Tag Archives: 中国

Four Characters

Mostly comprised of four characters, idioms, or chengyu, are one of the most beloved methods of expression in China. The appeal of chengyu lies in their power to convey complex and wordy ideas in a concise manner. But being that many of these phrases originated from ancient Chinese literature, they can, at times, be difficult to make sense of without an understanding of their original context. Luckily, the more convoluted expressions have all but faded from the colloquial lexicon in modern-day China, while many of the easier-to-understand idioms are still widely used.

Today, the internet has become a breeding ground for linguistic creativity. Chinese netizens have begun cleverly crafting their own four-character phrases that follow the formula for traditional idioms. One such phrase birthed by the internet is rén jiān bù chāi (人艰不拆), which translates to “life is already hard enough as is, just cut me some slack.” It’s most often used in a jestful manner. Another quirky internet expression that’s made the rounds in recent times is kōu jiǎo dà hàn (抠脚大汉), which is equivalent to “catfishing” in American slang, but it’s tailored to specifically refer to a man pretending to be a woman.

Similarly, many emojis and stickers used in Chinese messaging apps have followed this trend. Images accompanied by four or five-character phrases are commonplace; they’re used to add humor or alter the expression’s original meaning. While much of these are basically Chinese memes, they serve as a testament to the linguistic versatility and nuanced possibilities of the Chinese language. Designer and recent college graduate Xia Ruolan found herself intrigued by the evolution of these expressions, and in wanting to help explain their meanings to a Western audience, she created Four Chars, an illustration project that translates and simplifies some of the more commonly seen four-character Chinese phrases.



In the early days of Four Chars, Xia mainly used the project as a way of setting aside personal time for herself after work, a way to unwind from her stressful days. Xia recalls the many trials and tribulations that she experienced within the first year of her career: She underwent four different boss changes, switched departments three times, and even had to relocate to another country. But aside from helping her cope from the stresses of work, and perhaps more importantly, the project was a way for Xia, who’s spent much of her life abroad, to reconcile with her cultural roots.

“It may seem like being independent and living in a new country is a liberating experience,” she tells us. “But the truth of the matter is, it felt like I was running into dead ends everywhere.”

Being that Xia’s mother tongue is Chinese, Xia often found herself unable to fully articulate certain ideas in English. Out of these frustrations, she gained a newfound appreciation for the depth and versatility of the Chinese language. Xia wanted a way to share the beautiful subtleties and complexities of her native language with the world but needed to figure out an easily accessible approach. Noting the vast amounts of four-character expressions that exist nowadays, Xia came up with the idea to use illustration to offer easy-to-understand explanations for these common Chinese phrases, and thus, Four Chars was born.


作为一个中文母语者,夏若兰说,她不时会面临有货倒不出的困窘。有些略带俗气的双关词语,让夏若兰一再感受到汉语词汇的广博且充满弹性(雅俗共赏)的内涵。这也让她产生了某种使命感,要让汉语的丰富含义更加平民化地传播。加之夏若兰发现 Instagram 汉语学习专题与插画专题相交叉的一个市场空白,每四个汉字都可能是一个触发点,画面的创作空间非常广阔。“四字画语”就此诞生了。

From fine art to movies and video games, Xia’s inspiration comes from a variety of different sources. “One time, I was cooking something with Sriracha. I was just staring at the bottle of red sauce, and the idiom rè huǒ cháo tiān (热火朝天) popped up in my head mind. At the same time, an image of René Magritte’s surrealist paintings surfaced in my mind. Combining the two, I came up with the idea to draw a bunch of Sriracha rockets flying into the sky as a way of presenting the idiom.”

要说灵感的发源,艺术家的作品、电影游戏的画面,都会成为夏若兰的启发点,“有一次我用 Sriracha 辣酱(中国好像买不到,但在海外很火的中国特色辣酱)做晚饭,看着红红的瓶身,就想到了热火朝天那个词。脑海中又有超现实主义艺术家雷内马格里特(René Magritte)的经典画作,于是就画出了一大堆辣酱瓶子因为自身太辣变成了火箭往天上飞的场景。”

Xia acknowledges that conceptualizing and executing the illustrations aren’t the toughest steps of the creative process. The most challenging part lies in the fact that there are lots of four-character phrases that simply cannot be explained in a sentence or two. “In most cases, I have to simplify the full meaning; if the dictionary doesn’t explain the literal meaning or breakdown underlying connotations of the phrase, I also have to figure out how to add it in. My boyfriend will often help out too and fix up my ‘Chinglish.’” Xia says, grinning. “But when I’m trying to translate these idioms, it’s not just about their meaning. The most important thing is to explain why its an interesting phrase.”

One of the quirkier phrases Xia covers in the series is “děng dēng děng dēng (等灯等灯),” a four-character onomatopoeia that references Intel’s iconic jingle. The first and third character, děng (等), means wait. The second and fourth character, dēng (灯), means light. Her illustrations present a literal interpretation of the phrase with characters holding traffic lights. This expression is most often used as playful banter between friends and simply means “wait” or “hold on a minute.”

Another phrase Xia enjoyed working on was wèi ài gǔ zhǎng (为爱鼓掌), which is a double entendre. Its literal meaning is “clap in the name of love,” but in Chinese, the onomatopoeia for clapping – “pa, pa, pa” (啪啪啪) –  is associated with the sounds of intercourse (or specifically, the sound of skin slapping against skin). The expression is essentially used as a euphemism for talking about sex. Taking into consideration of the fact that many people might not understand the dual meaning of the phrase, she decided to approach the illustration and definition in a literal manner. Another point she took into consideration is that if she were to present the true meaning through illustration, it’d most likely result in a raunchy image that could be censored by Instagram. Xia tells us, “It was fun to look at the comment section for this post,” she says. “Many people who’re aware of the true meaning were cracking jokes with other double entendres.”

但往往最难的不是设计本身,而是那些无法用三言两语去解释的字词。“大多数情况是,自己把词典提供的释义进行略微的改动;如果词典没有提供引申义和字面义的,自己也需要补上。有时候在美国的男友也会帮忙改语法,以及改掉我比较 Chinglish 的部分。”夏若兰说,“在解释这些词的时候,不仅要解释字面义,还要解释为什么这个词是有趣的。”


Having never been formally trained in art, Xia says this project is actually her first-ever attempt at dabbling with illustration. “While Four Chars has helped me a lot personally, it’s actually my first time ever doing something like this. It’s helped me with managing my stress, but in a way, it’s pretty much just escapism. […] I do feel a sense of elation and relief whenever I’m working on the project. It feels different from doing something just to kill time. There also aren’t any extreme ‘eureka’ moments nor do I experience creative stagnation; the project lets me channel my creativity in a pretty consistent way. I also get to experiment with new styles or aesthetics every day.”

Recalling what life was like before she began the project, Xia estimates that 90% of her time was spent figuring out how to be more effective, how to work faster, and how to get results. Being locked into this mentality led her to feel restless and irritable all the time. “So, as someone who’s always looked within for answers, I began asking myself how I could get out of this slump. I guess I hoped I could use the remaining 10% of my time to come up with an answer, and it turns out, Four Chars was the result of that – this project gave me a chance to work on something that didn’t necessarily need an end goal. It was time that I can use for my personal enjoyment and to better myself creatively. In a way, I’m grateful. If I didn’t face the hardships that I did, then I wouldn’t have come up with Four Chars. Its helped me find motivation in all aspects of my life.”


因为之前受到种种压力的影响,夏若兰每天可能会有 90% 的时间在让自己加速、高效、出成果,需要做到“充实”。但这种充实却建立在浮躁本身的泡沫之上。“于是,习惯于独立思考的我立即开始向内心求助,祈求着那个 10% 的我的援助。‘四字画语’就是那个 10% 的时间,它给了我一个‘沉浸做一件事不求目的’的时间段,是一个享受匠人精神的时间段。如果没有之前的转折,就没有四字画语的初心。它像是一个自我鞭策的存在。”

Website: ruolan.design
: @four_chars


Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: ruolan.design
Instagram: @four_chars


供稿人: Chen Yuan

A Day in the Studio with Yan Wei



Yan Wei is a contemporary artist and painter from Beijing, China. After graduating from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Art and Design, she started her career as an illustrator working in the advertising industry. However, during her stint in advertising, she began to question her own goals and motivations. “I had to face the fact that advertising was not the reason I got into art,” she says. “I realized that advertising would only take me further away from my goals as an artist.”



Soon after this revelation, Yan quit her cushy advertising job and set up a painting studio in her parent’s home. She intended to dedicate all of her energy to making a reputation for herself in the art world. Over the next decade, Yan continuously progressed as an artist – her work would evolve from small ink-on-paper pieces to large-scale acrylic works on canvas.

Yan’s hard work would pay off. As of now, her work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions, received massive amounts of praise and attention online, and has been purchased by the Shanghai Art Museum for its public collection.



Yan Wei’s creative process is centered around routine and discipline. She shares, “A lot of people might think, artists or those who work creatively might live more spontaneously and stay up late, but it’s not like that. I’ll wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, clean the house, and start to paint. Then I’ll have lunch and continue to paint, all the way until the sun goes down and it gets dark, and I can’t paint anymore.”



Youth, beauty, and femininity are recurring themes throughout Yan Wei’s body of work. Her art is a way for her to explore the changing roles of women within the context of modern culture and society. “I think of femininity as a whole,” she explains. “Each of my paintings, the subjects are different, but they all have something in common.”



For Yan, her art has also become a process of self-discovery regarding what it means to be a woman. “When I depict women, I think it’s different than when men depict women. When men depict women, it might be as an outside observer. But when I depict women, it’s a depiction of who I am.”


Double Birth
Empirical Wonderland

Yan Wei will be hosting a solo exhibition in Beijing, China opening on March 3rd, 2018. See below for full details.


Yan Wei Solo Exhibition in Beijing

Date: March 3rd, 2018 ~ April 3rd, 2018
Opening Reception: March 3rd 15:00 – 18:00

Hi Art Center
B-B36, UBP
No. 10 Jiuxianqiao Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China



展期: 2018年03月03日 —— 2018年04月03日
开幕酒会: 03月03日,15:00 – 18:00


Instagram: @koomoowei


Contributor & Videographer: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人与摄影师: George Zhi Zhao

The Art of War

Big Bruce Lee

Mu Pan is a Taiwanese artist currently based in New York City. With influences ranging from Hong Kong cinema of the 1980s and 1990s to Japanese manga and kaiju movies, Mu incorporates elements of Chinese history and mythology to tell epic stories and legends with modern sensibilities. Mu’s artwork is never about art for its own sake – in his own words, “I am just an otaku who draws.”

潘慕文(Mu Pan)是一名现居纽约的台湾艺术家。他融合中国历史和神话元素,用画作来讲述具有现代感的史诗故事和传奇,从80、90年代的香港电影到日本漫画和怪兽电影,都对潘慕文的作品产生了很大的影响。他的艺术作品从来不只是为了创作而创作,用他自己的话说,“我只是一个画画的宅男”。

From the The Loyal Retainers series. / 来自《The Loyal Retainers》系列
From the The Loyal Retainers series. / 来自《The Loyal Retainers》系列
From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列

As an artist who tells stories of epic, large-scale battles, war is one of Mu’s primary inspirations. He shares, “War, to some degree, is a beautiful thing to me. War creates great characters, and it also writes history. You’ve got to be a great artist in order to fight a war as a commander. There are so many arts you have to master in warfare, such as the formation, the economic concern, the time, the strategy, the geographic advantage, the numbers difference between you and your enemy, the art of brainwashing for loyalty, and the sense of mission. It costs a great amount of patience, and it also requires a high level of charisma and intelligence. Whether it is for invading or defending, to me it is just beautiful to see how a person can unite people’s individual strengths to become one great power to fight against the opponent.”


Loyal Retainer: Final Chapter
Dinoasshole Chapter 3
Dinoasshole Chapter 5

Mu often draws from the theatre of modern events to find inspiration for his work. “Usually, when I’m excited about something I saw or read on the media, or from my daily life, I first associate the subject with a monster or some creatures on a large scale, then think about who it will be fighting with.”

潘慕文经常从现代事件中汲取创作的灵感。 “如果我从媒体、日常生活中看到或读到一些令我感兴趣的东西时,我会把这个主题延伸联想出某个怪物或是一些体型庞大的生物,然后去构想这只怪物开战的对象。”

From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列
My Name is Charlie: Yellow
My Name is Charlie: Red

With regards to his creative process, Mu is about spontaneity and creating in the moment. He never creates preliminary sketches for a painting, preferring to work freely and make changes on the fly. As each painting progresses, it reflects the emotions and events of his daily life. “I let the piece flow with whatever is happening in my life,” he explains. “This gives me the motivation to keep going day after day.”


From the Frog Wars series. / 来自《Frog Wars》系列

For Mu, art is a way to channel man’s energy, destructive power, and warlike disposition within the constraints of modern society. “I worship the strength of men and animals,” he tells us. “I dream to have the dominating power to rule, to destroy, and instill fear into my enemies. Of course, it’s impossible. No one can have this kind of power in today’s world. So I created my own world for myself with my images. In my images, I can be whatever I want to be and eat whoever I hate. Every monster I draw is actually a self-portrait.”


From the Monkeys series. / 来自《Monkeys》系列
From the Ten Drawings series. / 来自《Ten Drawings》系列
Big Bad Wolves

Website: mupan.com
Instagram: @mupan1911


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Looking Back, Going Forward

For Asians of all ethnicities around the world, the Lunar New Year is an important holiday. For China, it’s the largest and most important celebration of the year. The Chinese New Year represents a fresh new beginning and is a chance for many people to spend time with friends and family members.

With the approaching New Year celebrations, we revisit some of our favorite illustrators, photographers, musicians, and more from China and nearby regions to find out what they’ve been up to this past year, what they accomplished in the past year, and what they’re wishing for in the upcoming year.



Pigo Lin / 皮哥

  • Don’t Touch My Ship, a new painting by Pigo / 皮哥新作 《Don’t Touch My Ship》
  • Mating Snake, a new painting by Pigo / 皮哥新作 《Mating Snake》
  • Alligator, a new painting by Pigo / 皮哥新作 《Alligator》

Illustrator / Pigo Lin

This past year, my paintings have made their way around the world thanks to avid art collectors. In the upcoming year, I plan to create even more erotica.

New Year’s Wish: Lose some belly fat.


Based in Taipei, illustrator Pigo Lin isn’t someone who shies away from the topic of sexuality. Instead, he intends to use his art to open a candid dialogue on the subject. To see the full story from earlier this year, click here.


“The Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays in Asia, and with it coming up, I want to first and foremost wish for good health and happiness to all of Neocha’s readers in the year ahead. For me, this past year was a year filled with personal achievements, especially considering that I’m not a full-time illustrator. My full-time job is as a watch designer, so I had to work on my illustrations in my spare time. It’s been an incredibly rewarding feeling to see so many art collectors around the world become interested in my art. This year, I need to bunker down and work even harder.”

“During the Chinese New Year celebrations, I’ll gather with family to eat dinner on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. I don’t plan on traveling anywhere during the break and will most likely be in my studio working away. Or maybe I’ll clean my house. My wish for the New Year is to lose some of my belly fat. I guess I’ve really been lacking in the exercise department, my entire physique has been downhill.”

“Going forward, I’ll be continuing to create even more provocative erotica. I still have a ton of drawings that are works in progress.”

插画家 @皮哥

去年 我的作品增加了许多来自世界各地的藏家 ,来年 会持续情色创作



来自台北的插画家皮哥Pigo Lin),并不害怕敏感的“性欲”话题,他更倾向于用画面表达出来。往期报道请戳这里


春节新年是亚州文化重要的节日,新年到了,在这里先通过 Neocha 祝世界的读者们身体健康万事如意。去年是非常充实的一年,我并非全职创作者,手表的设计工作和情色绘画同时进行,最大的收获是作品增加了许多来自世界各地的藏家,今年要更加努力了。


Zhang Yalan / 张雅岚

[姽 guǐ] Meaning: Describing a female's elegance and beauty.

"God is dead. Rethink everything".

[娜 nà; nuó] Meaning: - 1. [nà] A common character used in Chinese first name for females. - [nuó] 1. Graceful, willowy 2. Describing a gentle complexion of a woman.

"Even if life is a theatre of tragedy, I'll see this performance to the end with grace."

Illustrator / Zhang Yalan

This past year, I experienced the challenges of finding a stable job after graduation. In the upcoming year, I plan to continue my female-focused illustration series.

New Year’s Wish: Financial independence.


Chinese illustrator Zhang Yulan’s graduation project was an illustration series that examined the Chinese character  (女), which translates to “female” in English. The project dissects other Chinese characters that use the word as a radical and their connotations. To see the full feature from earlier this year, click here.


“This past year has been filled with challenges. Finding a job right after graduating is difficult, but the most rewarding accomplishment of the past year is that I finally started setting goals for myself. I do plan on continuing my illustration series. There are so many more Chinese characters using the  character as a radical, so there are plenty more interesting subjects for me to discover and create. As for what I’ll be up to during the Chinese New Year break, I’ll be spending it with family. My wish for the upcoming New Year is to financially independent. I also want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!”

插画家 @张雅岚

去年 面临了毕业和找工作的压力和挑战 ,来年 想继续“女”字旁的创作





Inkee Wang / 王颖琦

An illustration for Inkee Wang's collaboration with V&A museum / Inkee Wang 为 V&A 创作的活动册封面

Illustrator / Inkee Wang

This past year, I was busy working on a collaboration with London’s V&A Museum. In the upcoming year, I want to spend more time reflecting on the work I put out.

New Year’s Wish: To waste less time.


Currently based in Shanghai, Inkee Wang is an illustrator with a unique style that’s colorful and chock-full of quirky humor. Check out our full feature on her by clicking here.


“I’m pretty satisfied with the amount of work I produced in 2017. I’ve honed in on a cohesive aesthetic that I’m happy with. The most rewarding achievement of my past year was my collaboration with V&A. They asked me to submit more work with a contemporary context, and when we reviewed my submissions, they offered a lot of feedback on how I can introduce more complexity into my drawings. This was immensely helpful. Prior to this, I think I didn’t spend enough time contemplating on how to develop my work. I now think there’s a lot more untapped ways for me express myself through art.”

“I’ll most likely be spending the Chinese New Year in a fairly traditional way, relaxing and getting together with family. But I’ll still be working on my art. As for my plans for the coming year, I want to create two comics in the first half and the year and think about how my work can incorporate even more contemporary concepts.”

插画家 @Inkee Wang

去年 在一次跟 V&A 的合作中收获颇丰 ,来年 想更多地“反省”
新年愿望: 少浪费点时间


目前工作和生活在上海的 Inkee Wang,已经是小有名气的插画艺术家,她的插画风格诙谐有趣,形成了独特的风格。往期报道请戳这里。


“(我)2017 年的出图量还可以,尝试了一种相对来说比较稳定的风格。最大的收获在于一次跟 V&A 的合作,他们要求我的供稿能有更多当代的语境。并且每次过稿都要求我的画面能更佳繁复和混乱一点。这让我反思了很多,觉得我之前还是反省得太少。其实可以挖掘到更多的表现方式。”


Bohan Phoenix

Rapper / Bohan Phoenix

This past year, I did my first-ever Asia tour. In the upcoming year, I’ll be busy working on my “OVERSEAS” project and trying to do things better than the last year.

New Year’s Wish: Listen to more music.


Born in Hubei and raised in Brooklyn, Bohan Phoenix is a Chinese American rapper who’s on the up-and-up in both China and the U.S. Thematically, his music is tied to an exploration of identity, but is expressed using universal messages of love, acceptance, and pride. To see our full feature on Bohan, click here.


“In 2017, I spent the first half of the year in New York and put out the JALA EP, which was heavily influenced by the last couple years of coming to and from Asia. 2018 should get busy as well. As of now, I have a project called OVERSEAS,’ which will be ready in March. Some visuals already finished include a one-shot music video that I’m super excited about.”

“For the New Year, the original plan was to spend it with the family in Chengdu, but as of last week, something came up, and I’ll actually be on tour during Chinese New Year with the Higher Brothers and 88Rising in the states. But I’ll definitely be making calls to my family back home. In the upcoming year and beyond, I plan on to doing even bigger and better things. Hopefully some more projects with Neocha! On a personal level, I had my head buried in making content last year so I didn’t get as much time digging through the vast number of records I’ve yet to hear. I definitely want to do that more in 2018.”

说唱歌手 @Bohan Phoenix

去年 我举办了首次亚洲巡演 ,来年 有个《OVERSEAS》项目,希望能做得更好
新年愿望: 听更多音乐


出生于湖北、在美国成长的说唱歌手 Bohan Phoenix,以身份认同作为他音乐的核心主题,因而在美国和亚洲地区也越来越受欢迎。 往期报道请戳这里


“2017 的前半年我都在纽约,推出了深受亚洲影响的《加辣》EP。接下来 2018 年应该会很忙,因为现在我有一个名为《OVERSEAS》的项目,有些视频已经做完了,其中包括一段让我非常兴奋的一镜到底的 MV。

新年的话,我原来过年打算和家人在成都团聚的,但上周确定下来春节期间我要在美国演出……但我一定会打电话给家里的!我想在来年做得更好,也希望与 Neocha 合作的更多项目!(比心)个人来说的话,因为去年(我都在)埋头创作,所以在 2018 年,我想多听点音乐。

Chiu Pi / 邱比

Producer / Chiu Pi

This past year, most of my time was spent producing the SPLENDOR album, and I also signed to ROKON. In the upcoming year, I want to release a new album that’s still only titled using two Chinese characters.

New Year Wish: To fall in love.


Chiu Pi is a Taiwanese musician who creates “mystical” and minimalist soundscapes. Within the span of two years, he’s released seventeen albums amongst numerous commercial collaborations. To find out more about him, check out our full feature by clicking here.


“I pretty much spent the entirety of last year working on SPLENDOR. My biggest accomplishment during that time was signing with ROKON; they helped me a lot by providing additional resources so that I could finish the album. As for upcoming projects, I plan to focus on the manipulation of the human voice. Looking further ahead, I want my productions and sound to be more unpredictable. I’d like to find new people to collaborate with and create something completely original.”

“This Chinese New Year, I’ll be staying in Taiwan and spending time with family. I hope to find someone to fall in love with in this coming New Year, but it’s not looking likely at the moment because I have so many tour dates coming up. After my tour ends, I’ll probably be jumping right into the production of my next album. I want to maintain the trend of titling my next album using only two Chinese characters so that there’s some sort of cohesion to my work. Oh yeah, just a side note, the physical release of the SPLENDOR album will involve a lot of red.”

音乐人 @邱比

去年 忙了整年《大放》的制作、签约了滚石电音 ,来年 想死下心来创作一张还是两个字的专辑




2017 一整年几乎都在忙《大放》的制作,最大的事情大概就是签约滚石电音,也使得我有更多资源去完成《大放》。接下去新的作品可能会在人声上做一些改变,可能以后会弱化邱比的声音,想要找人合作去调出一个新的音色。”


Sean Marc Lee / 李子仁

Photographer / Sean Marc Lee

This past year, I had the opportunity to develop my skills through shooting in ways I haven’t shot before. In the upcoming year, I want to shoot more quirky portraits of my dad.

New Year’s Wish: To shoot more playful portraits.


Born in San Francisco and now based in Taipei, Sean Marc Lee is a professional photographer whose quirky portraits of his family and friends have become a hallmark of his work. See more of his photos by clicking here.


“Last year started off with a bang with my first billboard for Nike being up all over China. There was a steady mix of travel editorial and collaborations with some locals brands here in Taiwan as well, which let me shoot in ways I haven’t before, but still in my own style. I think the main takeaway this past year is just being more confident in my own style and running with it. Last year, the biggest highlight was getting my family in the States out to Taiwan and traveling with them to Japan. It was also great helping my father meet relatives he hasn’t seen since he was two.”

“For Chinese New Year, I’ll spend a few days down south in Kaohsiung with my girlfriend’s family. I’ll be mostly eating and relaxing! My wish for the New Year is to shoot more portraits that straddle the playful style of my own work but with a style and fashion-orientated direction. I’d also love to get my family out here in Taiwan again and spend more time shooting more quirky portraits of my father. As for my plans for this year, in March, I’ll be in Vietnam; in April, I’ll be in Tokyo; and in June and July, I’ll be in the U.S. on my annual family trip to Yosemite. Of course, I’ll also keep shooting!”

摄影师 @李子仁

去年 我以从未有过的方式稳步发展 ,来年 想给我爸拍更多 
新年愿望: 拍更多好玩的人像照




从年初给耐克拍摄了挂满大街小巷的广告牌之后,去年我旅行内容采编和与当地品牌的合作兼有,这让我以从未有过的方式稳步发展。最重要的是,我对自己的风格更有信心并坚持下来了。去年我还有个很大的个人项目,就是让我的家人去台湾和日本旅行,让我的父亲见到了他从两岁起就没见过的亲戚,我希望这系列能继续拍下去。最近我也刚刚和 Neocha 有合作一个很有趣的项目,预计在 3 月面世?

新年期间,我会和我女友的家人去高雄南部住几天,主要是吃喝玩乐!新年愿望是想拍更多好玩的人像照,有可能的话多一些时尚风格。我也想让我的家人再次来到日本,给我爸拍更多古怪的照片。 3 月我还会飞越南,4 月在东京,6 7 月会在美国加州约塞米蒂有个家庭年度旅行!当然,以后我也会继续为工作为爱好继续拍下去的。

Wenjun Chen & Yanmei Jiang / 陈文俊 & 江演媚

Photographers / Wenjun Chen & Yanmei Jiang

This past year, we wrapped up a commissioned project that explored on the port cities of China. In the upcoming year, we hope to start making documentary-style and commercial videos.

New Year’s Wish: Live in the States and create new works.


In 2014, this photographer couple turned their lens on each other and began an intimate photography project titled Me & Me. Check out the full story on their work by clicking here.


“This year, we just finished a project commissioned by the China Port Museum about the various port cities of China. Lately, we’re hoping to transition from photography into videography and capture stories in a documentary style or tackle commercial projects. As with every Chinese New Year, we’ll be at home in Guangzhou and spending it with family. Our New Year’s wish is to find opportunities to make more videos, and we also have plans of moving to the U.S. so that we can experience life there while we continue to create new works. The plan is already in motion. Hopefully, everything will go without a hitch.”

摄影师 @陈文俊 & 江演媚

去年 我们完成了中国港口城市的项目 ,来年 希望有更多机会拍记录和商业性质的视频
新年愿望: 去美国体验新生活、进行新创作


这两位摄影师从2014 年起,就开始有意识地互拍、自拍和一起自拍,并合力完成了摄影项目《我与我》。往期报道请戳这里



Su Wukou / 苏五口

  • 苏五口新作系列“龙虎豹”
  • 苏五口新作系列“龙虎豹”
  • 苏五口新作系列“龙虎豹”

Fashion Designer / Su Wukou

This past year, I released a new clothing line and helped other designers to start up their labels. In the upcoming year, I’ll be hosting an exhibition of some new work.

New Year Wish: Form a strong team and create with more efficiency.


Su Wukou is a designer who’s deliberately refused to put together a statement about his fashion brand. His unique designs and outlook on fashion has led to countless unexpected creations in recent years. Find out more about his work by clicking here.


“What people have seen from me in 2017 is only a small part of what I’ve actually worked on during the year. What they don’t see is the amount of work I invested in helping other designers launch their own labels. But I feel like these two endeavors are one in the same, it’s work that’s being produced from my soul, but they’re just expressed differently. But to be honest, I haven’t spent as much time creating as I like in the past year; it actually feels like I haven’t truly made anything new in a long time. However, in April, I plan to debut an exhibition in Shanghai’s West Bund and showcase some new works. As for the Chinese New Year, I’ll definitely be with family. In this coming year, I hope to build my team up, make it even stronger, and create new work in a more efficient manner.”

独立设计师 @苏五口

去年 我做了新系列、帮一些设计师起步做品牌 ,来年 会有个展览




“2017 年(我)做的东西,大家能看到的部分是我做了几个新系列,没看到的部分是我有在帮一些设计师起步去做自己的品牌。我感觉这两件事是一样的,仅仅是表达,一种发自内心的输出。其实我放给创作的时间非常少,感觉好久没有创作了。(但)新年 月份在上海西岸应该会有一个展览,会展出一些新的东西。然后新年一定是会跟家人一起过,来年希望可以好好稳固自己的团队,更加有效率地去创作。”



Streetwear Brand / ROARINGWILD

This past year, we opened our brick-and-mortar store in Shenzhen. In the upcoming year, we plan to unveil exciting new projects that go beyond streetwear and fashion.

New Year’s Wish: Peace and joy for the world.


Shenzhen-based brand ROARINGWILD understands what makes a piece of clothing “streetwear” is more than its aesthetics alone – it’s the attitude and spirit behind the garment that truly makes it streetwear. They’ve worked tirelessly to advance their vision of creating a streetwear brand that not only represents their ideals but can also inspire an attitude shift in the Chinese youth. Check out our full story on them by clicking here.


“This past year, we’ve been busy releasing new collections every season. Of course, we also launched our first brick-and-mortar location. It’s been a great learning experience as it’s something we’ve never done before. While challenging, our entire team found the whole process to be an enjoyable one. As for newer projects, we’re working on something about urban culture, and we’ll be releasing even more interesting projects in this upcoming year. On the streetwear front, we plan to open a new flagship store and move our studio to an even better location. Aside from that, we’re planning to expand our creative efforts into projects unrelated to fashion, such as making installation art and working with other mediums. We just want to experiment and see what we come up with.”

“For the New Year, we wish for peace and joy to our friends and family as well as the rest of the world. We’re all pretty traditional when it comes to Chinese New Year so we’ll be spending it with family, but we’ll still be working. No matter what happens in this upcoming year, we won’t lose sight of our goal, which is to bring more creativity into the world and have fun doing it.”


去年 开了第一家品牌店 ,来年 除了服装上还有很多新的项目


来自深圳的时装品牌 ROARINGWILD,鼓励人们张扬地生活,无畏追逐自己的梦想。他们创造一个不仅代表了他们自己的理想,同时能够激发中国青年改变态度的街头品牌。往期报道请戳这里




Yoyo / 无敌宥先生

Fashionista / Yoyo

This past year, we were hard at work establishing our brand and vintage fashion project. In the upcoming year, we plan to keep exploring the world with our son Yoyo.

New Year’s Wish: Peace and joy for all of our family and friends.


Styled and photographed by his parents, Yoyo is a young fashion icon from Hangzhou who’s attracted a large following with his fashionable yet adorable looks. See the original story, including an original video, by clicking here.


“2017 has been a busy one, but also quite a joyous year. We’ve been working hard to establish an online store for our fashion brand UNSME, and at the same time, we’re also trying to do something with vintage accessories and clothing. Yoyo has grown up a lot since we last caught up as well, so we treasure every shoot we do with him. We see these photos as documentation of his childhood.

“We don’t have that many plans set in stone for this upcoming year, but we do intend on spending even more time to hang out with Yoyo and discover the world around us. We’re also looking forward to getting started on a shoot that we’ve been commissioned to do by a fashion brand. Whatever happens, our goal is to just have a good time.”

“Every year, we go back to our hometown and spend Chinese New Year with our families. This year, we’ll be bringing a GoPro, and we plan to shoot some snapshots of our family getting together and parts of our daily life. We not only want to capture our good times with Yoyo but want to create memories with the entire family. For the New Year, our wish is for our family and friends to stay in good health and have a joy-filled road ahead!”

时髦 Icon @无敌宥先生

去年 一直在忙线上服饰品牌和复古街头服饰 ,来年 会拿出更多时间和 yo 一起去发现
新年愿望 亲友平安喜乐 


这位酷酷的时尚界新鲜血液名叫 Yoyo,爸妈在社交网络上晒出了独特的穿衣风格,加之 yoyo 天生的超强镜头感立即吸引了大批粉丝。往期报道请戳这里


“2017 年特别开心且忙碌,一直在忙我们的线上服饰品牌:UNSME。也一人多职地在做关于复古街头服饰的方方面面。yoyo 又长大了很多,和 yo 一起的每一次拍摄都在记录这一年的变化和成长。新的一年,新的创作还没有具体规划,但会拿出更多的时间来跟 yo 一起去进行新发现吧。也很期待明年的品牌邀约及创意拍摄,一切未知,期待始终是‘有趣’进行时!”

“每年都会回老家跟家人一起过春节,今年带了一台 GoPro,想着能在家拍一些日常,不止是 yoyo,也有跟家人一起的记录。新年愿我们的家人和好友依然平安喜乐,身体健康,万事如意,也希望身边的朋友和认识的人都快乐每一天。”

Contributor: Chen Yuan
Original Contributors: 
David Yen, Shou XingGeorge Zhi ZhaoChen YuanYe Zi

Deciphering the Human Experience

Born in Taipei and raised in Shanghai, Jocelyn Tsaih is an illustrator, animator, and designer currently based in New York City. Her artistic style is defined by a distinct, minimalist approach that’s complemented by her quirky sense of humor.

More often than not, Tsaih’s work features a mysterious, amorphous character that’s meant to embody the various facets of modern life. The character, initially based on a stick figure, evolved as a way for Tsaih to convey abstract concepts derived from her own experiences.

在台北出生,在上海长大的 Jocelyn Tsaih 目前长居在纽约,是一名插画家和设计师。她的作品风格简约,且充满着古怪的幽默感。

Jocelyn 的大部分作品里会出现一个神秘的、不定形的角色,意在表达现代生活的方方面面。而这个角色最初是她以火柴人为原型创作的,后来演变成她从自己的经历中传达抽象概念的一种方式。

“It sounds kind of cheesy, but I started drawing it as a way to express my internal conflicts and to represent anything human,” she shares. “As I explored different ways of conveying what I was feeling, I started to use the figure in ways that are more abstract. I think my thought process is that even though we are human, a lot of things about us are intangible, like emotions and feelings.”

“虽然听起来有点俗气,但我一开始画这个角色是为了抒发内心的冲突,表达关于人类的一切。” Jocelyn 说,“随着我尝试用不同的方式来传达自己的感受,我也开始用更抽象的方式来表现这个火柴人。我的想法是,作为人类,很多关于我们的事情都是无形的,譬如情感和感觉。”

Tsaih currently works at WeWork as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator. Outside of her full-time job, she’s equally busy with a constant juggling act between personal and freelance projects. She’s already accumulated an impressive list of clients including Adobe Photoshop, Condé Nast, Nickelodeon, Tictail, and GIPHY. But despite her professional accomplishments, there was a time when Tsaih felt uncertain about her future as an artist. As a teenager, many of her peers discouraged her desire to pursue a career in the arts. It was only after a period of self-doubt and confusion that she decided to trust her own judgment: “I believed that art was valuable, and I pushed myself because I didn’t want people’s skewed perceptions to be validated.”

Jocelyn 目前作为一名全职平面设计师和插画家任职于共享办公空间 WeWork。不上班的时候,她会去创作自己的个人项目和自由职业项目,她曾经合作过的客户里包括 Adobe Photoshop、康泰纳仕集团(Condé Nast)、美国儿童节目频道 Nickelodeon,以及 Tictail 和 GIPHY 网站。虽然如今在事业上获得成功,但曾经有一段时间,Jocelyn 也不确定自己是否真的能成为一名艺术家。十几岁的时候,她的许多同龄人都不鼓励她去追求艺术事业。在经过一段时间的自我怀疑和困惑之后,她才终于决定相信自己的判断:“我相信艺术是有价值的,我不断推动自己去努力,是因为我不希望证明人们扭曲的看法是对的。”

For Jocelyn, creativity comes from being open-minded; it comes from a willingness to dive head first into new experiences, whether it’s interacting with different people or being in an unfamiliar environment. She tells us, “A lot of my work represents my reaction to things, so the more experiences I have, the more ideas I’ll have to turn into drawings.” These days, she’s begun dabbling with ceramics and paintings – processes that, for her, require a lot more time and deeper reflection on the underlying concepts she intends to explore. Patience is a fundamental part of her creative process. “90% of the time is spent thinking an idea over and 10% of the time is spent making the actual work,” she explains, “The final result often looks simple, but it usually takes a long time for me to get to that point, although I know it doesn’t look like it.”

对于 Jocelyn 来说,创意来自于开放的心态和尝试新事物的经历,或是与不同的人互动,或是置身于异国的环境中。她告诉我们:“我的许多作品都表达了我对事物的反应,所以,我的经历越丰富,我才能有越来越多的想法来创作成画。”近来,她一直在涉猎陶瓷和绘画,对她来说,这些艺术创作过程需要花大量的时间对作品内在概念进行反思。Jocelyn 表示,耐心是她创作过程的关键。她解释说:“ 90% 的时间是花在思考上面的,只有 10% 的时间才是花在实际的创作中。最终的作品看起来很简单,但我其实需要很长的时间才能画出来,虽然我知道它看起来不像。”

After six years in New York City, Tsaih is now planning a move to San Francisco in the coming year. She sees this as an opportunity to explore a new environment and experience a change of pace. She shares with us, “Having come from Shanghai to New York, I feel like I’ve only known how to live in very stimulating, fast-paced environments. It might be a little challenging to shift to a slower pace of life, and I might end up hating it, but I hope some good things will come out of the experience either way!”

在纽约生活了六年后,Jocelyn 计划在新的一年搬到旧金山,体验新的环境,转换一下生活节奏。她说:“从上海来到纽约,我觉得自己好像只在紧张刺激、快节奏的环境里生活过。要转变到一种较慢的生活节奏,可能会有点挑战性,甚至我可能最终会讨厌这种生活。但我希望不管怎样,都能在这次经历中取得一些好的收获。”

Instagram: @jocelyntsaih


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
Photographer: Nick Korompilas

Instagram: @jocelyntsaih


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao
摄影师: Nick Korompilas

The Absurdities of Life

From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列

Loneliness, depression, insomnia – these are the fragments of life that make their way onto the canvases of Qiu Dandan’s series Xu She (墟舍). The series’ Chinese title directly translates to “empty house” in English, but there is another layer of meaning behind the seemingly straightforward title. The word “empty” (墟) in Chinese is a homophone for the word “imaginary” (虚); this was a clever phonetic wordplay that alludes to both the surreal qualities of the series as well as the underlying theme of alienation. Comprised of bizarre, dream-like scenarios, Xu She is a visual reinterpretation of Qiu’s past experiences and pent-up emotions.


From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列

With a keen understanding of human nature, Qiu channels the anxiety and isolation of modern life through her poignant images. Many of her other works, such as the animated series Shi Mian (失眠), which means “Insomnia” in English, touch on similar motifs. All in all, her art isn’t meant to be merely viewed and appreciated – it aims to elicit empathy. “Everyone experiences loneliness, struggle, and hardships,” she states. “We are all subjects and observers. All of us experience pain and meaningless grief. I’m no exception.”


From the Shi Mian series / 来自《失眠》系列
From the Shi Mian series / 来自《失眠》系列

While growing up in Guizhou, Qiu has experienced first-hand just how unpredictable life can be and bore witness to the best and worst of human nature. These workings of society have given Qiu extensive material to draw from. “I won’t create an image based on any specific event, but all events. Everything I’ve seen and experienced form the foundation of my creative process. I’m deeply intrigued by our social behavior, but at the same time, I’m deeply disappointed by society. Human existence is based around unpredictability and absurdity.”


From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列
From the Xu She series / 来自《墟舍》系列

Website: artand.cn/daodou
Weibo: ~/刀豆的豆


Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: artand.cn/daodou
微博: ~/刀豆的豆


供稿人: Chen Yuan

Little Thunder

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Little Thunder is a comic artist and illustrator whose distinctive style has led her to become one of the best-known artists in Hong Kong today. Often featuring empowered female subjects, her artworks draw inspiration from a variety of different sources, including Japanese manga, American pin-up art, and even Hong Kong’s rich cultural history. Her masterful approach to visual storytelling allows her to craft meaningful narratives even in the confines of a single frame.

Little Thunder(門小雷)是土生土长的香港漫画家和插画家。她从日本漫画、美式挂图艺术和香港的丰富历史文化中汲取灵感,创作出一系列充满力量的女性画像。加之以娴熟的视觉叙事方式,Little Thunder 让单幅的画像也营造出一种难得的叙事深度。

Little Thunder explores the theme of feminity through a mix of humor, sexuality, and observations of whimsical everyday occurrences. Describing the inspiration behind the empowered female subjects of her works, she says, “Some women have a natural air of confidence and independence. They’re really clear on what they’re doing and what they’re capable of doing, without blindly believing that, ‘Whatever men can do, women can do too!’ Men and women are different by nature, and the perceived ‘inadequacies’ of women are often some of their most attractive traits. These are the kinds of traits that fascinate me the most.”

Little Thunder 的许多作品都是通过幽默、性爱或者异想天开的日常主题来探索女性的本质。对此主题的钟爱,她解释说:“有些女性天生就有一种自信和独立。她们非常清楚自己在做什么、有能力做什么,而不是盲目地相信‘男人可以做的女人也可以做!’男人和女人天生就是不同的,有一些女性所谓的‘不足’往往是她们最吸引人的特质,也是最让我着迷的地方。”

Being also inspired by Hong Kong’s traditional culture, many of Little Thunder’s works convey a sense of nostalgia and communicates her hopes of preserving the fast-disappearing aspects of old Hong Kong. She says, “Hong Kong is developing so rapidly now; it’s copying what’s abroad or trying to appease China. It’s nonstop demolishing and rebuilding, and a lot of Hong Kong’s old architecture and history are disappearing. In terms of art and culture, it’s definitely a step back. It makes me think of how beautiful Hong Kong was when I was growing up. That’s the Hong Kong that always lingers in my memory, and now I can only express it through my art.”

香港传统文化也是她的创作灵感之一,因此,Little Thunder 的许多作品都表现出一种怀旧情绪,传达出她想要保留住这些快速消失的香港文化之愿景。她说:“香港现在发展得这么快,或在照搬国外,或在企图满足中国。到处都在拆除和重建,很多香港的老建筑和历史都正在迅速消失。在艺术和文化方面,这绝对是大退步。这让我想起了在我成长过程中所见的香港的美好,那时候的香港一直留在我的记忆里,现在我只能通过艺术来表达出来。”

In terms of how she chooses the medium for a new artwork, Little Thunder tells us, “I’ll use whatever materials I can get my hands on.” These days, she uses a lot of ink and watercolor, though she’s comfortable creating in both analog and digital mediums. Similar to her artistic approach, Little Thunder strives to maintain a fresh attitude towards life. “My inspiration comes from observation and experience in my daily life, using different perspectives to observe and avoiding the trap of viewing the familiar as ordinary or mundane. This way, I’ll naturally find inspiration everywhere.”

在艺术媒介方面,Little Thunder 表示:“一旦我开始创作的话,可能什么材料都会用上。”近期她最常用的是水墨和水彩,即使她很擅长用胶片和数媒进行创作。与之相同的是 Little Thunder 对生活一样永葆新奇的态度。“我的灵感来源于我日常生活中的观察和经验,用不同的视角来观察,避免将熟悉的事物普通或平凡化了。这样的话,我到处都能找到灵感。”

Despite the role that social media has played on her road to success, Little Thunder has mixed feelings about how our digital interconnectedness can affect creativity and artistic motivations. She says, “Drawing is a really personal thing, but now that we live in a world of social media, it makes art more complicated. The artist will be affected by other people’s opinions, how many ‘Likes’ they’ll get, or whether or not their art will really resonate, which are all things that contaminate the purity of the art. I know that it’s hard to maintain that kind of purity, but at the very least you need to understand that you are the very first viewer of any of the artwork that you create, and if it’s able to give you a positive reaction, then it’s already a success.”

Little Thunder 在网络上吸引了大批的粉丝,现在已经成为香港最著名的漫画艺术家之一。尽管社交媒体是 Little Thunder 获得成功的因素之一,但她对于数字社交对人们创造力和艺术动机的影响有着复杂的感情。她说:“绘画本是非常个人的事情。但现在我们生活在社交媒体的世界里,这让艺术变得更复杂了。艺术家会受到别人意见的影响,会关心他们能得到多少个‘赞’,或者他们的艺术是否能与观众产生共鸣?这些都会玷污艺术的纯粹。我知道,要保持这种纯粹并非易事,但至少你需要明白,你是自己的作品的第一个观众,只要你喜欢它,它就已经是一件成功的作品了。”

Instagram: @littlethunder
Facebook: ~/runthunderrun


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

Instagram: @littlethunder
脸书: ~/runthunderrun


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

The Eye of Binhai



Tianjin Binhai Library is a futuristic space that was recently unveiled in October of 2017. Designed by Dutch architects MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute, the library is part of a greater plan to launch a cultural district in Tianjin.

2017 年 10 月,天津滨海图书馆正式开幕。该图书馆由荷兰 MVRDV 建筑设计事务所与天津市城市规划设计研究院合作设计,并作为天津滨海建成文化中心的一部分。

The highlight of the library is the auditorium. Boasting a spherical centerpiece that looks like an iris within the oval-shaped opening, the atrium has been nicknamed “The Eye.” Inside the atrium, terraced bookshelves run from floor to ceiling, rippling across the ceiling as if following the contour of the luminous orb.

整个图书馆的最精彩的部分是中庭的发光球形报告厅。这中庭有一个球形的中心,看起来像一个椭圆形的虹膜,因此又被命名为“眼睛(The Eye)”。再往里走,成排的书架从地板开始堆叠,既作为阶梯、座椅,且一直延伸到天花板,仿佛描绘出了中间发光球的轮廓。

The actual library is impressive in its own way. While less visually striking than the atrium, the building contains five levels and an area of 33,700 square meters with enough space to house a collection of 1.2 million books. The first and second floors contain reading rooms, books, and lounge areas, while the upper levels contain meeting rooms, offices, computer and audio rooms, as well as two rooftop patios.

而整座图书馆也独具自己的特色。虽不及中庭发光球的视觉震撼,但图书馆总面积达 33,700 平方米,足足有 5 层,设计藏书总量达 120 万册。一楼和二楼设有阅览室、藏书区和休息区,上层则设有会议室、办公室、电脑和音响室以及两个屋顶露台。

From initial design to opening, the library took only three years to complete, making it MVRDV’s fastest completed project to date. It’s a breathtaking achievement of design that’s quickly establishing a reputation as a must-see landmark for those visiting Tianjin.

由于施工周期比较紧张,图书馆从最初的设计到最终落成只花了三年的时间,成为 MVRDV 迄今为止进度最快的项目。这可谓是一个惊人的设计成就,并已成为天津必去的标志性地标。

347 Xu Sheng Road
Binhai New District, Tianjin
People’s Republic of China

Tuesday ~ Sunday 10:00 ~ 18:00
Monday 14:00 ~ 18:00


Facebook: ~/MVRDVRotterdam


Contributor & Videographer: George Zhi Zhao
Images Courtesy of MVRDV


周二至周日 10:00 ~ 21:00
周一 14:00 22:00


脸书: ~/MVRDVRotterdam
: ~/mvrdv


供稿人与视频摄影师: George Zhi Zhao
图片由 MVRDV 提供

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Weibo: ~/张softrain
Instagram: @softrainz


供稿人: Chen Yuan
Image Courtesy of Zhang Yalan

微博: ~/张softrain
Instagram: @softrainz


供稿人: Chen Yuan

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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