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A’long Shan’s Quagmire

February 9, 2018 2018年2月9日

The Daxinganling forests lie in the extreme north of China, where temperatures drop below negative 40 degrees Celsius in winter. Spanning Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang provinces, this forest is estimated to hold half of China’s lumber supply, but since the establishment of forestry divisions there in the late 40s, it has lost nearly all of its primeval forests to logging.

For over six decades, the people of A’long Shan prospered by felling the forest that held them. In 2015, the Chinese government established Daxinganling as a “strategic lumber reserve” and prohibited logging. Since then, the town has lost three-quarters of its population, including most of its youth. Once 40,000 strong, the town of A’long Shan is home to only 7,000 residents today. Like dozens of other lumber towns in the region, A’long Shan must find a way to thrive with the forest instead of at its cost or face certain ruin.

大兴安岭林区在中国最北边,跨内蒙古、黑龙江两省,纬度高,严寒,冬天气温经常在 –40℃ 以下。曾经,中国有一半的木材供应量都来自这片森林。上世纪 40 年代末,这里设立了林业部门、开始大规模伐木。阿龙山人也因此得以靠伐木起家。在过去 60 年里,镇上人吃的是“伐木”这碗饭。而时至今日,大部分的原始森林都被砍伐殆尽了。

直到 2015 年。

大兴安岭林区被定为国家木材战略储备基地,禁止采伐。从那时起,这个小镇流失了四分之三的人口,年轻人几乎全体“出逃”。这个曾拥有 4 万以上人口以上的阿龙山镇,到如今只剩 7000 多人。和大兴安岭林区其它几十个曾经的伐木重镇一样,阿龙山必须找到一条与森林共繁荣的路。

I grew up reading about the majesty of Daxinganling. I had imagined fields of thick pines stretching into the horizon but when I looked out the window of our jeep as it cut across the mountain, I saw trees tall and lanky in a forest sparse and frail.

“How old are these trees?” I asked Zhang, my local friend, thinking they must be in their teens.

“About thirty years old.” He answered. “Trees grow real slow here.”

He had caught the disbelief in my eyes.

“We chopped down this one tree before that was about this thick,” he outlined an imaginary bowl with his hands. “It was filled with rings. A scientist used a microscope and counted to about 300 years! This small,” he motioned again. “Three-hundred years! That must’ve killed his eyes.”

He watched the young forest spreading on the distant hill like an overgrown crew cut, and continued, “This area’s been cleared three or four times already. The old forest is long gone! You might still find some if you go real deep.”

Zhang used to work in forestry when it was still the lifeblood of the town. He saw trees so thick they took five men to cut; he saw the mountain swallow work teams two hundred strong and spit out truck after truck piled high with logs. Back then, he had thought the forest infinite. Back then, he had kept his friends stocked with meat and booze and had kept the numerous roads clear for their trucks. Now, only one road remains.

“We cut down too many.” Zhang sighed. “It takes so long to grow but we cut one down in ten minutes. The government’s doing the right thing protecting the forest.”

He fell silent and watched the forest fly by.










The forest needs time to recover. But since the sudden demise of forestry, the townsfolk have found nothing with which to replace it. Stuck in this quagmire, they wait, some for a chance to leave, others for miraculous release from their predicament. Like all those who have surrendered their fates to powers greater and more mysterious than their own, they pass their time with cheap entertainment and gossip, believing that in the end, all will be well.


Every night, over glasses of baijiu (a strong Chinese spirit made with grains), Zhang and his underlings – Jin and Gu – share news on which drunkard had frozen to death after falling asleep in the snow. Besides gruesome deaths by the cold, they liked to talk of one other thing: foraging. It was only through their descriptions that I could imagine the forest in summer and fall – in a sea of green, wild berries and nuts of all colors ripen and release their fragrance. Out of work, many of the townsfolk spend the entire fall foraging for savory wild mushrooms, blueberries, “red beans” (which turned out to be cranberries), and unctuous pine nuts, all of which can be sold to collectors at decent prices. Some make 40,000 yuan a year foraging. They passionately described the times they discovered hidden treasures in the forest – bushes laden with “red beans” or patches of open earth covered with the best kind of wild mushroom, still untouched, of harvests so plentiful that they had to haul 50 kilogram sacks back to town.


不让伐木了,好多人就进山采秋。山里野味儿多呢,有散发着泥土和木头香味的野蘑菇,酸甜口儿的“嘟市”(蓝莓)和泡酒用的“红豆儿”(蔓越莓)还有香喷喷的松子。所有这些食材都可以用不错的价钱卖出去。通过采摘野生食材,有些人每年可以赚4 万多元。

他们兴致勃勃地讲述在丛林中发现“秘密宝藏”的旧事,那是长满红豆儿的灌木丛,或是长满了顶级野生蘑菇的开阔草地,收获如此之丰,他们有时要把 100 多斤的麻袋运回镇上。

镇郊外长着一片野生浆果 / A patch of wild berries on the outskirts of town.
待售的冰冻粘豆包、花生、海带干和冰棍儿 / Frozen buns, peanuts, dried seaweed and popsicles for sale.
棉花棉裤 100 元一条;鼎鑫衣吧 / The red sign reads: Cotton and cotton pants 100 yuan per pair; the blue sign reads: Ding Xin Fashion Bar

“What if you started a factory here?” I suggested hopefully. “To make dried wild fruits and nuts? They’d sell for 50 yuan a bag in Beijing! People there love the organic stuff! And that would give people here the incentive to protect trees.”

What excitement remained was immediately extinguished by looks of pity.

“We tried before. It doesn’t work.” Zhang shook his head.

The topic was changed before I could ask why.

Though Zhang was born in A’long Shan, his family came from Penglai, a town by the sea in Shandong Province. Part of a massive movement to populate and develop frontier provinces, his father migrated here in the 1950s with many of his townsfolk.

In his early 50s and rapidly balding, Zhang has spent his entire life in the forests of Daxinganling and is due to retire in a few years. “After I retire, I’ll go south and live by the ocean with my daughter! Maybe manage an Airbnb or two.” He beamed with drunken bliss.

“要是在这开个工厂呢?做野生果干和松仁儿。到了北京一包能卖 50 块钱呢!北京人可喜欢这些野生的东西了。这样,这儿的人也愿意保护树了。”我满怀希望地建议。






少生优生,幸福一生 / Painted slogan reads: Fewer but better [children], a life lived happier.
遵守规章保安全 预防为主安全第一 / Painted slogan reads: Follow Protocol, Ensure Safety; Prevention First, Safety First.

I stayed at Long Shan Hotel, one of the taller buildings on the south side of town. The hotel is on the main street along with all other buildings of import, surrounded first by a ring of bungalows that thins with each passing year, then a ring of abandoned log factories and ruined train tracks leading south, and finally, a chain of small hills on which animal tracks become more common than human ones.

There is a tension between the town and the wooded hills that look down upon it. A definite border divides their territories. Upon exiting A’long Shan, the territory of man immediately thins to about two meters – between the edges of the only road through the mountains.

我住的龙山饭店(Long Shan Hotel)在小镇南边的大街上,是座高楼。这条“中心大街”也是仅剩的山路,是324县道。镇子上稍有地位的建筑都在这条街上。往外,是一圈日渐稀疏的平房;再往外,是废弃的木板厂厂房和向南去的铁道。最后,一圈连绵的山丘把镇子围在中间。到了这儿,动物的印记已比人的容易找了


Inside the forest, towers are the only human outposts. There are two close to town, each on its own hill: a radio transmission tower and a fire watch tower.

The sun skirmishes along the horizon from east to west and calls it a day. Its light always hits at an angle so, parts of the forest hidden within taller trees never see the light. In such spots, snow stays all winter and is dyed blue by the shadow. Smaller paths leading into the depths of the forest are marked in this way by a deep blue hue.



I can see all this from atop the tower and more. I can see the moon just above me, rising to overtake the sun; I can see the dying light tracing the pale skin on crowds of young, white birch; further, I can see the town rolled out beneath the moon.

The forest grows stronger with each passing decade, but where I see life and opportunity, the townsfolk see cold and bitterness. What use are thick trees if they can’t be cut and sold? What good is a strong forest if A’long Shan no longer exists?

That those who know the forest best are often the most willing to harm it once puzzled me. Now, I see – the townsfolk had not accepted that their fate and the forest’s had long been bound together.




In recent years, growing flocks of urbanites pass through A’long Shan on their way to “experience the Russian border” in Mohe. As China’s metropolises explode from overpopulation and as their overstressed inhabitants stream into nature, desperate for breaths of fresh air, A’long Shan has an opportunity to reposition itself as a haven for the city-sick and a base for trekkers.

What it needs is investment and some small success to show its people it is possible to thrive with the forest. What it needs most is for its people to start acting to improve their own lives instead of continuing to rot, waiting for change that may never come.



Contributor & Photographer: Andy Hu

供稿人与摄影师: Andy Hu

The Laundrymen 世界上最大的露天洗衣坊

February 1, 2018 2018年2月1日



In India and nearby regions, the word dhobi refers to an artisan caste of washermen and women. When combined with the word ghat, which is defined as a set of steps leading to a river, it forms dhobi ghat, a term used in the region that refers to any place where washermen and women go to wash clothes. However, more often than not, when people mention dhobi ghat, they’re talking about the most famous one of them all – the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, which has been dubbed as the largest open-air laundromat in the world.

在印度和周边地区,“Dhobi”洗衣工的意思,而“Ghat”则是“河坛”,指的是一系列通往河流的台阶。这两个单独的词组合在一起时,就成了“洗衣工河坛”——“Dhobi Ghat”,指任何洗衣工(和女工)一起洗衣服的地方。但很多时候人们提及 Dhobi Ghat 时,往往联想到的都是最有名的马哈拉施特拉邦洗衣坊(Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat),它也是世界上最大的露天洗衣坊。

Built in Mumbai during the 1890s to cater the laundry needs of the British and Parsi population, Dhobi Ghat has stood the test of time and remains in operation even after 120 years. The wash pens are comprised of over 700 interlocked grids, and within the patterned geometry of these concrete enclosures, an army of men and women are hard at work, washing away; above them, an array of colored fabrics are hung out to dry, gently swaying to the rhythm of the wind.

位于孟买的马哈拉施特拉邦洗衣坊,建于 1890 年代,最初是为了满足当地英国人和帕西人(Parsi,来自古代波斯地区的移民及其后裔)的洗衣需求而建造的。即使饱经了 120 年风雨沧桑,这个露天洗衣坊如今仍在运作。700 多个混凝土制成的洗衣池纵横交错,形成 Dhobi Ghat 洗衣坊的网格状结构。在洗衣池的几何网格中,男男女女组成的洗衣工大军正努力清洗衣服;在他们上方,五颜六色的衣服被挂出晾干,随风轻轻摇曳。

Washing machines are in common usage throughout Mumbai in modern times, but over 100,000 garments are still hand washed in Dhobi Ghat daily. From government services to private businesses, clothing is ferried in throughout the day from different locations across the city to be soaked, cleaned, slapped on flogging stones, dried, and ironed before being delivered back to the respective businesses and households.

即使是洗衣机在整个孟买都很普遍的今天,每天仍有超过 10 万件衣服会在 Dhobi Ghat 的洗衣坊进行手洗。从政府部门到私营企业,这里会全天候地收到从孟买各地运来的需要清洗的衣服。随后,洗衣工人先将它们浸泡、清洗,再在石头上敲打,然后烘干、熨烫,最后洗好的衣服就会被送回各家公司或家庭。

Despite the opportunities and historical significance of Dhobi Ghat, the plot of land that it sits on is regarded as prime real estate. In a rapidly developing Mumbai, many opportunists see the aging neighborhood as nothing more than a nuisance that’s preventing good money to be made. The wash pens of Dhobi Ghat is protected as a heritage site, but the surrounding neighborhood isn’t as fortunate. Over 200 families are still living in Dhobi Ghat but certain areas of the neighborhood have already been demolished.

“This is the 3rd generation of my family living here,” says Bala, a 20-year-old dhobi living in the neighborhood. “I work here in the morning and then go to college later in the day. This place has helped my family sustain a livelihood.”

尽管 Dhobi Ghat 洗衣坊拥有着很多机会和历史意义,但对快速发展的孟买城市来说,它所在的这块土地被认为是房地产开发的黄金地段。许多机会主义者认为,这个老龄化的街区不过是个妨碍赚钱的麻烦罢了。虽然现在 Dhobi Ghat 的洗衣池已经被作为文化遗产保护起来,但周围街区却没这么走运了。如今,在 Dhobi Ghat 洗衣坊地区附近依然生活着 200 多户家庭,但该地区的许多楼房已经被拆毁。

20 岁的洗衣工 Bala 就生活在这片地区。Bala 说:我们家三代都在这里生活。我白天在这里工作,晚些时候再去大学上课。正是因为这洗衣坊,我的家庭才得以在这座城市里维持生计。

One of the best vantage points of Dhobi Ghat is from an overpass directly above the wash pens where you can observe the washermen below, all moving with speed and purpose like a beautiful, choreographed dance. However, from the same vantage point, Mumbai’s growing skyline looms in the distance, casting a solemn gaze at the dilapidated housing before it, almost as if willing Dhobi Ghat to succumb to the forces of modernization. As greed and modernization continue encroaching on traditional ways of life, those still living in Dhobi Ghat face an uncertain future.

参观 Dhobi Ghat 的最佳地点之一,是在洗衣池正上方的一座桥。在那里,你可以俯瞰整个洗衣坊,洗衣工穿梭来去,像一组美丽且有序的舞蹈。而同样地,站在桥上,你也能看到孟买迅速崛起的城市天际线在远处若隐若现,它的光芒笼罩住面前破旧的房屋,就好像要让 Dhobi Ghat 洗衣坊屈服于现代化的力量一样。人们对财富的贪婪,加之现代化的逐步侵蚀,让这些还在 Dhobi Ghat 洗衣坊努力维持生计的人们,不得不面对难以确定的未来。

Contributor, Videographer & Photographer: Omkar Phatak

供稿人、视频与图片摄影师: Omkar Phatak

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TRANSIT 满大街的滑手去哪里找?

January 25, 2018 2018年1月25日

TRANSIT is a new video series by Vans that aims to explore the different forms of public transportation in China, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. The series follows members of its Asia skate team as they explore and rip up the pavement in iconic cities across the four countries. At the helm of the videography efforts is Tommy Zhao, a Shanghai-based skater, photographer, and filmmaker who’s been documenting the Chinese skateboarding scene for nearly a decade. Having witnessed firsthand the growth of Asia’s skate scene over the years, Zhao believes that there are better things ahead for the sport, especially with brands like Vans helping to champion local skaters. “I’ve had a really good relationship with Vans since they’ve started up in China, and they’ve been really supportive of not just my skate videos but the whole skateboard scene,” says Zhao. “Having a skate team, going on tours, and doing grassroots events, Vans has given the opportunity to a lot of skaters in China to live the dream life of skating and traveling to some of the best skate spots in the world.”

Vans最新推出的《TRANSIT》影片系列,旨在探索中国、韩国、新加坡和马来西亚,这四个亚洲国家的公共交通是如何重要,它们成功帮助了滑板选手穿梭于各地。该系列还介绍了亚洲滑手,在这四个亚洲国家,他们用滑板在人行道上探索,冲出一条新路。这一影片系列的掌镜人是Tommy Zhao。他是来自上海的滑手、摄影师和摄像师,曾以影像记录了中国滑板近十年的时间。Tommy高兴地说道,“滑板运动在亚洲正处于上升阶段,这太令人惊喜了。现在的滑手肯定比以前多。十年前的上海,你都很难在晚上的大街上找到滑手,但现在,你去任何一个三线城市,都有可能看到滑板爱好者在当地的广场上闲逛。”

Having witnessed firsthand the growth of Asia’s skate scene over the years, Zhao believes that there are better things ahead for the sport, especially with brands like Vans helping to champion local skaters. “I’ve had a really good relationship with Vans since they’ve started up in China, and they’ve been really supportive of not just my skate videos but the whole skateboard scene,” says Zhao. “Having a skate team, going on tours, and doing grassroots events, Vans has given the opportunity to a lot of skaters in China to live the dream life of skating and traveling to some of the best skate spots in the world.”


By bringing together skaters from each featured region and giving them the chance to explore one another’s home turfs, TRANSIT captures the strong sense of community that’s intrinsic to the sport, demonstrating skateboarding’s status as a universal language that transcends cultural barriers. “When you get taken around by local skaters versus being there just as a tourist, you kind of become a local for that short amount of time,” Zhao comments on the experience. “It’s also refreshing to be reminded that even though we may all be from such different places, when we all sit down for a meal or to hang out, everyone’s the same. We just want to have a great time and share it with friends and family.”


However, as to be expected, local authorities tend to be less than enthused with skaters visiting their neck of the woods. “Getting kicked out of spots is just part of skating,” Zhao says, shrugging. “It might rain, someone might get hurt, security might show up, or all of these might happen at once. When you travel around with eight to twelve people on these trips, it doesn’t make it any easier. It draws a lot of attention and a lot of the times you just have to figure out how to deal with security guards or the police.

Skateboarding has long held a bad rep among non-skaters, being defined by its anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment roots. But with its induction into the 2020 Summer Olympics, skateboarding is becoming recognized as a legitimate sport on an international level. Zhao sees both the ups and downs of skateboarding’s newfound validation. On one hand, skateboarding will receive more exposure and support, which will in turn produce more skaters and open up opportunities for emerging talents. However, once skateboarding becomes propped up in the mainstream, it’s doomed for commercialization. “It can produce a lot of greed within the sport, and when a lot of politics get involved, things can get messy,” Tommy comments. “Apparently the Chinese Skateboard Olympic team are some kids they picked from the Shaolin Temple and have never skated in their life. They will be coached and taught how to skate as if it were gymnastics. Their mentality towards skateboarding will probably be a lot different than other kids who pick up skateboarding just for fun. But who knows. Maybe they’ll win gold.”

Check out the TRANSIT series below.




Episode 1 – “Shaolin Shadows”




The debut episode, “Shaolin Shadows,” sees Vans skaters from China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia meet up to explore China’s Hunan province and rip up the streets of Changsha and Zhengzhou’s Shaolin Temple.

在系列第一集影片《Shaolin Shadow》中,来自中国大陆、香港和马来西亚的亚太区滑手一起去探访了中国湖南,从长沙街头滑到郑州的少林寺。

Episode 2 – “Satellites”




In the second episode, “Satellites,” Australian skaters Bibi Bradbury and Ben Currie join Vans riders from Hong Kong, China, and South Korea as they explore and skate the less-visited areas of Seoul.

在第二集影片《Satellites》,澳大利亚滑手Bibi Bradbury和Ben Currie加入香港、中国和韩国滑手的队伍,跟着他们去探访首尔鲜为人知的场地。

Episode 3 – “Be Like Water”




The third installment of TRANSIT, “Be Like Water,” sees skaters from Vans China, Vans Hong Kong, and Vans Malaysia join forces to conquer the streets of Guilin and Nanning.

TRANSIT的第三集《Be Like Water》中,来自中国、香港和马来西亚的滑手们联合起来,在广西桂林和南宁的街头滑板驰骋。

Episode 4 – “Chasing the Malacca”




In “Chasing the Malacca,” the fourth and final episode of the TRANSIT series, riders from Australia, Hong Kong, and China meet up with Malaysian skaters as they cruise through Singapore, Langkawi, and Kuala Lumpur in their quest to discover the perfect skate spots.

在《Chasing the Malacca》(TRANSIT系列的第四集,也是最后一集)中,来自澳大利亚、香港和中国的滑手与马来西亚滑手会合,在新加坡、兰卡威和吉隆坡滑板巡游并找寻最完美的溜冰地点。

Instagram: @vans_cn
Weibo: ~/VansChina


Contributor: David Yen
Images & Videos Courtesy of Vans China

Instagram: @vans_cn
微博: ~/VansChina


供稿人: David Yen
图片与视频由Vans China提供

Finding Family with Cheuk-Yin 这是一次真正的回乡偶遇

January 25, 2018 2018年1月25日

   Listen to the full story / 点击此处收听完整故事

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Hong Kong-based media platform MAEKAN. Rallying around the motto of “Stories for the Curious,” their insightful storytelling and audio-centric approach have been a much-needed breath of fresh air in a digital landscape overpopulated with listicles and rehashed content.

Together, we’ll be creating a series of stories that celebrate culture and creativity in all shapes and forms.

For the debut of our collaboration, photographer Cheuk-Yin To shares a story about how he ended up in a special reunion at his ancestral village on a recent trip to China.

我们很高兴地宣布和位于香港的媒体平台 MAEKAN 建立了伙伴关系。他们以富有见地和音频为主的讲述方法,致力于“把故事讲给好奇的人听”(Stories for the Curious),而这恰是在充斥着大量数字内容的当下所急需注入的一股新生力。


在我们合作的首篇文章中,摄影师 Cheuk-Yin To 分享了他近期到中国旅行时,竟无意中找到了他的祖籍村庄,并最终认亲团聚的故事。

As the modern world continues to race toward the future, we can find ourselves constantly groping for radical or material ways to find our identities in it. But while we might be obsessed with going forward and discovering the new, we sometimes forget to look back and to the old — to our own pasts.

Cheuk-Yin To is a photographer MAEKAN has worked with in the past. One summer evening, he dropped by the MAEKAN office where he shared a special story of how he took a side trip on a whim only to find both his roots and a few long-lost relatives.


Cheuk-Yin To 是曾与 MAEKAN 合作过的摄影师。在某个夏夜,他们就在 Yin 的办公室里听他讲述了一个特别的故事——那是在一次无意的旅行中,Yin 竟意外发现了自己失散已久的远亲和血脉的故事。

To Family Village sits on one of the many distributaries in the Pearl River Delta region. / Yin老家的村庄位于珠江三角洲地区众多分支之一

 “To be honest, it kinda broke the spell a bit. I wanted my ancestral village to be with like, old school donkey carts and stuff. It’s not like that anymore. There’s mopeds, there’s smartphones. Everyone’s in on this now.”

— Yin remarking on his unexpectedly modern ancestral “village.”


——Yin 不曾料想到祖辈的“村庄”早已现代化了

Yin with his uncles and cousin on the far right. His grandfather’s older cousin is seated. / Yin和他的远房叔伯及表亲,他的大叔公坐在正中
Yin’s grandfather’s cousin (the younger of two brothers). / Yin的小叔公
Yin’s grandfather’s cousin (the elder of two brothers). / Yin的大叔公

“Within the next generation, it’s not going to be the same anymore. I don’t think kids these days will actually stay in these villages; they’ll all go to the cities and no one’s going to maintain the traditions.”


The two girls, Qingqing (left) and Yingying (right) are the daughters of a cousin Yin did not meet and are referred to as nieces. / 青青和莹莹,这两个小女孩是Yin的侄女,她们的父亲是Yin未曾谋面的表亲
Lunch prepared the first day of Yin’s visit. / Yin第一天到访时乡亲为他准备的午餐
Yin’s aunt with the family Gai Lan crop. / Yin的阿姨和自家的芥兰田
Yin’s uncle and nephew (cousin once removed). / Yin的叔叔和侄子
Yin’s cousin. / Yin的侄子
Eating sugar cane the traditional way. / 嚼甘蔗
Yin’s niece “plays” with a chicken during an evening stroll with the family. / Yin的侄女在和家人傍晚散步时逗鸡玩

“My grand aunt made a feast that could have fed double the amount of people. […] We all ate together and watched TV at the same time, just like every other Chinese family.”


“To Family Village, Wangniudun Town, Dongguan City” / 老家之村,东莞,望牛墩镇

“You can’t describe this experience. If someone else were to find their roots — completely unintentionally…I think that’s the reason why I was so happy.”


This story is part of a content partnership and media exchange between Neocha and MAEKAN. To see more from our collaboration, click here.

本文为 Neocha 和 MAEKAN 媒体及内容合作篇。点击此处 获悉更多我们的合作内容。

Media Partner: MAEKAN

Script & Narration: Nate Kan
Audio: Elphick Wo
Photographer: Cheuk-Yin To

Images, Audio, & Text Courtesy of MAEKAN

媒体合作伙伴: MAEKAN

供稿人: Nate Kan
音频制作: Elphick Wo
摄影师: Cheuk-Yin To


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Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1 丝路的今天

January 17, 2018 2018年1月17日

Asia-based and London-born, music collective Yeti Out has recently unveiled their latest project: Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1, a compilation album eponymously named after their new record label. The reference to Silk Road is meant to embody the album and label’s core mission of facilitating an exchange between different cultures, much like how the ancient trade route linked Asia with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. But instead of peddling fabric and spices, Yeti Out founders Arthur Bray, Erisen Ali, and Tom Bray are eager to build cross-cultural relations by wielding the universal language of music.

诞生于伦敦而常驻于亚洲的音乐团体 Yeti Out ,最近推出了他们的与新唱片公司同名专辑《丝绸之路》——这是为了体现专辑和唱片公司促进不同文化交流的核心使命,也是致敬于历史上那一条连接亚洲与中东、非洲和欧洲的古代贸易路线。但Yeti Out 的创始人 Arthur Bray,Elisen Ali 和 Tom Bray 并不想贩售传统的织物和香料,他们想通过音乐推动现代亚洲与世界的跨文化交流。

Listen to select tracks from Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1 below:

Aristophanes ft. Chiu Pi – U Were Not Here (prod. by Jam City)

Delf – Sentimental Mood ii

Bohan Phoenix ft. Chauncey, Slodown – SOLOW (prod. Drummy)

点击即可试听《丝绸之路 Vol. 1》中的几首歌曲:

Aristophanes ft. Chiu Pi – U Were Not Here (prod. by Jam City)

Delf – Sentimental Mood ii

Bohan Phoenix ft. Chauncey, Slodown – SOLOW (prod. Drummy)



Silk Road Sounds Vol. 1  features an all-star roster of emerging musicians, including Bohan Phoenix, YoungQueenz, Zean, Aristophanes, Chiu Pi, Roska, and more. From minimal Saigon electronica to Tokyo grime, the album seamlessly stitches together different languages and genres to bless listeners with a dynamic yet cohesive soundscape.

Aside from the talented musicians taking part in the album, art director Derick Van Wijk and photographer Alex Maeland were brought on board to create accompanying visuals. See larger versions of images Maeland shot for the album along with additional unreleased selects below.

《丝绸之路 Vol.1》专辑中收录了目前一众新晋国际歌手的音乐,包括 Bohan PhoenixYoung Queenz、Zean、貍貓邱比、Roska 等等,出色地融合了不同语言和流派的音乐,从西贡解构电子乐到东京Grime音乐,这张专辑既展示了文化多样性,又突显了音乐将世界各地人们凝聚一起的力量。

除了参与录制的歌手之外,Yeti Out 还邀请了艺术总监 Derick Van Wijk 和摄影师 Alex Maeland 分别负责专辑设计和摄影。下面一起来看看 Maeland 为《丝绸之路 Vol. 1》拍摄的作品吧。

Instagram@silkroadsounds @yetiout


Contributor: David Yen
Images Courtesy of Yeti Out & Alex Maeland

Instagram: @silkroadsounds @yetiout


供稿人: David Yen
图片由 Yeti Out与 Alex Maeland 提供

What’s the Point in Growing Up?

January 12, 2018 2018年1月12日



Born in Taipei, having studied in Milan, and now based in Shanghai, Ning (aka Kang Yung-Ning) is a designer and entrepreneur whose intercultural experiences have broadened her mind and shaped her creative interests. In the past, she’s found success as a high-end menswear designer, stylist consultant, and lecturer. In more recent years, she co-founded XSPLUSLAB, an eyewear brand designed specifically for kids, and Speechless, an online fashion and lifestyle platform. Eager to learn and experiment, Ning’s career path has been a path filled with many twists and turns. Even now, it’s difficult to define her job roles and responsibilities, which might change on a day to day basis. She sums everything up by simply saying, “It’s a bit complicated!”

生于台北,留学米兰,现在长居于上海的 Ning(康韵宁) 形容自己是一位专业“不务正业”的跨文化人士。除了担任一线品牌的男装设计师、造型顾问和学院讲师之外,她还创办了儿童眼镜品牌 XSPLUSLAB 以及时尚创意平台 Speechless。当被问及怎么定位自己的时候,Ning 的反应是,“哇,这很复杂,实在一言难尽!

Despite her cross-disciplinary interests, Ning has been able to balance all of her creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. Unsurprisingly, when asked what she would prioritize to if she had to choose between her personal life and work life, Ning went with the latter. But she admits, it’s often difficult for her to determine where one ends and the other begins. “I discover inspiration for my work everywhere in life,” she says. “It might come from spotting a row of interesting buildings, a particular floor tile, how random colors interact with one another, graffiti art on the street, or even a fallen leaf.”

在不同领域间游走,天秤座的她也形容自己是一个很平衡的人,尽管有很多不同的身份,也能尽量让这些角色达到彼此平衡,并且每个工作都全力以赴。如果要工作与生活二选一,Ning 毫不迟疑地选择工作,原因是她认为做自己喜欢的事,工作也像生活一样。她喜欢四处搜集与流行,时尚,艺术及生活相关的资讯。“生活中大大小小的事物都能为我带来灵感,走在路上看到一排特殊的建筑,路上的一块砖头,不同的色彩搭配,墙角的一个涂鸦,甚至是一片落叶,都能带给我灵感。”

In early 2016, Ning met Vic, an eyewear designer. At the time, Ning worked full-time as a menswear designer. But the two had a mutual interest in using their respective expertise to create something fun for kids; this resulted in the idea of designing playful eyewear for children. To their surprise, the project – initially created just for fun – received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. This success would sow the seeds for the two to launch XSPLUSLAB not long after. Their vision for the brand is simple – create eyewear for stylish kids and adults with a child-like sense of wonder. But aside from simply designing glasses, Ning aims to communicate an underlying message of “Never grow up.” She hopes the brand can help foster creativity in the youth and inspire people of all ages to live their life without constraints.

2016 年初,Ning 碰到了她现在儿童眼镜品牌的合作伙伴 Vic,那时的 Ning 以从事男装设计的工作为主,而 Vic 是个很资深的眼镜设计师。因为两人对于小朋友的生活方式有着共同的想法,他们以做着玩的心态设计制作了一些儿童眼镜,没想到反响非常好。此后,两人就将这个概念发展为了现在的 XSPLUSLAB,一个专为有自我主见的酷小孩和童心未泯的有趣大人设计眼镜和配饰的原创品牌。而制造眼镜之外,Ning 也更想将这种“不想长大”的生活态度传递出来,和大家分享勇敢创新、充满创意的生活方式。

Aside from XSPLUSLAB, a large portion of Ning’s time is dedicated towards Speechless, an online platform that curates a collection of quirky lifestyle and fashion-related stories. “On one particularly hot day, when I was walking around town with my friend, I noticed a group of older folks in public with their shirts rolled up, revealing their stomach. To me, it felt almost like a fashion statement. I thought it was so much fun, but I couldn’t quite explain why. Not long after, I realized I had other interesting observations and ideas about fashion that I wanted to share. And so, Speechless was born,” she says, explaining that her long-term vision is for the platform to grow into an archive of stories that’s able to captivate people of all professions, races, cultures, and genders. “Maybe it’s a naive idea, but we’re open to everything. On this platform, I want people to not worry about ‘stepping over boundaries.’ There shouldn’t be any!”

说起 Speechless,这个 Ning 一手创立的线上生活形态资讯平台,背后还有个可爱又有点搞笑的小故事。“当初和朋友走在街头,看到夏天时大叔们因为天气闷热,把衣服卷到肚皮上散热,一群人站在路口形成有趣的‘时尚风景’,觉得说不出的逗趣景象,加上自己有许多对于生活趣事和时装及美感的看法想跟大家分享,于是便有了Speechless。” Ning 想借助这个平台,和一群对新鲜事物充满好奇的人们分享资讯,他们不按常理出牌,喜欢打破沙锅问到底,勇于打破常规,当然还有,充满幽默感。Ning 希望透过 Speechless 推广一种没有边界,跨产业、跨种族、跨文化、跨性别的理念,创造一个单纯且有趣的意见交换与分享平台。“在这里因为我们单纯而开放的多元精神,大家不必在意互踩界线!哈哈,因为我们也没有界限!”

“I’m both a dreamer and a dream maker,” Ning tells us. “I’m interested in sharing my experiences with people eager to learn so that they can make it closer to their own dreams. I think the best way to live life is to keep an open mind about everything. Kids and adults think differently. Adults already have preconceived notions about many things in life, but kids are different. They look at things in a different light – they don’t see limitations.” Ning often reminds people to retain their child-like sense of wonder about the world, to be receptive to different ideas, and create by thinking outside of the box. She wants people from all walks of life – especially designers, stylists, and fashion enthusiasts – to see that life can be lived without the mental limitations we often place on ourselves and spread the message that by harnessing our creativity, we hold the key to unlocking endless possibilities.

我是一个梦想家(Dreamer),也同时是一个梦想实现家(Dream maker) 。因为我在做梦的同时,也会把自己的经验传达给很多学生,帮助他们更靠近梦想。” Ning 和我们分享道,我觉得最有趣的生活状态就是对任何事物都采取开放的态度。”所以 Ning 常提醒自己用小孩子的态度对待世界,“孩子的生活和成人的生活不同,成人对事物已经有既定的印象,可是小朋友不一样,小朋友没有带有色眼镜,也没有任何的限制。” Ning 希望用更开放的心胸和更多元化的想法去创作,把这种没有界限的生活方式带给所有人,包括设计师,和那些对时尚和设计有热情的人们。

If you’re interested in checking out more designs from Ning and XSPLUSLAB, they’re now available at the POY Art Designer Concept Store.


Aegean Shopping Mall
1588 Wuzhong Road 1F 123A
Minhang District, Shanghai
People’s Republic of China


Facebook: ~/xspluslab
Instagram: @absolutespeechless
WeChat: SPEECHLESS_Official


Contributor: Ye Zi
Videographer: Yang Bingying & Ye Zi

Photographer: Chan Qu

想看到更多 Ning 和 XSPLUSLAB 的更多作品,可以到半境空间设计概念店参观。


吴中路1588号 1F 123A


脸书: ~/xspluslab
Instagram: @absolutespeechless
微信: SPEECHLESS_Official


供稿人: Ye Zi
视频摄影师: Yang Bingying & Ye Zi

照片摄影师: Chan Qu


January 8, 2018 2018年1月8日

We recently caught up with Taiwanese musician Chiu Pi to talk about SPLENDOR, his new full-length album (which he proudly proclaims to be even better than his previous album, Zang Zang). The album has been generating a lot of chatter in China, so we were keen to chat with Chiu Pi to learn more about his creative approach and how recent lifestyle choices have shaped the album.


Listen to two of our favorite tracks from his new album below:

Chiu Pi – TT
Chiu Pi – X


 邱比 – 铁塔
 邱比 – 没有

On each track of the new album, Chiu assumes the role of four different characters. The characters – which represent personality, logic, emotion, and physicality – are all based on the concepts from the field of psychology, a discipline that he’s been endlessly infatuated with. Chiu is ecstatic about how the album turned out, considering that the concept is something he hasn’t seen done before. But the experimental aspects of SPLENDOR don’t end there; rather than following a conventional songwriting process, his loops and samples were meticulously worked and re-worked based on individual words in the lyrics. This method is meant to emphasize the underlying meanings of his deliberate word choices. As the cherry on top, Chiu enlisted the help of Grammy Award-winning sound engineer Chris Gehringer to master the album.

Being such an ambitious and painstaking endeavor, the production of SPLENDOR ate up most of Chiu’s 2017. But with this new year, he hopes to find a better balance between work and personal life, even entertaining the idea of being in a relationship. Explaining his shifting priorities and outlook, he says, “Without a destination to look forward to, people don’t feel motivated. However, in the past, I thought that walking alone meant getting to my destination faster. Now I’ve realized, much like Frodo being accompanied by Sam in Lord of the Rings, having someone by my side will ultimately help bring me closer to completing my journey.”

《大放》一人分饰四角的演唱方式暗合了心理学所谓人的四部分:本质、理智、情感、身体。这是邱比全新的尝试“全地球上没有一张唱片这样做”,由曾获格莱美的母带工程师Chris Gehringer负责整张专辑的响度处理,这次的环形编曲也并不是简单地去剪接整段完整的演唱,而是依靠一个词一个词的录制重组,去强调邱比对每个中文词语含义的不同理解,这也几乎让他的整个2017都置身在这种禅修般的创作环境中,以至于他的新年愿望是希望可以恋爱,“人总要发愿才会有愿力,以前觉得,一个人会走的比较快,可是如果我有一个伙伴就像山姆跟弗罗多一样,我才能走更远去摧毁魔戒。”

In Chinese mainstream music, listeners have been conditioned to expect songs that focus on generics stories of experiencing heartbreak and finding catharsis. Chiu abandons this clichéd formula in SPLENDOR. Instead, he sings about his own random musings and mundane observations (such as discarded aluminum cans or even his own pillow). “Most people can only enjoy superficial topics,” he says. “But I believe this album will resonate with certain listeners, and through my music, I want them to grow. I want to grow with them.”


His upcoming 18-city Asia tour will be one of the largest Asia tours by a Taiwanese musician in recent years. Acknowledging the long road ahead, Chiu jokingly tells us needs to go and do his voice exercises as our interview comes to a close. The name of the tour, Shang Xia Yi Fang (上下一方), is constructed from dissecting the Chinese characters from the albums SPLENDOR (大放) and Zang Zang (正正). While the nuances of the tour’s name become lost in translation, the main takeaway will be that it’s designed to be an ambivalent phrase; the purposeful ambiguity perfectly embodies Chiu’s own musical style – thoughtfully created yet difficult to define and categorize. 


Weibo: ~/chiupi
Instagram: @chiu.pi


Contributor: Shou Xing
Images Courtesy of ROKON

微博: ~/chiupi
Instagram: @chiu.pi


供稿人: Shou Xing

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Dear Shanghai, I Love You

December 27, 2017 2017年12月27日
Edited with L2 / L2 滤镜处理

Using the powerful presets and tools that come with VSCO X, we’ve put together a photo essay that showcases Shanghai through our eyes. This is Neocha’s tribute to a city that we keep falling in love with over and over again.


When most people think of Shanghai, certain sights might immediately come to mind: the lively crowds on the riverside promenade; the hyper-futuristic skyscrapers rising above the Lujiazui skyline; and a legion of mopeds, bicycles, and cars whizzing every which way through downtown. While these sights are representative of Shanghai in their own way, for many, the allure of the city lies in its internationalism, open-mindedness, and reputation as a place of endless opportunities. But beyond these obvious qualities, the city’s rich history and traditional roots form the Shanghai that we know and love.

我们通过VSCO X的滤镜及编辑工具,汇编了一系列照片,以呈现出Neocha心中最爱的上海。



Edited with A6 / A6 滤镜处理
Edited with M5 / M5 滤镜处理
Edited with C7 / C7 滤镜处理

In our eyes, Shanghai is a petite and elegant city. Being the most populated city in China, some might find “petite” as an absurd adjective to describe the megalopolis. Even prior to Shanghai’s frenzied development, land was considered to be a treasured commodity. This is reflected in the Shanghai’s older streets, which look quite dainty when compared to the streets of other Chinese cities. Many of Shanghai’s older buildings are designed with a similar mindset of maximizing the most of a given space and are equally charming in their “petiteness,” such as the wedge-shaped Wukang Mansion in the French Concession. However, despite limitations, many of Shanghai’s older buildings were constructed with attention to details: Buildings from the Republic of China period best represent this, with Art Deco designs, ornate wood and stone carvings, and beautiful terrazzo flooring being some of the city’s most overlooked gems.

上海是“小”且“精”的。因为它从开埠以来就是寸土寸金之地,街道不宽、空间不大,一些老建筑甚至就见缝插针地矗立在两条逐渐相交的马路上,形成了独特的三角船型立面。坐落在法租界的“武康大楼”就是代表性建筑之一。虽然大部分老建筑的空间本身十分逼仄,但细节之处却是非常之精致。甚至在许多建于民国时期、Art Deco风格的建筑上,如今依旧可见细腻的砖雕木雕及整洁的水磨石地。

Edited with FP8 / FP8 滤镜处理
Edited with AV4 / AV4 滤镜处理
Edited with FR4 / FR4 滤镜处理

However, the true essence of Shanghai can be best observed in the city’s shikumen lanes or longtangs, which are narrow alleyways that often can only fit two people shoulder to shoulder. Residental areas like these are abuzz with activity: Recyclers are busy at work, collecting and sorting out salvaged goods along the street; vendors lay out a selection of fresh produce and barter with passersby; and repurposed homes serve as convenience stores, hawking everyday essentials to nearby residents.

In these close-packed living quarters, the distinction between public and private is often blurred as neighbors are constantly exposed to each other’s lives. It might seem bothersome to know what your neighbors are arguing about or having for dinner, but for many locals, these living conditions have ultimately contributed to a strong sense of community.



Edited with A9 / A9 滤镜处理
Edited with C2 / C2 滤镜处理
Edited with U3 / U3 滤镜处理
Edited with KE1 / KE1 滤镜处理

To this day, many of the older generation Shanghainese are content with a traditional lifestyle filled with simple pleasures. When the weather is fair, they can be seen hanging laundry out to dry on streets and from balconies; tending to their beloved potted plants; or simply being out and about, soaking up the sun, casually knitting, and chatting the afternoon away.


Edited with AV4 / AV4 滤镜处理
Edited with FP8 / FP8 滤镜处理
Edited with L2 / L2 滤镜处理
Edited with A6 / A6 滤镜处理

With much of the cityscape and local lifestyle still interwoven with traditions, it’s to be expected that the regional cuisine similarly follows suit. The four breakfast staples, dubbed as si da jin gang (or “Four Heavenly Kings” in English), is comprised of soy milk, Chinese fried churros, baked pancakes with sesame, and stuffed sticky rice rolls. Everything, with the exception of the fried churros, can be made sweet or savory. Another popular snack choice is Shanghai-style tea eggs, which are made with aniseed, sugar, cinnamon, soy sauce, and of course, tea leaves. For dessert, steamed rice cake, garnished with strips of sugar-soaked papaya and orange peels, is a popular with locals. While many of these culinary delights have been glorified under the pen of legendary author Eileen Chang, some have become increasingly harder to find. As the city marches towards the future, a collective nostalgia battles on against the unforgiving nature of time to keep these Shanghainese flavors and memories alive.


Edited with C3 / C3 滤镜处理
Edited with AV4 / AV4 滤镜处理

Begin your free VSCO X trial today for access to the complete VSCO preset library, newest editing tools, and inspiring educational content.


Contributor: Chen Yuan
Photographers: Crown WangChan QuLi ZiAdam J. SchokoraDavid Yen

你也可以在今天开启你的VSCO X免费试用,以获取整套VSCO滤镜库、最新修图工具和教程内容,记录下你心目中的上海。


供稿人: Chen Yuan
摄影师: Crown WangChan QuLi ZiAdam J. SchokoraDavid Yen

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Fiction 有关“虚构”

December 19, 2017 2017年12月19日

Since its inception, NANG has defied the expectations of what a film publication can be. Foregoing run-of-the-mill movie reviews for creative storytelling, NANG offers original perspectives on the world of Asian cinema in each issue. The latest release, dedicated to the topic of fiction, pulls attention away from filmmakers and the process of filmmaking, instead casting a spotlight on the watchers of films. Enlisting the help of guest editor Amir Muhammad – an accomplished Malaysian writer, publisher, and filmmaker – Editor-in-Chief Davide Cazarro invites readers to ponder on how movies can take on a life of their own after they’ve been watched. Overall, the issue poses the question, “When we think about a movie we have seen, aren’t we also ‘making (or ‘remaking)’ that movie in the confines of our imagination?”

自成立以来,《NANG》杂志一直在颠覆电影杂志的传统定义。这本杂志的影评更具创意和前瞻性,在每一期中都提供了关于亚洲电影世界的原创观点。这期最新的杂志以“编造”为主题,并未将人们的注意力放在电影制片人和制作过程,而反将关注的焦点投向了观众。在担任客座编辑Amir Muhammad——他也是多才多艺的马来西亚作家、出版商和电影制片人——的帮助下,主编Davide Cazarro邀请读者一起思考有哪些方式可以让电影在上映后继续延续自己的“生命”?第三期提出的问题是:“当我们想到一部自己看过的电影时,我们难道不也是在自己的想象中‘创作’(或‘再创作’)那部电影吗?”

A diverse roster of writers and comic artists were invited to take the reigns of the third issue and share personal interpretations of their favorite Asian films. From inspired fan fiction and imaginary interviews to heartwarming comics and personal anecdotes, there was no shortage of creative bandwidth expended for the creation of Issue 3. “More than half of the writers chose movies that were not from their own country,” Muhammad writes. “[…] On a basic level, it just shows that movies travel easily. Movies from big industries travel even easier; growing up in Malaysia way before social media, I certainly knew of Amitabh Bachchan and Jackie Chan, but it would take more effort to get to know films from directly neighboring countries like Thailand and the Philippines.”

在本期杂志中,各种各样的作家和漫画家受邀在位,将以独特的视角,分享各自所喜爱的亚洲电影。从充满创意的同人小说、纯粹虚构的想象采访,到温暖人心的漫画和轶事趣闻,《NANG》Issue 3展现了无限创意。“半数以上的作家选择的电影不是他们自己国家的电影,”Muhammad写道,“⋯⋯表明了电影很容易传播罢了。而那些来自行业巨头的电影,传播就更轻松了。我成长在马拉西亚还未进入社交媒体的时代,我当然知道Amitabh Bachchan和Jackie Chan,但如果要了解直接来自泰国和菲律宾等邻国的电影,就得费些周折了。”

In addition to the write-ups and comics in the latest issue, NANG invited five illustrators to reimagine the movie posters for the 17 featured films. Thai artist Unchalee Anantawat presented surreal reinterpretations of Beautiful Boxer (2003), Fist of Dragon (2011), and You Are the Apple of My Eye (2011), while for Dust in the Wind (1986) and A City of Sadness (1989), she merged the two movies together into a singular, digital collage; Indonesian artist Ardneks reworked the posters for Welcome Back, Mr. Mcdonald (1997), Baran (2001), and A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) in his signature vectorized style; Germany-based artist Melanie Fassbender tackled Pink (2016), 2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN (2016), and 3-Iron (2004); Filipino artist Likhain worked on Lilet Never Happened (2012), Vengeance! (1970), and Ghost in the Shell (1995); while artist Alessandro Gottardo offered his take on the three Wong Kai-war movies in the issue – 2046 (2004), Days of Being Wild (1990), and In the Mood for Love (2000).

此外,《NANG》杂志还邀请了五位才华横溢的插画家,重新为杂志中介绍的17部影片设计海报。泰国艺术家Unchalee Anantawat以截然不同的美学风格,重新诠释了《美丽拳王》(2003)、《龙拳》(2011)和《那些年,我们一起追的女孩》(2011), 而《恋恋风尘》(1986)和《悲情城市》(1989) 则被她融合成一幅生动的拼贴画。

印度尼西亚艺术家Ardneks以他的标志性矢量图风格,重新设计了《爆肚风云》(1997)、《天堂挚爱》(2001)和《倩女幽魂》(1987);德国艺术家 Melanie Fassbender 则选择设计了《红粉惊魂》(2016)、《2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN》(2016)和《空房间》(2004)三部电影的海报。

菲律宾艺术家Likhain制作了《街边少女利勒特》(2012)、《报仇》(1970) 和《攻壳机动队》(1995)的海报;而艺术家Alessandro Gottardo 则对王家卫的三部电影《2046》(2004)、《阿飞正传》(1990) 和《花样年华》(2000)进行自己的演绎,其中,他还特意为《花样年华》打造了两幅不同的海报设计。

Issue 3 of NANG is now available in the Neocha Shop in limited supply along with NANG – Issue 1 “The Beauty of Screenwriting” and NANG – Issue 2 “Scars & Death.”

第一期《NANG》“编剧”、第二期《NANG》 “伤痕与死亡” 和《NANG》Issue 3 限量发行,现已于Neocha商店发售。

To pay via PayPal or international credit card, please check out through our Shopify. To pay with AliPay or WeChat, please visit our Weidian.



“编造”《NANG》Issue 3




  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Edition Size: 1500
  • Number of Pages: 122 (including front and back cover)
  • Size: 17 x 24 cm
  • Binding: Swiss binding
  • Printing: Offset (Hybrid Print Technology)
  • Paper: Munken Kristall 400 g/m², Munken Lynx 120 g/m², Munken Kristall 90 g/m²
  • Price: $25


  • 出版年份: 2017年
  • 发行量:1500
  • 页数:122 页 (包括封面和封底)
  • 尺寸:17 x 24 厘米
  • 装订:Swiss binding
  • 印刷:平版印刷(混合打印技术)
  • 纸张: Munken Kristall 400 g/m², Munken Lynx 120 g/m², Munken Kristall 90 g/m²
  • 价格: ¥180


Contributor: David Yen



供稿人: David Yen

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A Flabjacks Takeover of Shenyang 你这个胖香蕉!

December 11, 2017 2017年12月11日

Over recent years, artist Ton Mak has rallied together a friendly cohort of chubby creatures in her FLABJACKS universe. The latest additions to her imaginary world consist of Sausages From Around the World, a group of emotional sausages hailing from different backgrounds; Fanana, a crew of friendly banana creatures; and Pansy in Pants, who’s described as “an introvert who struggles to change out of her favorite pair of XXXXL underpants.” Having lived solely within the confines of Ton’s sketchbook for the past two years, Pansy in Pants and Sausages From Around the World have recently made their debut at Tales of Creatures From Quite Far Away, Ton’s solo exhibition in Shenyang 1905 Cultural and Creative Park.

近年来,香港视觉艺术家Ton Mak用一系列胖乎乎的可爱角色打造出她的 FLABJACKS世界。这个充满奇妙想象力的世界最近又迎来了新成员:《Sausages From Around the World》(来自世界各地香肠),这是她根据不同文化背景和深层情感因素创作的香肠形象;《Fanana》,一群可爱的香蕉;以及《Pansy in Pants》,这是“一个内向的姑娘,一直努力减肥想要换掉她最爱的那条XXXXL号裤子”。在创作了两年之后,《Pansy in Pants》和《Sausages From Around the World 》最近终于从Ton Mak的绘画本中走出来,在沈阳1905文化创意园举办的Ton Mak作品展“来自平行世界的小胖团”(Tales of Creatures From Quite Far Away)中首次亮相。

Aside from the abundance of creativity displayed throughout Ton’s work, the most admirable aspect of her art is its sheer purity. FLABJACKS was originally a simple doodling exercise that acted as a form of stress relief. It’s now grown into a world of its own, filled with goofy, plump creatures who are all eager to share their own stories. Despite the success of FLABJACKS and the opportunities that have followed, Ton’s motivation doesn’t stem from the superficial pursuits of fame or money. The ultimate goal for her is and has always been to see people who meet her FLABJACKS characters leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Ton Mak的作品除了展示出极其丰富的是想象力之外,更令人赞赏的是其极为纯粹的风格。最初,FLABJACKS只是她为了缓解压力,随意绘画的涂鸦。之后就像滚雪球一般,慢慢独成一体,形成一个独特的世界,里面充满了胖乎乎的角色,蠢萌蠢萌的,各自分享着有趣的故事。虽然FLABJACKS大获成功,但名声和金钱从来都不是Ton Mak创作的动力。她的最终目标是让大家感受到她在FLABJACKS角色中带来的那份温暖和舒心感。

From the Pansy in Pants series.
From the Pansy in Pants series.
From the Pansy in Pants series.
From the Pansy in Pants series.

By placing the chubby creatures of her FLABJACKS world in familiar scenarios we can all relate to, Ton playfully captures the happiness and drawbacks of everyday life. This is most evident in the newly released Pansy in Pants, which acutely portrays the joys of lazing around at home as well as the anxiety-ridden moments of self-reflection. Fanana and Sausages From Around the World similarly feature personable characters with relatable stories, but these two series touch on the idea of animism, a topic of interest to Ton. Animism is the belief that living beings and inanimate objects alike all have a unique spiritual essence of their own. By reimagining and personifying mundane items and foods as adorable creatures, Ton hopes to redefine the notion of what can be constituted as being truly “alive.”

她把FLABJACKS世界中那些胖乎乎的角色,置于能观众产生共鸣的熟悉场景中,以幽默风趣的方式,去捕捉平凡生活中的幸福和挫折。这一点在她最新发布的《Pansy in Pants》系列中尤其明显。这一系列敏锐地描绘出宅在家中的慵懒生活所带来的乐趣,以及在自我反省时所产生的焦虑感。而《Fanana》和《Sausages From Around the World》同样呈现了十分可爱的角色,讲述令人产生共鸣的故事,此外还探讨了Ton Mak个人崇尚的“万物皆有灵”的观念,她相信,生命体和无生命的物体一样都有着自己独特的精神。通过将日常的物品和食物幻化成可爱的角色,她希望能够重新定义“生命”的真正意义。

Sausages From Around the World
Sausages From Around the World

Lately, Ton has begun experimenting with introducing a tactile component into her work. At her recent shows, this has been presented in the form of FLABJACKS plushies and bean bags. Her latest interactive offering comes in the form of What’s his face, a pink, furry wall with a friendly face that greets visitors to her Shenyang exhibition, beckoning them to step up and give it a good pet. “It’s sort of like giving a friend a pat on the back,” Ton explains the concept with a giggle.

最近,Ton Mak开始试验创作可触的实物作品。在最近的展览中,她以绒毛公仔和豆袋来呈现出FLABJACKS世界。她最新的交互式作品包括《What’s his face》,一面毛茸茸的粉红色墙壁,上面有一只萌萌的大脸,这是用来迎接她在沈阳举办的展览的观众们,可以直接走近并摸摸这面墙壁。“就像在拍朋友的肩一样。”Ton Mak 笑着解释作品背后的概念。

What's his face?

You can pet the furry wall and experience the whimsical world of the FLABJACKS in person at Tales of Creatures From Quite Far Away, which will be on display at Shenyang 1905 Cultural and Creative Park until January 25th, 2017. For more details about the event, click here or check below.


Event: Tales of Creatures From Quite Far Away
Exhibition Dates: December 1st, 2017 ~ January 15th, 2018
Hours: 10:00am ~ 19:05 PM

Shenyang 1905 Cultural and Creative Park
No. 8 Xinghua North Street
Tiexi District, Shenyang
People’s Republic of China


Facebook: ~/flabjacksart
Instagram: @flabjacks
Weibo: ~/flabjacks
WeChat: flabjacks


Contributor: David Yen
Images & Footage Courtesy of Ton Mak & Shenyang 1905 Cultural and Creative Park

活动: “来自平行世界的小胖团”
展期: 201712月1 —— 2018年115
时间: 早上10:00 至晚上 7:05



脸书: ~/flabjacksart
Instagram: @flabjacks
微博: ~/flabjacks
: flabjacks


供稿人: David Yen
图片与素材由Ton Mak与铁西1905创意文化园提供