural Photography

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Rixing Type Foundry

September 7, 2016 2016年9月7日

Letterpress printing is a traditional form of relief printing that makes copies by using movable type, which are individually interchangeable components with punctuation marks or letters protruding from a three-dimensional block. In the past, movable types have been created using various materials like wood or ceramics, but metal became the norm as the process evolved. In parts of Asia, the use of metallic type for printing has been traced back to as early as the 13th and 14th century.


Unfortunately, as new printing techniques became available, letterpresses and the need for movable types went on the decline. In Western countries, letterpresses have been given a second life. But in the East, letterpresses are being rendered obsolete, with many viewing them as inefficient and dated. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, the only places in the world that still uses traditional Chinese characters, letterpresses are nearly extinct. As a result, movable type created with traditional Chinese characters are no longer needed and the foundries that made them began closing down one by one. Today, the only foundry left in the world that still makes traditional Chinese movable types is Rixing Type Foundry.


Located in Taipei’s Datong District, Rixing is inconspicuously tucked away in an unremarkable alleyway that looks like any other one of the countless alleys in the city. Row after row of wooden shelves fill the room, with every shelf filled to the brim with lead cast movable types. The traditional Chinese characters are all faced outwards, allowing visitors to easily browse through the impressive collection. At the back of the display area is a small room filled with casting machines, various tools, and bars of lead; the narrow space is the typecasting room where all of Rixing’s movable types are created.

位於台北大同區的日星鑄字行,藏匿於一條不起眼的小巷中,在這個城市 ,你可以找到無數條相似的胡同和街道。但置身於這個古樸的鑄字行,放眼望去,全是一排排的木架和每行木架上擺滿的鉛字塊,所有鉛字的繁體中文面一致對外,讓人立刻就能感受到這浩大的收藏量。展示區後面是一個小小的鑄字房,狹小的空間裡堆滿了熔鑄機,各種工具和鉛材,但這裡就是日星創造出所有鉛字成品的地方。

Rixing Type Foundry was established in 1969 and most of their business today comes from loyal customers that have been going to them for decades. Their newer clienteles tend to be individuals looking to make specialty prints or small local print shops. Rixing was founded by Zhang Yilin and the current owner is his son, Zhang Jieguan, who is not only preserving traditional Chinese movable type but also his father’s legacy. Originally, Jieguan had aspirations of becoming a mechanic. A sense of familial obligation to carry on his father’s work resulted in him abandoning that route. Instead, he began working alongside his father at the foundry. Jieguan fondly says, “When I look at these rows and rows of lead type now, it feels like my father is still here with me.”


During the 1990s, many letterpresses and foundries were already beginning to disappear due to diminishing demand and technological advancements. In the face of adversity, Zhang Jieguan remained persistent, refusing to close down the foundry. He made a promise, saying: “As long as there’s even one letterpress around that needs lead type, Rixing will be around. I’m going to see this through to the end.” By 2006, Jieguan realized that Rixing was the only foundry left in Taiwan and shifted his focus towards figuring out how to keep this craft alive.


Rixing’s end goal isn’t to naively keep this craft going as merely a business; their vision is for movable lead type to ultimately become a cultural symbol. In 2012, Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs began working together with Rixing to help organize and promote different activities and workshops in the space. As part of the preservation efforts, many of the typefaces are also in the process of being digitized. There are also plans to transform the space into an interactive museum, so that this slice of culture and history can be shared with future generations.


No. 13, Lane 97, Taiyuan Rd
Datong District, Taipei

Monday~Friday, 9am~noon, 1:30~6pm
Saturday, 9:30am~noon, 1:30~5pm
Closed Sundays

+886 2 2556 4626

Website: letterpress.org.tw
Facebook: ~/rixingtypefoundry


Contributor & Photographer: David Yen

大同區 台北


+886 2 2556 4626



供稿人與攝影師: David Yen

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September 6, 2016 2016年9月6日



SHUNGA is a minute-long animation created by Roberto Biadi, an Italian motion designer and animator. The hypersexualized video consists of an ever-changing writhing mass of humans, animals, and demons. Some characters melt into one another, and others explode into a flurry of phalluses before reassembling into different creatures. Roberto’s animation is meant to be a visual representation on the evolution of shunga art, the creative process of Japanese shunga artists, and his own stream of consciousness. Roberto says, “I usually just start with a blank page. Whatever I make, it feels like it’s been somewhere deep in my mind. It feels like my drawings just flow out of me, and all I’m doing is adjusting the direction of the flow.”

SHUNGAは、イタリア出身のモーションデザイナーおよびアニメーターのRoberto Biadiが制作した1分間のアニメーションです。激しいセックスの様子が強調されたこの動画には、刻々と姿を変えてのたうち回る人間、動物、そして悪霊たちの塊が描かれています。登場するキャラがお互いに溶け込んだり、あるものは陰茎と睾丸を攻め合った後に別の生き物へと変身する様子が見られます。Robertoのアニメーションには、春画アートの進化、日本人春画作家の創造的プロセス、そして彼自身の意識の流れがビジュアライズされています。Robertoは、「普段は何もない空白のページから始めます。どのような作品ができようとも、それは自分の心の奥深くに感じています。描こうとしているものが自分の中から流れ出し、ただその流れの方向を変えていくのです」と言います。

Besides only being inspired by shunga art, many of the creatures in Roberto’s animation are from ukiyo-e paintings and from the works of well-known Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Reflective of Roberto’s self-professed infatuation with Japan, other iconic aspects of Japanese culture also make appearances in the short film, such as sumo wrestlers, samurais, and geishas. “A lot of things inspire me, and they might not be related with each other. It’s often difficult to find something that inspires me to make an entire video about it,” Roberto says. “What fascinates me about shunga art is that they were unbelievable masterpieces of Japanese art, but at the same time, people could use them to masturbate. I love this.”


Neocha Selects is a curated selection of some of the most inspiring and innovative video content from Asia. To see more stories like this, click here. To see original Neocha videos, click here.

Neocha Selectsは、アジア各国から届いた最も刺激的で革新的な動画コンテンツから厳選されたセレクションです。さらに同様の話題をご覧いただくには、こちらをクリックしてください。Neochaのオリジナル動画については、こちらをクリックしてください。

Vimeo: ~/robertobiadi
Behance: ~/robertobiadi


Contributor: David Yen

Vimeo: ~/robertobiadi
Behance: ~/robertobiadi


寄稿者: David Yen

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DRKRMS x Frank Nitty

September 5, 2016 2016年9月5日

Hong Kong’s DRKRMS is collaborating for the first time with new media artist Frank Nitty to present øpulu$: a unique examination into “The Age of Opulence”. This project explores the erosion of morality in our increasingly image-obsessed society, the excess of consumerism and its detrimental focus on quantity over quality. It features the original photography of five selected photographers from DRKRMS with a desire to express their thoughts on the subject. These images are then reimagined by Frank, whose uncouth animations bring them playfully to life.

香港的DRKRMS首次攜手新媒體藝術家Frank Nitty推出一藝術項目: øpulu$,以全新角度審視當下的“豐裕(瘋欲)年代”,探討在這個越發迷戀色相年代下的道德崩壞,重量不重質、過度的消費主義。整個藝術項目以DRKRMS下五位甄選出來的攝影師原創作品為主,望表現他們對這個主題的思考,同時,Frank也對這些作品進行再創作,以質拙的動畫形式將它們以充滿趣味的方式實現成最終作品。

Original photography by Inga Beckmann

Started by Charlie Toller, Inga Beckmann, and later Callaghan Walsh, the vision of DRKRMS is to build a cross-border community of like-minded photographers. By developing original photography with emerging talent across Asia, they produce powerful imagery that shows lesser-known parts of the city in new and exciting ways. Charlie grew up between London and Tokyo, starting his career in London before moving to Hong Kong five years ago. He looks after talent acquisitions and collaborations at DRKRMS, so invited Frank to add a progressive element to their øpulu$ project. Photographers were excited by the idea of having a creative mind reinvent their work, and Frank was interested in the challenge of working with people he didn’t necessarily know, using their aesthetic to create something he might never have thought of.

DRKRMS最初由Charlie Toller和Inga Beckman發起,隨後Callaghan Walsh加入並一起創立,旨在為志同道合的攝影師構建一個國際社區。他們在亞洲地區發掘新興攝影師,通過讓人眼前一亮的全新方式創造具有影響力的攝影作品,展現城市鮮為人知的一面。 Charlie成長於倫敦和東京兩個城市,在倫敦開始他的職業生涯,五年前來到香港。在DRKRMS裡,他負責招攬人才和統籌協作工作,也由此邀請Frank加入他們的øpulu$項目,帶來更多激進的元素。攝影師們都相當期待他們的作品被再次創作;而與不甚了解的人一同工作,並用他人的美學創作自己都不曾想過的作品,這其中的挑戰Frank也非常樂意接受。



When introduced, Charlie was struck by Frank’s peculiar nature and genuine creativity, and that they share a lot of fundamental views. They both enjoy the aesthetically pleasing and finer things in life, but are equally disturbed by the “truly meaningless drivel” permeating today’s society via popular culture. øpulu$ is a one-off project without brand partners, so exploring the “Age of Opulence” has naturally become an expression of their personal views. “But don’t expect the theme to be very much translated into the work”, Frank says, for it is also a chance for him to have fun and be provocative without being too commercial. Having done a lot of commercial work throughout his career, he describes his current much crazier style as a direct reaction to that.

初見Frank時,Charlie就被他身上獨特的氣質和天然的創造力所吸引,二人擁有諸多共同的基本觀點。他們都注重美學享受,追求生活中的精緻之物,同時都相當厭煩當今社會滲透在流行文化里的“言之無物”。由於øpulu$是一個一次性項目,也沒有品牌贊助,其探索“豐裕年代”的主題自然而然地集中在藝術家們的個人視角。 “但不要指望這個主題會過分轉化到作品中,”Frank表示,因為這對他來說是一個機會,一個放開玩的機會,一個脫離商業束縛去盡情挑釁的機會。Frank在其職業生涯中參與完成了很多商業項目,他自認這些經歷也成就了他現在頗為疏狂的藝術風格。



Original photography by Callaghan Walsh



Frank Nitty is Dutch, though has lived in Tokyo and is now based in Hong Kong. After graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, he never intended to get into “Art” with a capital A. He experimented with a variety of mediums before moving to Japan, where he developed his skill as a director and post-production artist. He believes in the beauty of skill and continuous learning: although the world around us is always evolving, skill can help you free yourself from the burden of asking help, and learning a new trade can help you to create new things. “As a director, you have to know a bit about everything to be able to organize the whole production process and know how to execute an idea into something real,” he says.

Frank Nitty來自荷蘭,但曾居於東京,而今常駐香港。從荷蘭埃因霍恩設計學院畢業後,他卻從未打算投身所謂的一本正經的藝術。在去日本前,他接觸了各種創作媒介,此後,正是在日本,他學習了導演和後期製作等領域知識。他堅信技術帶來的美感,並保持學習熱情。儘管我們都生活在一個不斷發展的社會,但技能還是可以幫助我們擺脫尋求幫助,新的知識面同時也能激發新的創造力。 “尤其是當你擔任一個導演的角色,你需要廣泛涉獵各方面知識,以統籌製作全局,並且需要知道怎麼把一個想法實現。”他說。

Original photography by Alexandre Dupeyron

In both his artistic and personal pursuits, Frank believes in the necessity of a balance between seriousness and humor. He views øpulu$ as an opportunity to achieve this equilibrium by incorporating ridiculous ideas into an otherwise serious subject. Since childhood, he has appreciated technically well-executed art and film as much as the ridiculous and silly. “I am always looking for that place where the two worlds meet: stupidity and drama,” he says. “Sometimes I stare at images for hours and something strikes me – it might be a pose, it might be a stupid look on someone’s face, sometimes the colors. There is no real creative process; the only limitation is my skill. If I don’t know how to do something, I just learn it.”

無論在藝術追求還是個人生活中,Frank都認定在嚴肅和幽默之間找到平衡的必要性。所以øpulu$項目,在他看來就是,通過在嚴肅中融入荒誕以達到某種平衡的一次機會。從童年起,他就一邊欣賞精雕細琢的藝術,一邊喜歡荒誕不經的電影。 “我常常希望找到這兩者間的融合地帶:愚蠢和戲劇,”他說,“我時候會盯著一些照片看上幾個小時,然後突然來了某種頓悟——那也許是照片上的某個姿勢,或是某個人臉上一個愚蠢的表情,​​還也許只是色彩。我並沒有什麼具體的創作步驟,我唯一的限制在於我的表現技能。一旦遇到不會的事情,我就去學習它。”

Original photography by Alexandre Dupeyron

From learning to play around with new media, Frank predicts his work will continue to evolve along with rapid advancements in technology. He foresees an oncoming era of VR and augmented reality, though in his opinion, “art has a place in there, but since it will become harder to program and design, it will take artists a bit longer to catch up”. DRKRMS is currently in discussion with Frank about an event to showcase his animations in an atypical way and bring together the wider DRKRMS community. Charlie says, “We have more øpulu$ content due for release in the coming weeks. If we can develop some conversations and bring people together creatively, we’ll feel a sense of fulfillment.”

從初步學習到玩轉新媒體,Frank預感到隨著技術的快速發展,他的作品還將不斷演變。他預見了VR時代和“增強現實”形式的到來,但是在他看來,“藝術在這期間也必將佔有一席之​​地,但鑑於編程和設計方便都會越來越難,所以藝術家需要更多的時間才能追上這個潮流。” DRKRMS現在正在籌劃一個或者一系列的活動,以非典型的方式呈現Frank的動畫藝術,將更廣大的DRKRMS社區緊密聚集到一起。 Charlie表示:“在未來幾週,我們將推出øpulu$項目的更多內容,若能引發對話和討論,創造性地聚集起不同的人群,我們將感到莫大的榮幸和滿足。”

Original photography by Callaghan Walsh



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