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A Study in Contradictions 混凝土丛林中的传道士

October 11, 2019 2019年10月11日

When I first sat down with Howie Lee in Beijing, I asked him about the EP he’d released a few days earlier. He blinked at me in confusion, and I began to wonder whether I had made some mistake. “Socialism Core Values III?” I said tentatively, and he laughed. “Oh, that’s garbage,” he said. “Just edits, simple stuff.”

I had, in fact, made a mistake: Socialism Core Values III was part of a trio of more casual mixtapes, full of tracks sampling music from grandiose socialist anthems sung in televised Spring Festival galas, 1980s Chinese pop hits, and old folk songs. The night before our meeting, I had watched him litter a DJ set at Beijing’s Zhao Dai club with these tracks and more like them. The audience had responded with joyous disbelief. At one point he played an old Chinese rock song he hadn’t touched up at all—just put the song on and stepped back, watching as the Chinese in the crowd roared the lyrics, and grinned widely, raising his arms to the ceiling and belting out the chorus with them.

第一次在北京和 Howie Lee(李化迪)见面时,我问起他前几天发行的单曲。他懵然地看着我,让我怀疑自己是不是说错了什么。“《社会主义核心价值观III》?”我试探着说,他听后大笑起来。“哦,那是随便弄的。”他说,“就简单编辑了一下。”

事实上,我确实弄错了。《社会主义核心价值观III》只是他即兴打造的混音带三部曲之一,其中采样了春节晚会上气势宏伟的歌曲,还有 1980 年代的中国流行乐和民歌,都是一些不常被用来混音的声音片段。我们见面的前一晚,他在北京 “招待所” 俱乐部(Zhao Dai club)里放歌,整晚放的都是这些音乐。台下观众始料未及,反响十分热烈。表演过程中,李化迪甚至直接播放了一首完全没有经过混音的中国老摇滚曲目。当播放键按下,台下的观众狂喜着大吼歌词,他在 DJ 台上后退一步并举高双手,与大伙儿一起合唱起来。

The audience clearly found something culturally validating, even empowering, about hearing Lee update this type of music, so often regarded as cloying or tacky, into something danceable. But Lee’s point is that, when DJing, he plays a mix of experimental, underground music and old Chinese songs; in China, he says, this works better than anything else. “If you go to the UK, or anywhere else, you hear the local hits. We play Western hits too because we grew up with them—but we don’t want to abandon our Chinese memories.” When I mentioned that I had Chinese friends who rolled their eyes at such music, he laughed, and then grew serious. He admitted that he too had gone through a period of deriding the saccharine side of Chinese music but now sees such an attitude as unproductive hatred of his own country’s past. “At one point I thought, well, this kind of music is too much, but it’s who I am.”

Lee’s simple remixes reflect his audience’s nostalgia as well as his own. “So many times,” he recalls, “I’d get out of the club drunk at three a.m., get in a taxi, and hear these songs. I’d feel like crying, and not know why.” Sampling them now is a mark of respect: why would he sample a song he doesn’t like?



Lee initially came to DJing by way of punk and rock music. “Nothing has hit me harder than rock did,” he told me, pointing out the rock hits I’d heard him play the night before, the kind of thing he used to DJ in college parties. “I used to play bass in a punk band for a few years in university, we would play underground clubs, Mao Livehouse, places like that.” He left the band around the time he graduated college when they entered talks with a major Taiwanese label that Lee felt was too mainstream. “I didn’t want to sign to that stupid thing,” he says, waving a hand dismissively. “So I quit.”

It was then, around 2009, that he started DJing and producing in earnest. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his past as a bass player, his 2010 release 0010111 00100000 010001000 0110001 01111001 0111011 is full of bass-heavy tracks that sound as though they belong in a club setting.  Coming up in the EDM trap wave, by 2012 Lee had gone so far as to secure an official remix for hip-hop great Snoop Dogg. Then came a geographical shift: feeling inspired by the scene in the UK, he moved to London to do a master’s degree in sound art. Starting in 2014, his tracks became cleaner and smoother, with finer detail, more groove, and a noticeable attention to the design of the sound.

But Lee says with a shrug that he found the UK scene less complicated than he had imagined, so rather than stay for very long, he learned what he could in a year and decided to bring it back home.  Upon his return to China, his label Do Hits Records solidified a reputation as a touchstone of China’s underground music scene, releasing volume after volume of compilation albums featuring a wide array of forward-thinking producers.

起初,李化迪是从朋克和摇滚乐转向电子音乐的。“没有什么音乐比摇滚更能打动我。”他指着那些摇滚唱片对我说道,这是他昨天晚上播放的音乐。“我曾经在大学的朋克乐队里担任贝斯手,我们当时就在地下俱乐部、Mao Livehouse 这些地方表演。”大学毕业时他退出了乐队,当时乐队开始和台湾一间大型的唱片公司接触,但李化迪觉得这家唱片公司太主流了。“我不想签那种烂合约。”他说,挥手表示不屑,“所以我就退出了乐队。”

2009 年左右,他开始尝试 DJ 和音乐制作。2010 年,曾经的贝司手发行了一张贝斯味儿十足的专辑《0010111 00100000 010001000 0110001 01111001 0111011》,留下了俱乐部音乐的足迹。随着在 EDM trap 浪潮中崭露头角过后,2012 年,李化迪被说唱歌手 Snoop Dogg 力邀参加了官方 Remix 的制作。之后,他来到英国,在当地多元的音乐场景的熏陶下,让李化迪倍受激发,于是他来到伦敦攻读声音艺术的硕士学位。从 2014 年开始,他的音乐变得越来越简洁、流畅,细节更出众,听上去变得更有律动,对声音的布置也显得更为突出。

但李化迪逐渐发现,英国的音乐场景并没有像想象中那样高深莫测,所以并不适合长时间居住。一年后,他又带着自己学到的知识回到了中国。回国后的他创立了电子音乐厂牌 Do Hits Records,该厂牌迅速晋升为中国地下音乐圈的中流砥柱,接二连三地发行了数张合集,这些作品是都来自五湖四海具有前瞻性的音乐制作人们。

Listen to some of our Howie Lee’s earlier works below:


Over the years, Lee slowly started to add in more sounds inspired by Chinese music. Concerned that the West has undermined Chinese people’s confidence in their own musical traditions, he set out to “bring China back from Western cultural colonization.” Lee once described himself as a nationalist, though in our conversation he amends this to “civilizationalist,” noting that Chinese culture extends beyond the People’s Republic, as well as the malleability throughout the history of China’s borders, which have included very different people at different times. Still, he says, “We have to accept that we’re different, politically, historically, culturally.”He cites the theory that Westerners exist more as individuals, whereas Chinese people exist in a Confucian relationship to those around them. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. We can still be friends.” This conviction has led him to absorb and replicate the sounds of China and the rest of the world. He does not shy from synthesizing these diverse sounds with the kind of music he was making before, but he does avoid privileging sounds of the West over the rest.

多年以来,李化迪开始慢慢吸收中国音乐精髓。在他看来,欧美音乐的影响让中国人对自己的音乐失去了信心,于是,他开始着手于 “让中国摆脱西方文化殖民” 的创作方式。李化迪曾说自己是一个 “民族主义者”,而在我们的谈话中,他把这种说法改为了 “文明主义”。他认为中华文化的范畴远远超出于了共和国的定义,它的延伸性超越了历史上中国的边界,涵盖着不同时代下的特定人群。他说:“必须承认,我们在政治、历史、文化背景上的不同。”他指出,西方更强调个人,而中国则更强调以儒家伦理维系的人际关系。“但我不认为这是一件坏事。大家还是可以做朋友的。”这种信念促使他不断吸收和运用中国和世界其他地区的音乐元素,毫不闭塞地将各种多元的声音与他自身的音乐风格融合,创作时也会有意避免让欧美音乐元素喧宾夺主。

With his 2015 release Mù Chè Shān Chū, by far his longest project at the time, he incorporated more eclectic sounds from a wider range of influences. The listener hears not just punk and electronic, but also hip-hop, classical, folk, and a noticeable increase in Chinese strings and percussion. On his following two EPs, Homeless (2017) and Natural Disaster (2018), he honed an aesthetic that’s at times disturbing, full of distorted samples of folk music from China and its neighbors. He increasingly used vocals, but stretched and pitched them bizarrely, pairing them with strings and percussion edited to climax at unexpected times or in unexpected ways.

2015 年,李化迪推出个人迄今为止最长的专辑《木屮山出》,融合了来自领域更广、更丰富的音乐元素。你不仅能听到朋克和电子音乐,还有嘻哈音乐、古典音乐、民俗音乐的融入,其中中国味的弦乐和打击乐元素也明显增多。在随后推出的两张 EP(《无家》(2017)和《自然灾害》(2018))中,他琢磨出一种富有煽动力的美学风格,运用了大量来自中国及其他亚州地区民间音乐,进行了风格上大刀阔斧的改编。相比于以往,他在作品中加入了更多人声采样,以拉伸和扭曲的怪异方式呈现,搭配古老的弦乐和打击乐,以出人意料的方式达至高潮。

Listen to select tracks from Mù Chè Shān Chū, Homeless, and Natural Disaster below:


Technology has opened doors to more and more sounds, and Lee seems intent on using them all. His music is a thousand things at once, with familiar sounds finding a new expression. Lee says as much when speaking of his transformation of folk, which he describes as a “kind of a deconstruction—destroy the old stuff to build the new old. A lot of people doing traditional folk music don’t like what I do. They’re really hardcore,” he says, with obvious relish. “I appreciate that so much. I think they should preserve their tradition because they come from that background. But I don’t come from that background. One day maybe they’ll understand me.” Lee’s folk sounds are thrilling and unsettling—clearly drawn from tradition but unfamiliar enough to make you sit up and listen.

The result is a global amalgam of sound, at once archaic and futuristic, pure and broken, melding ancient sounds with the noise of industry and the internet age. The contradiction is a reflection of a society struggling with how its cultural norms and traditions collide with technology, increased access to the rest of the world, and its own swift development. Given how well these elements blend in his music, there’s reason to hope they can do so in the rest of the world, too. Lee sees the contradiction as something that goes hand-in-hand with the immense amount of capital circulating in China. “It’s destroying a lot of stuff, but it’s destroying and rebuilding.”

科技的发展让声音的纬度变得更加丰富多彩,而对李化迪来说,所有声音都可以成为素材。他的音乐海纳百川,擅长在熟悉的乐曲中摸索出新的表达方式。在谈到自己对民俗音乐的重新演绎时,李化迪形容那是 “一种解构主义”——通过摧毁旧事物,构建出旧事物的新面貌。“很多做传统民俗音乐的人不喜欢我的音乐,他们是真的硬核。”他笑嘻嘻地说道,“我很欣赏他们。我觉得他们就应该保留自己的传统,因为那是他们的文化背景。但我没有那样的背景,也许有一天他们可以理解我的创作。”李化迪的民俗音乐作品总能营造出令人鼓舞又不安的气氛——这显然受到传统音乐的影响,让人熟悉却又感到陌生,让听者想要抓住歌曲的每一个细节。


Listeners can expect further explorations of these collisions to continue on Howie Lee’s new album, titled Tian Di Bu Ren. Lee’s shift from pure electronic to the inclusion of more natural sounds was on full display on the Do Hits 8th anniversary tour earlier this year. Though he mostly performed surrounded by keyboards and MIDI controllers before a huge screen full of computer-generated imagery, he also came to the front of the stage to sing unmic’d, kneeling with a stringed instrument on his lap. He recites for me a list of instruments he used in the recording process—“a lot of drums, jazzy drums, saxophones, a little bit of zurna flute, bass, guitar”—then adds that he’s been playing with programs on his iPad and more complicated editing. He’s even incorporated artificial intelligence software, which he feeds samples to manipulate and copy. “It generates this weird-sounding, wild, and crazy stuff. Something a human cannot make.”

He is also beginning to experiment more with lyrics. Previously, on tracks like “A Junkie’s Whispering” on the Homeless EP, inspired by a fascination with music in languages he did not know, he rapped in technologically pitched-down nonsense syllables. “I listen to music in other languages and have no idea what they’re saying but it’s so great—so why can’t I make something up? That was my point, for a while. But now I’ve started to write lyrics, I think lyrics can do good things,” he says. Thematically, some songs on the new album are inspired by ethnic groups such as the Miao living in China’s mountains, and by the influx of those people to the cities, where they live in the new mountains: apartment buildings. “They have this culture in the mountains in China where they sing to the women, back and forth—I’m kind of writing the ‘loneliness mountain songs’ for people living in the concrete jungle.”

在李化迪的新专辑《天地不仁》中,你会听到他对这些对立面的进一步探索。今年早些时候,李化迪在 Do Hits 八周年巡演派对上将全电子声效的表演方式抛之脑后,并融入更多现实的声音。即便你还会在大屏幕前,看到他忙不迭地操作着键盘和 MIDI 控制器,但那些未经处理的人声以及架在大腿上的弦乐器,不由让人眼前一亮。他为我一一罗列了演出中用到的乐器——“各类鼓、爵士鼓、萨克斯、唢呐、贝斯、吉他”,然后在 iPad 上进行更为复杂的编曲。他甚至加入人工智能软件,输入采样,让软件自行操作和复制。“软件可以生成各种奇怪、夸张和疯狂的效果。这是人类做不到的。”

这一次,李化迪还尝试了更多歌词方面的创作。此前在 EP《无家》中,出于对未知语言的迷恋,他用胡编乱造的喃喃废话创作了歌曲《A Junkie’s Whispering》。李化迪说:“有时候我听外语歌,也不知道他们在唱什么,但是听起来很棒,就想我为什么不能也胡编乱造一下呢?有一阵子我都是这么想的。但现在我开始写歌词了,我觉得歌词也可以很有用。”从主题上讲,新专辑中部分歌曲灵感为居住在中国山区的少数民族,以及这些少数民族涌入城市后居住在 “新大山”——公寓楼的现象。“在中国的山区有一种文化,男人会和女人对唱山歌,我这算是为生活在混凝土丛林中的人们写的寂寞山歌吧。”

At the time of writing, three singles have been released in advance of the album. The first, “Tomorrow Can Not Be Waited” [sic], featured a curious music video that explored the relationship between Daoism and virtual reality. Next came “Enter the Tigerwoods” and “21st Century Suicide,” both of which blur the lines between electronic music and more traditional recording techniques. They both display fascinating continuation of Lee’s work, but “21st Century Suicide” is especially striking as a three-act piece. Beginning with a single staticky bass note, it features Lee’s heartbreaking vocals and a mix of Chinese and Western instruments, and ends with a flute playing over a blast of synthesizers and frenetic drumming that build up and then fade out into a single breathy bass note that seems to disappear into the wind.

写下本文的时候,专辑的三首单曲已先于专辑发布。第一首单曲《明日不可待》配套了一支令人着魔的 MV,其中探讨了道教与虚拟现实之间的关系。接下来是《入老虎林》和《二十一世纪自杀》。两首作品都展示出李化迪一贯迷人的音乐风格,但《二十一世纪自杀》三幕式的结构尤其突出。歌曲以冷静的低音开始,随后李化迪令人心碎的人声悄然来临,长笛在合成器和鼓声中狂舞,节奏逐渐加快,又逐渐转淡,化为如呼吸般沉迷的低音,一下子消失在风中。

Listen to some of our favorite tracks from Howie Lee’s Tian Di Bu Ren below:


When I point out to Lee that his professed faith in the collective identities of culture and nation might be at odds with his idiosyncratic sound, he makes no attempt to reconcile these contradictions. He compares it to the search for the Way, as expressed in Daoism and Buddhism, and relates the story of one of Buddha’s followers asking him in confusion why he was telling people about the Way if it was truly so unexplainable. “The common argument is that once you start to talk about the Way, it disappears—the real Way is not something you can explain, but the Buddha still has to tell people it exists . . . This is the big conflict,” he says earnestly. “This is something I have to explore through my art, and the more I do it, the more I will understand.”

Lee’s music is something he creates to say what he can’t put into words yet, a manifestation of his search for the Way. He tells the story of his search to make sense of all the clashing elements of our modern world, complete with the sonic textures of everything from mountains to cities, from the real to the virtual, from the ancient to the futuristic. It’s a world so full of contradictions that, when one attempts description, it defies clear portrayal, slipping through the listener’s ears and ultimately beyond their grasp.

Tian Di Bu Ren can now be streamed on Apple Music, Spotify, NetEase Cloud Music, Xiami, and more.


李化迪通过音乐来表达他无法言喻的事情,这是他对 “道” 的追寻。在讲述自己寻 “道” 的故事时,他融入了现代社会各种冲突的要素,从山脉到城市、从真实到虚拟、从古老到未来,并力求理解它们的真正意义。世界本身就存在很多矛盾体,当你试图描述时,它们好像并没有那么明确。这些相互矛盾的声音闯入听者耳廓,让人猝不及防。

《天地不仁》现已登陆网易云虾米SpotifyApple Music 等各大国内外音乐平台。

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


Facebook: ~/howieleeofficial
Weibo: ~/howieleeeee
Soundcloud: ~/howielee


Contributor: Kiril Bolotnikov
Photographer: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信


脸书: ~/howieleeofficial
微博: ~/howieleeeee
Soundcloud: ~/howielee


供稿人: Kiril Bolotnikov
摄影师: David Yen
英译中: Olivia Li

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Drawing a Crowd 微胖界的狂欢节

October 4, 2019 2019年10月4日

Shin He-mi is a Korean illustrator and muralist who has a tough time staying organizedbut you’d never guess it from her art. Working under the name Seenaeme, she creates crowded compositions populated by adorable, pudgy characters that seem to be battling for space with the mishmash of landscapes, buildings, and objects that form the backdrop. Despite the visual congestion, the work never feels too busy or cluttered. It’s a distinct aesthetic that appears across Shin’s body of work, which ranges from pen-and-paper doodles, to digital illustrations, to larger-than-life murals.

韩国插画师兼墙绘艺术家 Shin He-mi 一向非常努力地让自己变得井井有条——即使你从她的作品里永远也感受不到她是这样的人。以 Seenaeme 为艺名的她,作品中满是可爱的矮胖角色,画中的角色似乎正与背景中各种景观、建筑和物体争夺空间。尽管画面很丰富,但不会让人觉得太过拥挤和杂乱。这种独特的审美贯穿在 He-mi 的作品当中,囊括了她的纸笔手稿、数字插图,以及大过身高的壁画。

Storytelling is a vital part of Shin’s creative process. Starting with a specific narrative has led to some of her best work, and now, devising a complete story is the first step to any project. “When I see a blank canvas, I view it like it’s a cinema screen,” she says. “Inside that screen, I think about how I can start to develop my story and characters.” This penchant for great storytelling is also what inspired her to create homages to some of her favorite tales of all time, including Star Wars, Little Mermaid, Final Fantasy VII, and more.

讲故事是 He-mi 创作中至关重要的部分。一些她最好的作品,都会从一个具体的故事提纲展开,而现在,完整的故事也只是任何项目开始的第一步。“当我面对一块空白的画布时,我会把它想像成电影屏幕,”她说。“在那个屏幕里,我会思考如何开始发展我的故事和角色。” He-mi 喜爱出色的讲述方式,这也激发她重新塑造那些优秀的作品,包括《星球大战》、《小美人鱼》和《最终幻想VII》等等。

It’s not just works of fantasy that get her creative juices flowing. Many of her works are based on ordinary moments that she’s observed in her day-to-day to life. Yet she doesn’t believe in being a detached spectator, and building connections with others is of equal importance to her. It’s also the primary reason for her interest in mural art. “When I draw in the streets, I get direct feedback from the crowd. The fact that my drawings are immediately on display to them fills me with excitement. It’s also fascinating to me that any random passerby can inadvertently become an audience member.”

除了脑洞大开的作品,He-mi 还从各种素材中迸发灵感。她的很多作品都是基于日常生活中观察到的平凡时刻。但她不认为自己是一个冷漠的旁观者,对她来说,与他人建立联系也是同等重要的。这也是她对墙绘艺术感兴趣的主要原因。“当我在大街上画画时,我能从人群中得到非常直接的反馈。我也能非常兴奋地向他们展出我当下的作品。任何路过的人都可能无意中成为观众,这对我来说是一件很令人着迷的事。”

Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


Behance: ~/seenaeme
Instagram: @seenaeme


Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Images Courtesy of Seenaeme

喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信


Behance: ~/seenaeme
Instagram: @seenaeme


供稿人: David Yen
英翻中: Olivia Li
图片由 Seenaeme 提供


Studio by Sol “这真的是文身吗?”

September 30, 2019 2019年9月30日

On a busy street in Hongdae sits a large café with bare white walls. Despite the underwhelming decor, dozens of people come and go every hour, and most of the visitors seem to share a common trait: they’ve all got tattoos.

This is Studio by Sol, the biggest tattoo shop in South Korea. Founded by tattoo artist Sol and his business partner Inho, the atelier has taken on dozens of apprentices since it opened in 2017. It’s now home to more than 30 tattoo artists and attracts thousands of domestic and international customers every year.


这里是韩国最大的文身店 Studio by Sol,由文身艺术家 Sol 和他的合作伙伴 Inho 共同创立。从 2017 年开业至今,这间工作室已经招了几十名学徒,现在拥有超过 30 名文身艺术家,每年都会吸引数千名来自国内外的客户。

Sol had never considered pursuing a career as a tattoo artist until he met Inho during his year of obligatory military service. He had been pursuing a degree in sculpture and had just taken a leave of absence, because he felt uncertain about the future. All that changed the first time he saw a tattoo. “Inho had gotten a tattoo while he was home for the holidays,” he recalls. “I got to see it when he came back to the base, and I remember thinking, ‘I can do it better.’”

Sol 以前从未想过成为一名文身艺术家,直到他在服兵役那一年认识了 Inho。当时他正在攻读雕塑学位,因为对未来的迷茫感而刚刚申请了休假。转变的契机是他看到的第一个文身。“Inho 放假回家的时候刺了一个文身。回来军队时,我看到了它,我记得自己当时就在想,‘我可以刺得更好。’” 他回忆道。

So he decided to learn to tattoo. At the time, most South Korean tattoo artists worked with the Irezumi and Old School styles, but what Sol wanted to express in his tattoos was altogether different, and he decided he’d learn by himself.

“I wanted to focus on smaller designs, because of the social stigma around tattoos in South Korea,” he says. “Something that’s small and easy to hide, but something I put a lot of effort in. Naturally, the tattoos became very detailed.” Sol also emphasizes the importance of texture. “I wanted to work on tattoos that were no different from what you could draw on paper with colored pencils. I wanted people to wonder, ‘Is that really a tattoo?’ when they saw my work.”

After inking his first design on a friend, Sol fell in love with the human element of the medium. “I thought I’d just work on tattoos to make money for my sculpting career, but it took over because it was so fun,” he says.” You get immediate feedback and you get to interact with clients, who I learn so much from.”

于是,他决定学习文身。当时,大多数韩国文身艺术家主要都是创作日式文身(Irezumi)或是西式的 Old School 风格,但 Sol 想要创作截然不同的风格,于是他决定自学。

Sol 表示:“因为韩国的社会对文身存在偏见,所以我想设计精致一点的文身,小小的,容易隐藏,但也需要我花一定的功夫才能完成。所以,最终的图案会非常细致。”Sol 还很强调质感的重要性,“我想让文身最后看上去跟你用彩色铅笔在纸上画的画差不多。我希望人们在看到我的作品时会想,‘这真的是文身吗?’”。

给他的一个朋友刺了第一个文身作品之后,Sol 爱上了这种充满人性元素的艺术。“我一开始是想通过文身打工挣钱来支持我的雕塑艺术,但现在已经反过来了,因为文身真是太有趣了。”他说,“你可以得到即时的反馈,还可以和客户有很多互动,从他们身上我常常能学到很多东西。”

Sol recalls one of the more meaningful experiences he had early in his career. A couple flew in from abroad, wanting to get matching tattoos of their cat. “They were originally a cis heterosexual couple, but one of the partners was transitioning. Yet, they stayed together, and I was so inspired by the breadth of their love and understanding, that I was happy to work on a tattoo symbolizing their love and their relationship.”

This love of building human connections is also part of what led Sol to teach. “I wanted to share my knowledge,” he says. “But I didn’t want to teach art—style is something that should be developed by the artist, instead of being taught.  I could teach the technical skills for those who already had distinct artistic styles and wanted to express their art in tattoo form.”

A new artist will typically train for about three months at Studio by Sol. “For a new artist’s first tattoo, I’ll be right next to them to help out. I know what mistakes they’re going to make, since I’ve made them myself. But they’re talented artists, so they catch on quickly. Basically, all I’m helping out with is how to set up the machine. There have been no accidents so far—no lost friendships or anything,” he says with a grin.

Sol 回忆起他从事文身工作后一次很有意义的经历。一对夫妇从国外来到韩国,想文下他们养的猫。“他们原本是一对普通的异性恋情侣,但其中一个人正在变性的过程中。可他们还是在一起。这种大爱和相互理解让我很受启发,我很高兴可以给他们纹这样一个象征着爱和联系的文身。”

出于这种对人与人之间的联系的热爱,Sol 教的一部分。他说:“我想分享我的知识,但我不想传授我的美学风格。因为我觉得美学风格应该由艺术家个人自行培养,那不是可以被教导的东西。我只可以教那些已经有个人艺术风格和想通过文身表达自己艺术的人。”

每位新文身艺术家通常会在 Studio by Sol 接受约三个月的培训。“新手文身师刺第一个文身时,我都会在旁边帮忙。我知道他们可能要犯的错误,毕竟我都经历过。但他们都是很有才华的艺术家,所以很快就能掌握好。基本上,我要帮忙的只是设置好机器。到目前为止都还没有出过任何意外,也没有发生什么让友谊破碎或不快的事情。”他咧嘴笑着说。

Sol never imagined his tattoo shop would host so many resident artists. Tattooists typically went out and created their own studios after an apprenticeship. “That’s what I did, and that’s what was common in this field,” he says. “But many of the new artists at the time were women, and they seemed to be worried about having a space where they could work safely, especially given the legal issues in South Korea.” (In Korea, among other barriers, it is illegal to work as a tattoo artist without a medical license).

Sol 从未想过他的文身工作室可以吸引到这么多常驻文身师。一般来说,文身师当完学徒后都会离开去创立自己的工作室。“我就是这么做的,这也是这个行业的惯例。但现在有许多新文身师都是女性,她们似乎比较担心能不能找到一个可以安心工作的地方,特别是考虑到韩国相关法律的问题。”(在韩国,除了其他要求之外,没有医疗执照的情况下从事文身工作也是违法的。)

In establishing their shop, Sol and Inho sought to build a welcoming space that would attract even people who aren’t into tattoos. “So many new artists end up not succeeding because they fail to attract customers, even though they’ve got the skills,” Inho says. “From a businessperson’s perspective, I thought what Sol was trying to do made sense for everyone. It was important that we made the place approachable, especially given the social stigma around tattoos. So we decided to set up a café as well.”

Sol also hopes that their space can promote artists outside of the tattoo scene. “I was lucky enough to find success as a tattoo artist, but as someone who’s been trained in art, I know how hard it can be to find platforms to share your work,” he says. “That’s why the café in the shop is also meant to double as an art gallery, though it’s empty at the moment. And it’s my dream to fill it with different artists’ works, to make art as a whole more accessible to the public.”

在成立工作室时,Sol 和 Inho 的想法是打造一个温馨的空间,让即使是对文身没有兴趣的人也被吸引进来。Inho 说:“许多年轻艺术家失败的原因是他们不能吸引顾客,即使他们很有才华。从商人的角度来看,我认为 Sol 试图做的事情能让所有人产生共鸣。重要的是,我们要让这个地方能吸引到所有人,尤其是考虑到韩国社会对文身的偏见,所以我们决定同时开设一家咖啡馆。”

Sol 也希望自己的工作室可以推广文身艺术之外的艺术家。“我很幸运能够成为一名成功的文身艺术家,但作为一名读过艺术专业的人,我也很清楚要找到平台分享自己的作品是一件很困难的事情。”他说,“正因如此,我们希望咖啡馆同时成为一间艺术画廊,虽然现在还是空的。但我的梦想是在这里展示出不同艺术家的作品,拉近艺术与公众的距离。”

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Instagram: @studiobysol


Contributor: Joe Park
Images Courtesy of Studio by Sol

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Instagram: @studiobysol


供稿人: Joe Park
图片由 Studio by Sol 提供

Bangkok Phosphors 夜色下的魔力曼谷

September 27, 2019 2019年9月27日

Cody Ellingham’s first impression of Bangkok wasn’t visual, but literary, through Yukio Mishima’s Temple of Dawn, which takes place in Bangkok in the 1940s and 1950s. The vivid description of the city’s canals and temples left an impression on this globetrotting photographer. “I wanted to come here and see how the modern city had changed with my own eyes,” he says. “I found that the canals had been mostly replaced by congested concrete roads, but still the city had a kind of magic to it.”

环球旅行摄影师 Cody Ellingham 对曼谷的第一印象并非来自视觉,而是来自三岛由纪夫的文学著作《Temple of Dawn》,书中描绘了上世纪四十至五十年代曼谷的城市面貌,生动的文字让 Cody Ellingham 对那里的运河与寺庙记忆犹存。他说:“我希望来到这里亲眼看看这座城市的当代变迁。如今,我发现很多运河都被拥挤不堪的混凝土马路替代,但整座城市依然有一种魔力存在。”

It’s a magic that he captures in Bangkok Phosphors, a stunning portrait of the Thai capital after dark. Similar to his documentations of other Asian metropolises, such as DERIVE and Shanghai Streets, his approach to seeking out shots was largely guided by instinct. “Bangkok was totally unknown for me, as it was my first time here,” he says. “I explored. I wandered, I talked to locals, and I took my time figuring out the city’s layout.”

这样的魔力被 Ellingham 用相机记录在《Bangkok Phosphors》系列作品中,描绘出泰国首都入夜时分令人着迷的城市肖像。与他曾为其他亚洲大都会拍摄的作品类似,比如《DERIVE》和《Shanghai Streets》,Ellingham 通常会根据自己的直觉和本能寻找镜头,“拍摄的时候是我第一次去曼谷,对我来说是完全未知的状态。想要搞清楚城市的布局,要多花点时间,我会把自己沉浸在城市的街道里,与当地人讲话,不断寻找探索的机会。”

As it does in Ellingham’s past works, architecture plays a key role in this photo essay. Bangkok Phosphors juxtaposes dilapidated buildings with futuristic structures to highlight the city’s tug-of-war between modernity and older ways of life, a competition which the former is winning. His palette, which in this series consists of cobalt blues and fluorescent cyans, is another crucial atmospheric detail. These cold tones call to mind the seamy metropolises of cyberpunk fiction, and it’s by design: by drawing comparisons between present-day reality and dystopian sci-fi, Ellingham seems to be asking viewers to think about how our choices today influence the future, and whether or not that’s a future we want to live in.

Cody Ellingham is now raising funds to turn Bangkok Phosphors into a photo book. Learn more on his Kickstarter.

在 Ellingham 过去的作品中,建筑往往是主角。《Bangkok Phosphor》系列作品是一场关于现代与传统的碰撞,让破败不堪的建筑在未来感的框架中胜出。同时,钴蓝和荧光色拼凑成他的调色板,洋溢在每幅画面的细枝末梢处,这样的冷色调唤起人们对大都市赛博朋克风格的种种畅想。Ellingham 用真实写照与反乌托邦式的科幻画笔,带观者以现实角度选择关于未来的去向,引人们思考这是否是我们想要到达的未来境地。

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Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Pete Zhang

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供稿人: David Yen
英译中: Pete Zhang

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Who Are You Looking At? 不食人间烟火的肖像

September 23, 2019 2019年9月23日

The women in Kelly Belter‘s prints sit alone, eyes closed or lost in the distance, with a look of apathy or boredom written across their faces. Or perhaps it’s not apathy or boredom, but something else entirely—expressions that aren’t so much enigmatic as they are ambiguous, unavailable. Drawn in simple lines and with a minimal palate, the subjects offer no insight into their thoughts. They’re not there to be looked at.

A Korean-American illustrator, Belter grew up in mainly in Dallas, and then moved to Korea to teach for a few years after college. That’s where she began to work seriously as an artist. Previously art had been only a hobby, and it wasn’t until she moved to Seoul, where she had plenty of time to spend drawing, that it started to seem like a realistic career choice. She enrolled in a graduate degree program and began freelancing seriously. “I invested more time in illustration,” she says. “I started picking up odd jobs and commissions while I was in school, upgraded my work materials, and transitioned into full-time work doing corporate design and freelance illustration projects after graduating.”

Kelly Belter 画中的女人们总是孤独地坐在一旁,她们双眼紧闭,又或迷失在远方,一副淡泊是非、百无聊赖的表情挂在脸上。即便并非如此,你也会从她们身上,稍许读出几分不食人间烟火的意味。Belter 用简单的线条和审美趣味,轻描淡绘出每一位女性主人翁的心头思绪。她们就伫立在那儿,不希望被他人察觉。

韩裔美国插画师 Belter 的青少年时光大部分在达拉斯度过。大学毕业后的几年里,她移居到韩国从事教学工作,并在那里开始作为一名艺术家进行创作。搬去首尔之后,Belter 拥有大量时间进行创作,艺术对她来说从兴趣爱好转变为职业选择。随后,她进行了硕士学位的学习,并开始着手于自由职业的工作,上学的时候,我在插画方面投入了更多时间,用兼职的钱来升级我的创作用具。毕业后,公司的全职工作和兼职基本上是同时进行的

At first she created most of her work digitally, using illustration software. But eventually she grew tired of relying on a computer, and in 2018 she began experimenting with alternatives. That’s how she fell in love with print-making—particularly silkscreens and risographs. “The physical process of hand-crafting each image is really satisfying. I like the visual effect of bold, bright color blocking within an image,” she says. Printing by hand also also allows for slight variations of color and texture within each work. On her website, she sells risographs and limited edition prints.

Her figures have a static, wallpaper-like quality, an effect heightened by the floral patterns on her subjects’ clothes. “Creating a more ‘flat’ image allows me to better balance details, texture, and color palette,” she explains.

起初,Belter 用电脑插画软件绘制的大部分作品还有一股数字的味道,但后来,她渐渐对电脑的过度依赖感到厌倦,于是在 2018 年另辟蹊径,陷入了一场与孔版、丝网印刷的恋曲。她说:“亲手制作每张照片的过程让人心存满足,那些大胆以及色彩鲜明的视觉效果是我的心头好。”通过这种操作手感强烈的创作方式,你会在每一幅作品中,发现不同纹理与颜色之间细微的变化。在 Belter 的个人网站上,一些丝网印刷的限量作品正在公开售卖。


This flatness also makes the subjects more inaccessible to the viewer. Very subtly, Belter inverts a tradition of portraiture that leaves women on display as a passive object for an implicitly male spectator.

Belter has long been fascinated by nineteenth-century Orientalist art, and especially by the paintings of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), who often depicted non-European women in a romantic, exotic fashion. Belter’s work is in dialogue with Ingres, and she seeks to invert his representational conventions. “He often used the perspective of a window looking into a room of women,” she explains. “I hope to present women from a different perspective, and I’ve played with the idea by grounding the women within the room, often with a window behind them. The women I draw are self-concerned. They are looking at themselves, rather than being looked at by someone else.” While her subjects are seldom engaged in any action—they’re more likely to be gazing into space—they’re also not passively on display.

同时,平坦的纸质还会让人物看起来区别于凡尘,高贵且端详。细枝末梢处,Belter 颠覆了传统的肖像画法,以含蓄的男性视角展现女性外貌。

长期以来,Belter 一直沉迷于十九世纪东方主义(Orientalist)艺术,尤其是 Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres(1780-1867)的作品,这位法国画家曾时常描绘欧洲地区之外的女性肖像,具有丰富的浪漫色彩和异域风尚。而 Belter 的作品则像是与 Ingres 的对话,对话中 Belter 尝试颠覆后者的传统绘法。“Ingres 经常能以窗户的视角望去女性角色的闺房,而我则希望以不同的方法呈现,在我的作品中,窗子往往在女性的背后。我笔下的女性,都是关注自我的。她们与自己对话,并不希望被他人看到。” 同时,Belter 的人物通常没有任何动作,她们更像在空中凝视,并不想被展示在画卷里。

The eclectic objects in each print are also the product of considerable thought. Belter wants each image to suggest a brief, simple story, and she gets inspiration from photos she snaps of odd items that catch her eye when walking around Seoul. In “Oranges and Antibodies,” for example, a self-indulgent obsession with health is visible in the choice of props: “an acupuncture hand sculpture and diagram seen in a traditional medical office, pill boxes, Korean Hallabong oranges and the filter-masks everyone in Seoul wears. I wanted to contrast that self-concern and decadence with the environmental chaos outside and our propensity to ignore it.”

画中的物品也同样是经过 Belter 深思熟虑的,她希望通过画面去呈现言简意赅的故事。每当漫步在首尔街头,她都会用相机记录下那些夺人眼球的物件。在作品《橘子和抗体(Oranges and Antibodies)》中,过度迷恋健康的心理状态被安放在了可见的道具上面,“你会看到人体和手部穴位模具,药箱以及韩国人人都有的过滤面罩。我想用这些道具延伸出一些思考 —— 自我意识、外界环境的混乱、以及人们司空见惯的态度,让这三者之间形成反差的对立面”。

With her newfound love of printmaking, Belter is eager to continue experimenting with new techniques and media. She’s now at work on a screen-printed zine, which she also plans to release as a risograph. And at least one of her prints is also available in tote bag form.

If you can’t catch her at one of the art book festivals she’s been attending across Korea and throughout Asia, you can find her prints available on her website.

在她与版画制作的恋曲中,Belter 也希望持续在作品中加入新的技术与媒介。目前,她正忙着一本丝网印刷杂志的制作,孔版印刷的打印版本也在计划之中。同时,一些作品还会被印在托特包上面。如果你没能参加她在韩国和其他亚洲地区的艺术书展,你还可以在 Kelly Belter 的网站上浏览她的作品。

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Contributor: Allen Young
Chinese Translation: Pete Zhang

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Contributor: Allen Young
Chinese Translation: Pete Zhang

Mr. Pahinga 精诚所至 金石为开

September 20, 2019 2019年9月20日

When “Pahinga,” by Al James, became a viral anthem in the Philippines last year, it was emblematic of a new wave of independent Filipino rappers finding success on their own terms. As high-speed internet became readily available across the country, listeners began craving new styles and found unmediated access to local talent. Tectonic shifts followed: a new generation of artists could now find instant success, and James was at the forefront. His syrupy, sensual style was everywhere, and it was the sound of a new era.

去年,菲律宾说唱歌手 Al James 的单曲《Pahinga》在当地病毒式狂热蔓延,预示着新一波独立菲律宾说唱歌手正在以独特的方式胜出。随着高速稳定的互联网络在菲律宾全国普及,音乐爱好者们希望以更为直接的方式,发现新的音乐风格和本地新晋音乐人。同时地下音乐场景也发生了翻天覆地的变化:对于新一代艺术家来说,一夜成名不再是遥不可及的梦。而 James 便处在当地互联网音乐场景的先锋阵地,他绵密的感情色彩充斥在作品中,打造属于新时代的个人标签。

Now anyone can now record their first song and become a superstar overnight. It’s certainly the case with some of today’s most popular rappers. To the majority of his listeners, James too dropped from the sky as a total unknown. He had hardly any internet presence when he uploaded “Pahinga,” the sole, lonely track on his threadbare Soundcloud and Youtube pages. But he’d actually been waiting in the wings for nearly a decade, studying the rappers before him since his school days.

放眼当下,几乎人人都能凭借一首歌曲一夜成名,时下最流行的说唱歌手中不乏这样的例子。对大多数听众来说, James 同样也算是从天而降的无名之辈。当他上传《Pahinga》时,互联网上并没有多少关于他的痕迹。这首歌也作为他唯一的曲目,孤零零的占据着他 SoundCloud 和 YouTube 页面的全部内容。但实际上,James 的蛰伏期持续了将近十年,从上学时期他便开始研究一些早期的说唱歌手。

Listen to to some of our favorite tracks by Al James below:

点击即可试听几首 Al James 的歌曲:

As a kid, James would run around to some of Manila’s cultural landmarks, like Cubao Expo and the now-shuttered music venue B-Side, both of which were incubators for the local hip- hop scene. Since he was raised near Ronac Art Center, their monthly open mic, Wordplay, was the most influential space for him. “It was a hub for creative kids, a safe space for us. Lots of people whose name you’d recognize now were coming around there. We were the little kids observing and following the older guys.” But James’s first introduction to hip-hop culture was through graffiti, and it was the glue that bonded him with some of his earliest friends, many of whom are still part of his current crew Baryo Berde. “We were vandalizing some of the same doors and stuff,” he says with a laugh while getting a haircut from another childhood friend. “It was like, ‘Oh, that’s you? What’s up!’”

It wasn’t until 2012 that James actually started rapping, standing in the stairwells at his college and “cyphering,“ taking turns rapping together. He was studying advertising at a fine arts school, but he and his friends were more interested in rap: “We were recording some tracks for fun and releasing them on Soundcloud just for the homies, basically. I was rapping under the name AJ. Our first group was called The Land Of Promise. We’d talk about Filipino history, what life is like here, and why you should be proud. Our second group was 5th Wave Theory, and we actually wrote an album.” But in their final year at school, everyone got busy, and rap took a back seat. While they’d still cypher at night when hanging out, their first jobs after school were more important.

少年时期的 James 经常跑到马尼拉一些文化地标性场地观看演出,如 Cubao Expo 和现在已经关闭的音乐场地 B-Side,这两个地方都是当地嘻哈文化孕育而生的地方。他自小在 Ronac 艺术中心附近长大,那里每月都会举行开放麦(open mic)的活动 —— Wordplay,对他的影响很大。“那是一个让小孩发挥创意的中心,也是我们的庇护所。你们现在知道的很多有名的艺术家,他们小时候都是那里的常客,而我们这帮小孩就跟在大人身后暗中观察。”但 James 第一次接触嘻哈文化是通过涂鸦。他和一些早期的朋友都是通过涂鸦相识,其中许多人还成为了他目前团队 Baryo Berde 的成员。“当时我们都喜欢在相同的几扇门附近 ‘搞搞破坏’,然后就聊了起来,‘嘿,那是你画的?’”理发时他笑着说道,而理发师也是他的另一个儿时的玩伴。

直到 2012 年,James 才真正开始说唱,和朋友在大学的楼梯间进行 cypher —— 麦克风接力。那时候他在一所艺术学校攻读广告专业,但他和朋友对说唱明显更感兴趣:“我们当时录了一些歌,还发布在 SoundCloud 上,但其实只是出于好玩,想分享给朋友听。我当时的说唱艺名叫 AJ。我们第一个组合叫 ‘The Land Of Promise’,向大家讲讲菲律宾的历史、本地的生活方式,以及作为菲律宾人引以为傲的缘由。我们的第二个组合是 ‘5th Wave Theory’ ,当时还一块做了张专辑。”但是,大学最后一年,因为大家忙碌起来,说唱的事情就被搁置了。虽然大家晚上出来聚会时还会 cypher,但对他们来说,毕业后的第一份工作显得要更重要一些。

In 2015, the Al James persona came to life. He was only popping up as the occasional featured guest on friends’ tracks, but James could smell change in the air and was acting on it. “This is around the time that rap groups like 727 Clique and Owfuck were coming out,” he tells us. “When I first saw them perform, it was like culture shock. The kids were going crazy. It was a rooftop party and the whole thing was shaking. The police came and shut it down. Before that, we were used to chill, head-bopping crowds. This was totally new.” It inspired him to start experimenting and he recorded a few new styles, trying out some boom bap and some disruptive trap. But it was the lo-fi, chill sounds of “Pahinga” that he finally chose to upload. (The title translates roughly to “chilling out.”)

2015 年,他开始以 Al James 的身份说唱。偶尔友情客串朋友音乐的他,同时也察觉到了当时说唱界的风云突变。“那时候正是 727 Clique 和 Owfuck 这些说唱团体出来的时候。”他回忆道,“当我第一次看到他们表演时,真的是很震撼。所有年轻的小孩都快要疯了。在那次屋顶派对,我感觉整幢房子都在震动。后来警察赶到现场,中止了派对。在那之前的派对,我们最多只是跟着音乐摇摇头。所以,那次真的是一次全新的体验。” 那场派对启发他开始唱出新的尝试,并录制了全新风格的音乐,包括一些 boom bap 和一些爆炸的 trap 音乐。但最终 James 选择了《Pahinga》这首单曲中低保真、放松、舒服的曲风。

“I didn’t expect it to explode,” he says. And it didn’t at first. “Pahinga” gained traction slowly on Soundcloud. In the beginning it was mostly his artist friends playing and sharing it. But then it spread outside his circles. Although it never passed a couple hundred thousand plays on there, it was popular enough there that people started encouraging him to upload it to Youtube, where it took a life of its own. “Stuff wasn’t really blowing up on Youtube yet, but I did it anyway. It grew really organically. There were a lot of memes. People were ripping it from Youtube and adding it to different videos. Everything was happening at the same time, and it just snowballed.”

“我没想到它会这么火。” James 说。这首歌其实并不是一经推出便引爆互联网的,最开始也只是 James 的艺术家朋友会在 SoundCloud 上分享并收听这首单曲。但随后这首歌在他的社交圈以外一度被广泛传播。SoundCloud 上几十万的播放量,已经为他吸引了足够的人气,人们开始鼓励他把歌曲上传到 YouTube,从那时开始,歌曲《Pahinga》的波及范围便开始超出他的预期。“当时我在 YouTube 上也没被太多关注,但我还是上传了这首歌。它的流行是一个逐渐累积的过程。网上有很多对这首歌的改编。很多人从 YouTube 上下载这首歌,加到不同的视频中。各种因素加在一起,就像滚雪球那样。”

As he started getting booked to play shows, he quit his below-the-line advertising job. Al raps full time now, headlining festivals and events all over the country, still as independent as ever. “Some labels were reaching out, but the deals were pretty unfair. The music grew on its own, so I didn’t need them,” he shrugs. But he’s got to stay nimble. “With my newest song, ‘Latina,’ I tried a different approach. I was hearing a lot of similar vibes and I didn’t want it to deal with that saturation, so I switched it up. But the Al James flavor is still there.”

他开始受邀参加各种演出,并随后辞去了广告公司的工作。现在,Al james 是一名全职的说唱歌手,在菲律宾各地的节日和活动上表演,但仍然像以前一样保持独立音乐人的态度。“有些唱片公司联系过我,但条件都非常不公平。我的音乐本身在不断发展,所以我也不需要签这些公司了。” 他耸了耸肩说道。在音乐性上,他的曲风依然保持灵活多变的特点,“新歌《Latina》尝试了不同的风格。因为我之前听到太多相似的音乐,所以不想再创作已经饱和的曲风。我决定改变一下,但 Al James 的味道依然存在。”

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Facebook: ~/mrpahinga
YouTube: ~/aljames


Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Jilson Tiu

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供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Jilson Tiu

Sci-Fashion JIN 袍加身

September 16, 2019 2019年9月16日

You can’t just wait around for the future, you have to go out and create it. That’s the ethos behind JIN, an haute couture clothing brand from Taipei. The brainchild of Burgess Wu, JIN was born of a pure love for science fiction. The flagship store in the Wanhua district, half showroom and half event space, is a laboratory for creativity inspired by Blade Runner that regularly hosts a range of unique parties.

未来不是等出来的,是需要你去创造的,这就台北高订时装品牌 JIN 的设计理念。出于对科幻小说的热爱,创始人 Burgess Wu 打造了品牌 JIN。该品牌的旗舰店位于台北万华区,由陈列厅和活动场地构成,空间的设计灵感源自《银翼杀手》(Blade Runner)。而作为一个创意的工作空间,这里也会定期举办各种特别的派对活动。

Wu founded JIN in 2015 after dropping out of college. He was studying design but became impatient, unable to wait to start creating real things. As the son of a clothing designer, he already had a strong foundation in the craft , so he combed through past sketches and set to work building his brand: he began sourcing material and working with tailors to bring these concepts to life. When his first line, which had a sci-fi aesthetic, didn’t sell, he retreated to his home studio for some soul searching. He decided to combine his futuristic look with traditional elements, and this new approach seemed to catch on. “I wanted to offer something to society, something new for this generation,” he explains. “Fast fashion is boring—there’s no individuality. If you spend all your time following the trends, you lose yourself.”

2015 年,Wu 大学辍学后创办了 JIN。当时正在攻读设计专业的他,迫不及待并渴望能创造出实打实的作品。Wu 的父亲是一名服装设计师,在工艺方面为他早已夯实了坚硬的基础。在认真梳理了自己画过的草图过后,他开始着手打造属于自己的品牌:采购面料,与裁缝师共事,并逐渐将这些设计概念转化为现实。他的首个系列以科幻美学为主题概念,但卖得并不理想,他回到家中的工作室,反复琢磨自己的设计理念。随后,他决定将自己未来主义风格与传统元素结合起来,这种新的创作方式似乎很受追捧。“我想为社会和这一代人创造点新东西。”他解释道。“快时尚太无聊,缺乏个性。如果你一昧追逐潮流,你终会失去自己的个性。”

In Wanhua District, which is full of historic neighborhoods, it’s easy to find inspiration. “We keep our traditions,” Wu says. Nods to tradition in his designs include robes, leather headbands, silk shirts, and more. But he combines these with ultra-modern materials and tech wear details. “I travel to Guangzhou and walk around and touch the materials before choosing them. I handle them in person. I come up with the idea first and then go collect the fabrics.” He works with a well-known local tailor to produce small runs for each new line. He only releases about 10-20 pieces for each line and his customers tend to be film or design students.

在万华这个充满历史韵味的街区,灵感无处不在。你会从长袍礼服、皮革头带、丝制衬衫等设计洞见他们对传统文化的致敬,“我们要继承传统,”他说。同时,他还将这些传统元素与超前的面料材质、机能服装细节结合在一起。“我飞到广州到处寻找合适面料,选择之前都会先去用手摸,每次都由我亲自拣选。通常,都会先构思想法,再去进行挑选。”对于每一个新的系列,他都会与当地著名的裁缝师一同合作,进行小批量的生产。而一般每个系列他只推出 10 – 20 件作品,客户往往是电影或设计专业的学生。

JIN is much more than just its clothes, though. Their brick-and-mortar location is just as important, maybe more so. Underneath glowing neon signs is a working bar, which they open when hosting their one-of-a-kind events. Their central display case looks like a giant test tube. They often invite DJs to perform, and there’s even a tattoo artist with a booth set up in the back. Occasionally they bring in a sushi master, and most recently they hosted a boxing match. For Wu, the idea is to throw unconventional events that can cultivate interest with people who aren’t solely into fashion. “We want to bring people together from different scenes and make new friends,” Wu says.” There were a lot of people I’ve never met at this last event.”

但 JIN 不仅仅是一个服装品牌。他们的实体店同样重要,甚至可以说更重要。在霓虹灯标牌的下面是一个吧台,每当举办活动的时候就会派上用场;在店内中央的陈列台上放着一支巨大的试管;他们也经常邀请 DJ 前来表演,在整个空间的后面还有纹身师的工作台;有时,他们会邀请寿司师傅过来一显身手。就在最近,他们甚至还举办了一场拳击比赛。Wu 的想法是通过举办各种不拘一格的活动,吸引那些不单是对时尚感兴趣的人群。Wu 说:“我们希望将不同背景的人们聚在一起,结交新的朋友。譬如上一次活动,我就认识了很多以前从未见过的人。”

There’s still a ways to go, though. “The fashion scene here isn’t mature enough yet,” Wu complains.”People dress up for events or parties, but they don’t just dress up for fun on a regular day. I want to inspire people in Taipei to try new things. I want them to understand the value of style.”


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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Images Courtesy of JIN

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供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li
图片由 JIN 提供

Walking in a Boundless Dream 梦境之中,现实之外

September 13, 2019 2019年9月13日

What is electronic music? Is it music made with a computer, or music with an identifiably electronic sound? Neither definition fits particularly well anymore, and maybe it’s an outdated term. The newest album by Beijing-based musician Guzz, called Walking in a Boundless Dream, is entirely digital, made without any physical instruments, although you’d never guess, since it’s brimming with organic texture. He doesn’t want to be hemmed in by a genre anyway and prefers to call it simply “music.” While the album is indeed a departure from any single style, it’s informed by the continued growth of electronic music as a whole, the maturity of the technology used to make it, and the largely unrealized possibilities of music made with computers.

究竟什么是电子音乐?电脑制作的音乐还是具有高辨识度音效的音乐,它们能被称之为电子音乐吗?恐怕以上表述都不太合适,也或许太过陈词滥调了吧。《走不出的梦境》是生活在北京的 Guzz 的最新专辑,音乐中大段的原声乐器演奏乐段洋溢着有机听感体验,让人完全想不到这是一张完全用电脑软件制作完成的专辑。无论如何,Guzz 也不希望被禁锢在音乐风格当中,他只想将自己的作品称之为 “音乐”。新专辑也同样脱离了任何单一的风格,在当下电子乐场景兼收并蓄,同时运用娴熟的电脑技术,极大地突破了音乐未知的可能性。

Listen to to some of our favorite tracks from Guzz’s new album below:

点击即可试听几首 Guzz 的新歌:

After his recent explorations of Asian identity within club music, Guzz has now left the dance floor entirely for more thoughtful terrain. His previous records combined Western dance beats with Asian compositions and instrumentation, evoking an eastward-gazing night out. Walking in a Boundless Dream still strives for a modern feel and incorporates some obviously synthesized sounds, but the album is overwhelmingly inspired by traditional motifs and instruments of Myanmar and India.

最近,在探索了俱乐部音乐与亚洲本地文化过后,Guzz 彻底将舞曲概念抛之脑后,开始探索更多意义非凡的领域。在他过去的作品中,西方电子舞曲节奏和亚洲乐器相结合,而在新唱片《走不出的梦境》中,音乐在追求现代感和合成器音效的同时,更多的体现了缅甸和印度传统音乐调式和乐器的影响。

Guzz took a circuitous path to get here, but he found the right direction. As a middle schooler, he used to buy Western CDs resold illegally in his hometown in southern China, a common phenomenon across the country at the time. This exposed him to rock and inspired him to join a band. When he was 20, someone introduced him to classic ’90s electronic acts like Prodigy and Daft Punk, and that new sound appealed to him, because he could make it alone. “I had grown bored of playing rock because you need a whole team, which is a hassle to organize,” he laughs. So he poured through Chinese forums and blogs to find text-based instructions in order to learn the software, imitating the sounds and feelings of the limited Western music he knew.

这是一条曲折的道路,不过可以确定的是,Guzz 选对了方向。Guzz 家乡是中国南部城市,高中时期的他通过购买并倒卖打口 CD 的方式了解西方音乐,这也是当时中国音乐爱好者的普遍现象。受到摇滚乐的影响之后,Guzz 开始组建乐队。二十岁的他在朋友推荐下听到了来自九十年代的 The Prodigy 和 Daft Punk 乐团,Guzz 一下子陷入其中,并希望有朝一日能一个人完成整首歌曲的创作。“我当时对摇滚乐已经感到有些疲惫,因为乐队需要一整个团队,有时也很难把大伙儿凑齐,”他笑道。从那时起,Guzz 便通过中文论坛和博客学习软件制作,模仿西方电子音乐中的味道。

In 2008, in his mid-twenties, Guzz moved to Beijing, a hub for music and entertainment. He began figuring out where he fit in artistically in a growing nationwide club scene. “When I started, no one in China really knew what electronic music was, so it was hard to find help,” he explains. But that changed quickly, and soon he was playing regularly in clubs as part of a new wave of Chinese dance music, building an audience across the country that still follows him to this day. 

2008 年,二十多岁的 Guzz 来到北京。在当时的中国俱乐部音乐场景中,他开始摸索适合自己的艺术方向。“我刚开始起步那会儿,没多少人知道电子乐是什么,所以很难获得援助。”但很快事情就有所改观, 作为中国新一批电子音乐人,Guzz 定期在俱乐部里演出,在全国范围内吸引了不少观众,追随者也跟着他的音乐时至今日。但,这样的生活方式也带来一定代价。

Yet the lifestyle took its toll. “The older you get, the more stress the club causes to your heart and ears and body. The music is also very much restricted to bass and rhythm. There’s not much else to explore,” Guzz says. “After leaving the club, a new world of music has opened up to me. If I had to define it, I’d call it something like ‘new Asian music,’ since I’m incorporating traditional Asian elements as the foundation. It’s a departure from modern pop in Asia, which is often heavily influenced by Western music. China and other Asian regions lost a lot of culture after World War II. I’d like to build a connection to those traditional Asian elements to more modern sounds to make something new.”

“随着年龄的增长,俱乐部对心脏、耳朵和身体也会带来更多麻烦。音乐也非常局限在低音和律动上面,可探索的东西也会变得越来越少。” Guzz 说,“离开俱乐部之后,我发现音乐为我重新打开了一扇门。如果非要去定义我的音乐,我会将它称作 ‘新亚洲音乐’,因为我的音乐结合了很多亚洲传统元素作为基础,区别于很多亚洲当代通俗音乐中对西方音乐元素的直接使用。第二次世界大战后,中国和其他亚洲国家丢失了许多文化。我想在传统亚洲元素与更现代声音之间建立联系,去创造新的事物。”

While he first began combining these elements through club music, he’s now taking a more eclectic approach, even traveling to Myanmar and India to experience firsthand the sounds that inspired his album. “I learned their methods through reading and watching Youtube. But I also traveled there just to listen to the music. I wanted to know the basis of this knowledge I’d learned from books to gain a stronger foundation. I went to the temples and listened to the daily performances and the various instruments they use. Religion is very present in the music, and although I’m an atheist, it gave me the feeling of connection between people and the universe.”

其实最初,Guzz 只是把这些元素与俱乐部音乐搅拌在一起,而现在,他用到更多兼收并蓄的方式来创作,他甚至亲身游历缅甸和印度,切身感受这些地域的声音,并把这些感受带来的启发放进专辑制作中,“我在 Youtube 上面学习如何将不同元素结合起来。不过,我还是会去当地聆听他们的音乐,想亲身获取 ‘书中知识’ 的要义,并获得强大的文化积淀。我会去当地寺庙,聆听他们每天的表演,以及对不同乐器的演奏。宗教对于印度和缅甸音乐的影响是很大的,尽管我是一个无神论者,但在寺庙里听他们的音乐带给我一种人与宇宙相连的感觉,这种感觉对这张唱片的制作理念有所影响”。

Throughout Walking in a Boundless Dream, you’ll hear musical cues, like a mode from Myanmar called Hkunithanci and a Southeast Asian xylophone. The album is also inspired by the melodies of Carnatic music, a style from the southern part of India. There’s even a Shamisen, a stringed instrument from Japan. But none of it is made with actual instruments—it’s all created using digital software and arranged together like an analog performance. “The previous album has a lot of samples to create the traditional Asian elements, but in this one, all of the sounds were digitally created.”

Electronic music may still be a useful category, but its boundaries are increasingly being tested. Guzz’s sound, though rooted in electronic music, is a departure to somewhere much more human.

Walking in a Boundless Dream  is released now on the platforms below: iTunes / Spotify / Soundcloud / Bandcamp / 虾米 / 网易 / QQ音乐

在《走不出的梦境》中,你将会听到许多音乐风格和线索,比如缅甸的 Hkunithanci 调式,东南亚的木琴、南印度的卡纳提克音乐、甚至还有日本的弦乐器三味线。所有的这些声音在软件乐器中用电子模拟演奏的手段编辑成乐段。“上一张专辑直接采用了很多亚洲传统音乐的采样,而在这张专辑中我用软件乐器编写了唱片中音乐”。

从许多角度来看,“电子音乐” 这个说法绝对没有什么问题,但其界限正在不断被考验。虽然根源于电子音乐,但 Guzz 的创造力早已脱离其本身,让电子乐类别听起来更具人性化。

《走不出的梦境》现已在各大音乐平台上线,你可点击以下链接进入试听:iTunes / Spotify / Soundcloud / Bandcamp / 虾米 / 网易 / QQ音乐

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Weibo: ~/guzz1984


Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Nathan Wang
Chinese Translation: Pete Zhang

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微博: ~/guzz1984


供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Nathan Wang
英译中: Pete Zhang

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Interspecies Utopia 和谐乌托邦

September 11, 2019 2019年9月11日

Beneath a fluorescent-colored sky, leviathans with bodies resembling Chinese finger traps tower over lakes, lime-green parakeets rock out on treetops, and rose-headed nymphs frolic from branch to branch—don’t worry, this isn’t an acid flashback. It’s the work of Angela Ho. The Hong Kong artist creates illustrations characterized by vibrant tones, noisy gradients, and dappled lines that work together to produce a retro charm. It’s an aesthetic that may seem at odds with her digital-heavy workflow.

Like Ho, many contemporary artists have furthered their creative potential through technology. Specialized software, pressure-sensitive styluses, and color-calibrated monitors allow creators to realize their artistic vision with clinical precision. Yet often, purely digital pieces end up missing a certain je ne sais quoi. This is something that Ho is increasingly wary of. Despite her reliance on digital tools, she’s looking to traditional techniques and mediums for inspiration.

在荧光色的天空下,有着类似中国棋盘手环样子的巨兽在湖面上飞舞着,青绿色的长尾小鹦鹉在树梢摇摆,玫瑰色的小鹦鹉在树枝间嬉戏——别担心,这不是幻觉闪现。这是 Angela Ho 的作品。这位香港艺术家创作了以充满活力的音调、嘈杂的渐变和斑驳的线条为特色的插图,这些线条共同创造了复古的魅力。这种审美观似乎与她的数字工作流程格格不入。

许多和 Angela Ho 一样的当代艺术家,利用科技发展他们的创作潜能。专业的软件、压敏笔和彩色校准显示器使创作者能够以精确的方式实现自己的艺术视觉。然而,纯粹的数字作品最终往往会漏掉某些东西。这正是 Angela 担心的问题。尽管她依赖数码工具,但她仍在寻求传统技术及媒介带来的灵感。

“I love woodcut printing from the 1950s, ’60s, and’70s with strong simple shapes and lots of texture from the wood,” Ho says. “This printing process gives depth to otherwise flat shapes. Texture in drawings makes them more tactile, like you can see the hand of the artist.”

Ho’s fascination with texture led her to experiment with risography, a printing method from the 1980s that’s found renewed interest in recent years. Risographs are known for producing unpredictable and inconsistent prints, and for many artists like Ho, its fallibility is exactly the appeal, as it makes the art feel more human. “I love the serendipitous nature of risographs,” she says. “I can give up some control over my work.”

“我喜欢上世纪 50 到 70 年代的木刻版画,它们的形状简单,还有很多木头纹理。”Angela 说。“这种印刷过程使平面形状的深度得以加深。在图纸纹理使他们更有触觉,就像你可以看到的艺术家的手。”

Angela Ho 对质地的迷恋,促使她开始尝试将 “risography”(意为“数字复印”)这 80 年代的印刷方法重新引起人们的兴趣。以创作不可预测和前后不一致的版画而著称,对和 Angela Ho 一样的许多艺术家来说,它的不完美正是吸引人的地方,因为它赋予了艺术更多人情味。“我喜欢数字复印的偶然性,可以让我放任一些对作品的控制。”

Ho’s appreciation for risograph printing doesn’t mean she’s shying away from new technology though. Her recent exhibition, Interspecies Utopia, held at Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, incorporates augmented reality. Using the Artivive app, viewers can look through their phones to see her static prints come to life. “The AR in my show emphasized the idea of a working society, how each individual is important to it,” she recalls of the original idea. “It was meant to only function when all the characters were put together, when all the artworks were hung together in a specific formation. However, I decided with Outré to separate the animations in the overall AR experience, so that people who bought individual prints could also view the AR specific to their print.”

不过,Angela 对印字法的欣赏并不意味着她对新技术不感兴趣。她最近在澳大利亚墨尔本 Outré 画廊举办的《Interspecies Utopia》(意为“物种间乌托邦”)展览融合了现实。通过 Artivive 应用程序,观众可以通过手机看到她的静态照片栩栩如生。“在我展览中的 AR 技术增强了‘工作社会’的理念,以及每个人在其中的扮演角色重要性。”她回忆起最初的想法,“当所有的角色被放在一起,当所有的艺术作品以特定的形式挂在一起时,它就起作用了。然而,我和 Outré 画廊那边商量决定分开动画和整体 AR 增强现实的体验,使购买个人打印的观众也可以查看 AR 的具体展现。”

The illustrations in Interspecies Utopia feature the same retro aesthetic that Ho has always been known for, but the series is a marked departure from her earlier works. Rather than making standalone pieces, for this exhibition, she crafted a series with an interconnected narrative. “When my submission was accepted by Outré, I saw it as a chance to make my work evolve,” she recalls. “I’d been drawing lots of characters, often just floating in white space or on flat colors. I was beginning to work with environments and landscapes and wanted to put a range of characters together.”

《Interspecies Utopia》中的插图具有和 Angela 一惯的复古美学特征,但这一系列作品与她早期的作品有明显的不同。这次展览并不是每一幅画都是独立的作品,而是她第一次用相互关联的叙述来创作一个系列。“我的作品被 Outré 画廊选中时,我把它看作是让艺术领域向外拓展的机会。”她回忆道,“我画了很多不同角色,通常只是在空白处或平面上漂浮。我开始研究环境和风景,想把一系列的人物放在一起。”

At first glance, Interspecies Utopia seems to depict a forest sanctuary where all the animals live joyous harmony. But closer scrutiny reveals an underlying tension—it’s almost as if the place is too good to be true.

These feelings of suspicion aren’t unfounded, as the series’ core themes are partly based on racism and discrimination that the artist has faced or observed.”World events, xenophobia, and my own experiences and feelings growing up in Australia and being of Chinese and Hong Kong heritage were all influences,” Ho explains.

Ultimately, Interspecies Utopia is Ho’s way of presenting a simple but powerful message, one that she feels is especially important today: we may all be different, but a little empathy goes a long way in making the world a happier place.

乍一看,《Interspecies Utopia》似乎是在描绘一个和谐的森林,在这里所有动物在一起其乐融融地生活,但仔细观察后,它却揭示了一种潜在的张力——因为它几乎就像是一个美好得不真实的地方。

这些怀疑并非没有根据,因为作品的核心主题都是基于艺术家所面临或观察到的负面经历,尤其是歧视和种族主义。Angela 解释道:“世界上的种种事件、人们的仇外心理,以及我在澳大利亚长大时作为华人和香港移民的身份,对我都是有影响的。”

归根到底,《Interspecies Utopia》是 Angela 一个简单却很有力量的表达方式,她觉得在现代社会中特别重要:我们可能都是不同的,但是人与人之间的共情会让这个世界变得更美好。

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Behance: ~/ahoyillustration


Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Chen Yuan

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Behance: ~/ahoyillustration


供稿人: David Yen
英译中: Chen Yuan

Crash Course 后宫的热辣狂舞

September 4, 2019 2019年9月4日

The music of Taipei’s Sonia Calico has always been thoughtful. It draws on various styles of urban club music from around the world, like grime and Jersey club, and then blends them with Asian references in an homage to her inspirations. 

One genre that Sonia touches on is ballroom, a style with origins in black gay communities in New York that’s often the soundtrack to vogue dancing. A central element of this music is the “ha crash,” which is a cluttering and crashing snare explosion, often with the word “ha” mixed in. Sonia’s been partial to the sound for a while but only recently started working with Taipei’s vogue community after she met Slutty Pomi, a queer dance group, at a party she DJ’d.

来自台北的 Sonia Calico 的音乐总是兼收并蓄的。她从世界各地的俱乐部音乐风格中汲取灵感,包括 grime 和 Jersey club 等音乐风格,并融入亚洲元素,达到融会贯通的高度。这种混合风格的音乐是对多元化俱乐部音乐的致敬,在糅合全球音乐风格的基础上,呈现出极具个性的旋律。

Ballroom 是影响 Sonia 的风格之一,其是一种起源于纽约黑人同性恋社区的音乐。“ha crash” 是这种音乐风格的标志性元素,即繁复军鼓与名曲 “the Ha Dance” 人声部分采样的混搭,拥有爆炸的情绪和十足的冲击力。一直以来,Sonia 都对 ballroom 音乐情有独钟,最近,她担任台北 vogue 舞者和变装皇后派对的 DJ 时,认识了酷儿舞蹈团体波蜜坏女孩。而她最新作品的灵感,便是来自她在台北的 vogue 派对和变装社区经历。

Listen to to some of our favorite tracks by Sonia Calico below:

点击即可试听几首 Sonia Calico 的歌曲:

“When I started playing ballroom that night, people were surprised that someone in Taipei was making this kind of music, because other DJs only played tech house or house music,” Sonia says. “People jumped onto the stage and were doing death drops every time they heard the crash. They did like a hundred death drops! The energy was so good.” (In a death drop, a dancer  flamboyantly drops to the floor as if suddenly struck dead.) Afterward, she met with Slutty Pomi, who wanted her to write some music for a performance of theirs. That song and dance were the prototypes for her new ballroom-inspired music video, “Hougong Crash.”

“当我在台上播放 ballroom 音乐时,大家都很意外,没想到在台北也有人制作这种音乐,因为其他 DJ 一般只会演奏 tech house 或 house 音乐。”她回忆道,“大家跳到台上,一听到 crash 就做 death drops 的舞步。他们做了上百次的 death drops! 气氛非常好。” (Death drops 是指舞者突然华丽地倒在地上,像是被击中后的瞬间倒地。)在那之后,波蜜坏女孩找到了 Sonia,他们希望 Sonia 可以为演出带来音乐创作。演出中的歌曲和舞蹈后来成为 “后宫乱斗” MV 的原型。



This video centers on vogue dancers, and it incorporates visuals from hougong soap operas, which are popular Chinese TV shows set in the palaces of imperial China and populated with concubines who plot against one another as they compete for power and influence. The experience has been rewarding for Sonia: “The dancers didn’t know too much about ballroom music producers, but they knew the famous dance houses. It was interesting to talk to them about it because we approach ballroom in totally different ways.”

MV 围绕 vogue 舞者们展开,将视觉与后宫类肥皂剧的画面结合在一起,这类剧集主要讲述古代皇宫中,一众嫔妃为争夺权力勾心斗角的故事。波蜜坏女孩负责了 MV 中的舞蹈的概念。这次的经历对 Sonia 获益匪浅,“舞者可能对 ballroom 音乐制作人不太了解,但他们熟悉经典的俱乐部舞蹈方式。这也让我们之间的话题变得很有意思,因为我们了解 ballroom 音乐的途径是截然不同的”。

This is the second music video Sonia has directed, after “Clutter Confines,” which was inspired by the struggle for same-sex marriage. Taiwan legalized it in May, but only after a pitched struggle. “The debate surrounding it was really depressing, so we tried to create something to heal ourselves,” she explains. “The four parts of the video are about different emotional stages. The first is very angry, because the whole society was split and arguing, both sides trying to hurt each other. It was really extreme. The second is very sudden, like I was speechless. Next is mutual understanding and communication. The finale is overcoming differences and celebrating life. This work is a tribute, because I got a lot of inspiration from my queer friends. I wanted to repay and support them.”

“后宫乱斗” 是 Sonia 的第二部 MV,上一部 “Clutter Confines” 的灵感来自同性婚姻平权运动,今年5月,台湾同性婚姻正式合法化。“有关这个问题的争议令人很沮丧,所以我们试图创作一些东西来安慰自己。”她坦述道,“MV 的四个部分展示了不同的情绪阶段。第一部分是愤怒,因为整个社会在分裂和争论,双方互相伤害,非常极端。第二部分是突如其来的冷静,令人哑口无言。接下来是相互理解和沟通。最后是克服分歧,享受生活。这部 MV其实是一种致敬,因为我从我的酷儿朋友那里获得了很多灵感。我想以此来回报和支持他们。”

As a straight woman, Sonia wasn’t sure how to properly address queer topics in her videos. But her choreographer, Jasmine Lin, who’s queer, suggested they seek out creatives from the community to work with—that way, the songs would connect more directly with the people they were honoring. In both her music and her videos, Sonia makes room for marginalized voices with a rare and welcome sensitivity. 

See Sonia perform at her label UnderU’s upcoming compilation release party at Final in Taipei on Sept. 27th.

作为一位直女,Sonia 并不确定如何将同性主题安排在自己的视频当中。但是她的编舞拍档 Jasmine Lin 是一位酷儿,在 Li 的建议下社区内的创作者参与其中,这也让歌曲本身与自豪的人们联系得更加紧密。在音乐和视频里,Sonia 能以亲密无间的珍贵姿态,去拥抱边缘化的声音。

9 月 27 日,Sonia Calico 所在的厂牌 UnderU 将在台北 Final 俱乐部举办最新的 “合集” 发行派对,届时 Sonia 也会参加演出。

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Instagram: @sonia_calico
: ~/soniacalico
: ~/soniacalico


Contributor: Mike Steyels
Photographer: Huang Juntuan

Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

喜欢我们的故事?欢迎关注我们 Neocha 的微博微信


Instagram: @sonia_calico
: ~/soniacalico
: ~/soniacalico


供稿人: Mike Steyels
摄影师: Huang Juntuan

英译中: Olivia Li

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