Tag Archives: beijing


Room 2 (2016) 66 x 110 cm

When your eyes have come to expect dazzlingly bright works of art, it’s a surprise when you find yourself staring so long at the color black.

These layers of black are not silent, but neither are they deafening.

Rather, it’s like a dialogue without words.




Wood Block 10.1 (2017) 90 x 120 cm
Wood Block 10.3 (2017) 90 x 120 cm

Born in Russia, raised in Ukraine, and currently based in Beijing, Alëna Olasyuk is the artist behind these achromatic works, all of which were created using traditional Chinese ink.

Using carved wood in lieu of standard canvases, Olasyuk’s Wood Blocks series is a work of patience and diligence. Anyone can touch the works, anyone can feel their imprint on their own body. Bodily impressions and visual perception overlap: the painting is no longer a painting, the wood is no longer wood. They encourage the viewer to interact with the work. It’s a dialogue between humans and art.

Alëna Olasyuk 在俄罗斯出生,在乌克兰长大,如今长居北京。我们所看到的黑,正是她用所钟情的中国墨水一笔笔画的。

这个系列叫做《Wood Blocks》(《木格》),Alëna 在已镂刻的木雕上耐心地描绘和涂色,最终形成了我们现在所见到的作品。每个人都可以触摸它,每个人也都能在自己身体上留下作品的印记。身体的感知和视觉的观感交叠,画不再是画,木也不再是木。它鼓励着观者与作品进行交互,这是人与作品的对话。

Wood Block 10.2 (2017) 90 x 120 cm

In traditional Chinese art, black and white symbolize the relationship between all things. They’re two extremes that achieve harmony in contrast and movement.

A closer look shows that Olasyuk’s works are more than simply blanketed in pure black ink. Viewed from the front, the entire frame appears to be engulfed in a murky obsidian, with only faint lines visible, but when the same work is observed from a different angle, threads of silver, glimmering colors, and a new world of texture emerge. Darkness reveals itself as light. These perspectives open up an entirely new reality, and as viewers contemplate them, the meaning of dualism becomes clear.

It’s a dialogue between the self and its inner essence. 


但其实细看,Alëna 作品中的黑也并不是全黑。直面画布的时候,你会看到条条延展开去的黑色细线;然而,换个角度,你会将看到一个充满着银丝、明亮的颜色和纹理的新世界。玄黑,转而显现为光明。这样的视角开启了全新的现实,使人们在理解这些作品的同时,体悟到了“二元论”。


Duality 1 (2016) 56 x 76 cm
Duality 2 (2016) 56 x 76 cm

But how to achieve balance in this dualistic world?

Olasyuk’s series Duality presents the idea of a natural balance. In fact, duality itself is part of balance. It’s part of the purpose and very notion of life. But if one doesn’t accept this dual nature, the natural balance can’t exist. Complexity and concision, chaos and balance, movement and stasis, transience and infinity – these are the subjects Olasyuk is eternally exploring in her works.

It’s the perpetual dialogue between humanity and the universe.


Alëna Olasyuk 的作品系列二元性代表了自然平衡的思想。其实,二元性本身就是平衡的一部分,是生活的目标和理念的一部分。但是如果不接受事物的两重性,这种平衡就不可能存在。复杂与简约、混沌与平衡、运动与静止、短暂与无限——这些是 Alëna 在她的作品中永恒探索的主题。


Duality 4 (2017) 75 x 105 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm
A painting from the Fear series (2016) 56 x 76 cm

Instagram: @olasyuk_a


Contributor: Chen Yuan

Instagram: @olasyuk_a


供稿人: Chen Yuan

Fear & Loathing in Beijing



ROBBBB is a Chinese street artist who’s risen to acclaim in the world of contemporary art over recent years. Based in Beijing, the young artist is best known for the life-sized characters he wheat pastes on abandoned buildings and in half-demolished neighborhoods. His work satirizes the contradictions of our modern lives and the darker aspects of human nature. Anxiety, hostility, distress, and fear – topics that many people would rather turn a blind eye to – are common throughout his work.

来自中国的街头艺术家 ROBBBB ,近年来在当代艺术界享有盛誉。这位年轻的艺术家长居北京,他最出名的是在废弃的建筑和半拆除的小区里,画上和真人等大的人物形象。他作品中那种尖刻的幽默感讽刺了现代社会存在的矛盾,以及我们通常更愿意视而不见的人性黑暗面——焦虑、痛苦、敌意、软弱和恐惧。

Born in 1990, the young artist believes much of his art stems from his misunderstandings of society, or to be more precise, his subjective misinterpretations of an objective reality. But this a point of pride for ROBBBB – he sees misinterpretations as being channels through which art and creativity can manifest and thrive.

“As an example, everyone will interpret the messages and ideas conveyed by a good film differently depending on their own individual experiences,” ROBBBB says. “I feel like this is how the world is created, from endless misinterpretations and perspectives. The important thing is to express it.”

生于 1990 年的他,认为自己的大部分艺术源于对社会的误解,或者更确切地说,是对客观现实的主观误解。但这也是 ROBBBB 引以为傲的一点,他认为误解是艺术和创造力得以表现和发展的途径。


From a pot-bellied spiderman eating skewered spiders to clowns fighting over Chinese porcelain, the farfetched imagery ROBBBB incorporates into his work is ultimately a way for him to force viewers to contemplate on the absurdities of our everyday reality.

从那个大腹便便、吃着蜘蛛的蜘蛛侠,到为了青花瓷花瓶打斗的小丑们,ROBBBB 的作品将这些毫无瓜葛的形象融入其中,其实最终是为了迫使观众去思考日常现实的荒谬之处。



Contributor & Videographer: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人与视频摄影师: George Zhi Zhao

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

Young Wild & Free

Wang Wei is a Beijing-based photographer who works entirely on 35mm analog film. Though he’s best known for his fashion photography, Wang’s personal work offers a unique perspective of life in China. His ongoing series, Young Wild & Free, consists of fun, quirky vignettes of his daily life and the lives of those around him. These images capture a sense of playfulness and freedom that encapsulate the coming-of-age experience for the youth of China.

来自北京的王未是一位坚持只用35mm胶片拍摄的摄影师。虽然如今的王未以时尚摄影而闻名,但他的个人作品却为人们提供了一个独特的视角,得以观察在中国的生活。目前他正在进行的系列《Young Wild & Free》中,拍下了他和他身边人有趣且离奇的日常生活。这些照片概括了中国年轻人的成长经历,捕捉到了玩乐和自由的感觉。

Wang was first introduced to photography in middle school when he received a mobile phone with a built-in camera as a birthday present. Although the camera’s resolution was only around 0.3 megapixels, the ability to take photos was life-changing for him. He tells us, “At school, I would always be taking pictures of my classmates, of life on campus, of things that happened in my daily life. Soon after, my parents purchased a digital camera, and I would play around with it when they weren’t using it. Sometimes I would even bring it with me to school. Since then, I just haven’t stopped shooting.”


The Young Wild & Free series came about during Wang’s university years, when he would continue to photograph scenes from his life and the people around him. The name of the series came about when he heard Snoop Dogg’s song “Young, Wild and Free.” He would readopt the name for his own project: “Young” was the reference to his subject matters, “wild” as a reference to the aesthetic, and “free” as the general feeling that he wanted to share with his audience. As his photography evolved over the series’ development, Wang also experienced a change in his own attitude towards art, life, and the world at large. “At the time, I was pretty rebellious, and it felt like my photos were becoming gloomier. But then I went through a period where I was traveling a lot, and it helped me realize the world was a beautiful place. After I came back home, I felt like my mind had been opened – my aesthetic and outlook were drastically changed, and my photography changed with it. I kept the carefree and joyous aspects of my previous photographic style but got rid of the sad and depressed side.” The project is a continual work in progress that holds significant personal meaning to Wang: “It’s become a long-term project that I hold close to my heart, and I plan to keep adding to it. It’s a reflection of my life and all of my emotions.”

王未开始创作《Young Wild & Free》是在大学的时候,当时的他还一直在拍摄朋友和身边的年轻人。有一天,王未听到Snoop Dogg的《Young Wild & Free》后,就决定用歌名作为这个摄影系列的名字。如同《Young Wild & Free》的字面意思,年轻,狂野,自由。年轻是指他选择的拍摄对象,狂野是他的视觉形式,而自由则是他想表达给观众的感觉。在创作这一系列期间,王未对艺术、生活和世界的态度发生了变化,摄影风格也随之改变那段时间我非常叛逆,拍摄的作品也有些颓废。但是之后突然有段时间我开始疯狂旅行,觉得世界特别美好,回来后整个人也打开了,审美和价值观都发生了变化,作品风格随之也改变了。于是我把先前照片中快乐自由、释放的一面保留了下来,舍去了悲伤和颓废的一面。王未会一直不断地去创作这一个摄影系列,因为它对王未自己来说有着特殊的意义,现在这个系列是我的一个长期项目,鲜活可喜,对我的意义非凡,我会一直拍下去。

A photograph from the series that sticks out in Wang’s memory is an image of a girl standing in front of rainbow-colored plane trails. He shares, “It was a fleeting moment. It’s meaningful to me because of how difficult it was to capture, a lot harder than you could imagine.” Taken in Beijing in 2015 at the military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Japan in World War II, the photograph was planned meticulously beforehand by Wang and a friend. However, even after setting up the shot on a rooftop and anticipating the path and schedule of the airplane formation, Wang found himself rushed and unprepared to shoot when the actual moment arrived. “When the planes actually went overhead, they flew by so fast, the noise was deafening, and my camera can’t shoot in burst. Despite the planning, it felt like I was winging it when the moment happened. In my excitement, I took two photographs. When I developed them, I was surprised that both of the photos came out great. I felt really happy, and definitely knew that I got lucky.”


Growing up in Beijing, Wang brings a unique perspective and outlook to the city. According to him, “Beijing is a special place – it’s a cultural and political center. I feel like people have stronger principles here, and as a result, artistic expression is more direct.” As a Beijing native, the familiarity of the city gives him a greater sense of security and creative freedom. “It allows the freedom to follow your instincts, without having to consider too many things. Being in this kind of environment allows me to simplify my creative process, and results come more naturally.”


As a photographer who focuses on youth, Wang is inspired by the nostalgia of 20th-century Western coming-of-age films. He shares with us, “I remember watching one film where the mood and the shots were really great; even though it didn’t have any subtitles, and I couldn’t understand what the actors were saying, I still watched it twice.” A film that left a deep impression on him was the 1990 independent comedy-drama Slacker, directed by Richard Linklater. “I found it to be both boring and compelling. It was boring because of the relative cultural differences and it taking place in a time and place that I couldn’t relate to. But it was compelling because of the way it was shot and the general atmosphere of the film – the ending had me excited for the whole afternoon.” Wang is inspired by the parallels between photography and film, and channels this inspiration into his own photo shoots: “I care more about the feeling of the entire film,” he tells us. “Sometimes when I’m on a photo shoot, I’ll think of it like I’m making a film. I’ll focus on creating a certain mood, and before I shoot, I’ll reference films or movie stills that are similar to what I want to create. When I shoot, I’ll channel this information in my own way to make my images.”

作为一名喜欢专注青春主题来拍摄的摄影师,王未的创作灵感在很大程度上都是来自 20世纪的欧美青春电影。他解释道:我曾经看了一部西语电影,画面和氛围都很好,没有字幕,我也听不懂,但是还是看了两遍。一部让他印象深刻的电影是Richard Linklater导演的《都市浪人》(Slacker)。他回忆道:我觉得这部电影既无聊又有趣,无聊是因为文化差异和时代背景不同,提不起兴趣,有趣是因为拍摄形式和整体感觉很吸引人,尤其是电影结尾的处理,让我兴奋一下午。电影与摄影之间的共通之处让王未深受启发,并将之融入自己的摄影中。我更在乎一部电影的整体感觉,我拍照有时就像在拍电影,比较在意最终营造的氛围,拍摄前会看些类似的电影或者剧照,拍摄时再把吸收信息的通过自己的方式释放出来,完成作品。

For Wang, authenticity is the most essential element of good photography. He says, “When an image is authentic, it will leave a deeper impression on me. ‘Authentic’ doesn’t just mean it’s documenting something. I’m talking about an artistic kind of authenticity, for example, something that is irreplicable or feels within reach.” This philosophy of authenticity is evident in Wang’s own work and life, and in that sense, his approach towards photography has stayed consistent throughout the years. He says, “I don’t really like to follow what others are doing. I like to put a certain distance between myself from the world. I don’t like to passively absorb information, so I’ll usually just keep my head down and work on my own stuff. I’m clear on what I’m doing and where I want to go, so I focus on my own ideas.”


Flickr: ~/wang_wei


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

Flickr: ~/wang_wei


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

King of Peking



King of Peking (2017) is a new comedic drama set in 1990s Beijing that follows a down-and-out movie projectionist and his son as they try to make it big by starting their own pirated movie company. Written and directed by Australian filmmaker Sam Voutas, the film was inspired by his experience of growing up in Beijing in the 1980s and 1990s and the bootleg film industry that blossomed around that period. Funded in part by crowdfunding campaigns, King of Peking is a heartwarming exploration of father-and-son relationships, morality, and what it means to be an example to others. Neocha had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Voutas to learn more about the film, his thoughts on the filmmaking process, and his memories of China.

《京城之王》(King of Peking)(2017)是一部以20世纪90年代北京为背景的喜剧片。影片讲述了一名穷困潦倒电影放映员和他的儿子想通过开盗版片加工厂来致富的故事。这部电影由澳大利亚导演司马优(Sam Voutas)担任编剧和导演,灵感来源于司马优20世纪80年代和90年代在北京成长的经历,以及在这段时期内蓬勃发展的盗版电影业。这部电影依靠众筹获得了部分的拍摄资金,是一部探讨父子关系、道德及作为他人榜样的意义的暖心之作。Neocha独家专访了司马优(Sam Voutas),了解更多关于这部电影、他在电影片拍摄过程的一些想法,以及他对中国的回忆。

Neocha: You have a history of working with the same actors and crew on some of your previous films. How did your team first come together?

Voutas: Yes, there’s quite a few of us who’ve worked together before, such as producers Jane Zheng and Melanie Ansley, as well as our sound engineer Jules Ambroisine. The first time we all worked together as a team was on Red Light Revolution, a sex shop comedy we filmed in Beijing at the end of 2009. Even though several years had passed, we approached the crew from Red Light Revolution first for King of Peking. Obviously, due to people’s schedules we couldn’t get all the same people, but Melanie, Jane, and Jules were all on board super early. And also very important for me was getting Zhao Jun, who also starred in Red Light Revolution, back for the lead role. In terms of how we met him, Melanie found him in Beijing’s Penghao Theatre years ago when we were doing auditions. He was in their café, patting a dog, and Melanie just walked up to him and asked if he was an actor. He said no. But luckily the friends who were with him told him to come clean! He went upstairs, auditioned, and nailed it. He’s such a natural, fun actor.

Neocha: 你拍摄的电影常常是和同一班演员和团队合作的。你们这个团队最开始是怎么走在一起的?

Voutas: 是的,我们中有不少人曾经一起工作过,比如制片人Jane Zheng和Melanie Ansley,还有我们的音响工程师Jules Ambroisine。我们团队第一次一起工作,是在2009年底拍摄《红灯梦》(Red Light Revolution)的时候,我们在北京拍摄的一部有关成人用品商店的喜剧片。过了几年,当我们要拍《京城之王》时还是先找了拍《红灯梦》的团队。Melanie、Jane和Jules很早就确认要参与拍摄,但其余的大家各自有自己的工作安排,我们也不能找到全部的原班人马。另外非常重要的是本次饰演电影主角的演员赵骏回归荧幕,他也曾出演过《红灯梦》。我们结缘就是在几年前北京的蓬蒿剧场,我们正在试镜时,Melanie看到了他。他当时正在咖啡馆里,逗着狗玩,Melanie就走到他面前,问他是不是演员。他否认了。还好他旁边的朋友叫他老实坦白!他后来就上楼试镜去了,拿下了那个角色。他是个很真实、很有趣的演员。

Neocha: You started out as a documentary filmmaker before you got into narrative films. What was it like to make that transition?

Voutas: Documentaries are wonderful but I always found them very difficult regarding developing story. You’d have to wait and wait for something interesting to happen to the characters, often waiting weeks, or months even. And sometimes when that wonderful moment arrived, that scene or story turn you’d been waiting for, you weren’t there! Your phone would ring and the character would tell you what just happened to them! The frustration! With fiction, while it still takes a long time, at least from the script stage you can devise a path that the characters will take. You can plot the course more. So I’ve found that fiction film is, for me anyway, a better way to go. At least when something interesting happens to a character, I can be there to film it.

Neocha: 在你拍摄叙事电影之前,你一开始是一名纪录片制片人。对于这种转变,你自己有什么想法?

Voutas: 拍摄纪录片是很棒的,但是我发现,在故事发展方面,它们很难把握。你必须一直等待,等待一些有趣的事情发生在拍摄对象身上,这往往要等上几个星期,甚至几个月。有时,当那个精彩的时刻,那个你一直在等待的一幕或故事的转折点发生时,你却偏偏不在现场!直到你的手机响了,拍摄对象告诉你刚刚发生了什么事,你才知道!真是很有挫败感!而电影虽然也需要很长的时间来制作,但至少在剧本阶段,你可以设计角色的经历。你可以对故事的发展有更多的把握。所以我觉得电影对我来说更为合适。至少当角色发生有趣的事情时,我可以确保自己拍摄下来。

Neocha: What was it like to grow up as a foreigner in China during the 1980s? Looking back, how has that experience played a role in defining your filmmaking career?

Voutas: When I first lived in Beijing in the 80s, there were hardly any cars on the road. The bike lanes were packed with bicycles, but the main roads themselves were mostly empty but for the old buses. If someone in a car drove by, you knew they were a big deal. And if you wanted a burger, there was one hotel in town that could make one. As foreigners, we weren’t able to use the main currency of renminbi. We had to use something called FEC, and that had a different exchange rate even! So very different times. I reckon my perspective has changed primarily because I’m thirty years older. Back then I wanted to just play in the dirt, and now I guess the major change is that I’m playing in the same way, but on film sets. The make-believe element is still there. I’m just playing with different toys and with new friends.

Neocha: 在20世纪80年代,作为一名在中国长大的外国人是什么样的?这段经历对你的电影制作生涯有何影响?

Voutas: 80年代,我第一次到北京生活时,路上几乎没有汽车。自行车道上挤满了自行车,但大路上大多是空的,只有残旧的公共汽车。如果有人开小车经过,你就知道这肯定是个大人物。如果你想吃汉堡,北京市内只有一家酒店可以吃到。同样,作为外国人,我们是不能使用人民币的。我们不得不使用FEC(外汇券)来付钱,它甚至还有不同的汇率!那个时代跟现在真是截然不同。我觉得我的一些观点已经改变,可能主要是因为我已经三十岁了!当时的我只想玩泥沙,现在我想主要的改变是我还是在玩,但却是在拍摄电影时玩。那种“过家家”的元素仍然存在。我只是找到了新的朋友一起玩不同的玩具。

Neocha: Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced in creating a period piece set in 1990s Beijing?

Voutas: Our film is set in the late 1990s, and what I hadn’t predicted was that so little of 1990s Beijing is left in the city today. We scouted Beijing for a few weeks before we realized the locations simply weren’t there anymore. The old neighborhoods had turned into high rises, so we ended up filming the majority of the movie in Hebei Province. The old cinemas, buildings, amusement parks, we found them out there. It was a very stressful time because without the locations we didn’t have a movie.

Neocha: 你能跟我们分享一下,在拍摄这部以20世纪90年代的北京为背景的电影时你所面临的一些挑战吗?

Voutas: 我们的电影的背景设在了90年代末,而我没有料到的是,90年代的痕迹在今天的北京已经很难找到了。我们在北京找了几个星期,才发现已经找不到那样的拍摄场地了。老街区都变成了高楼。所以,我们大部分场景最后都要去河北拍摄。旧电影院、建筑物、游乐园都在那里找得到。那段时间压力真是非常大,因为如果没有外景拍摄场地,就拍不成这部电影了。

Neocha: What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers, in China or otherwise?

Voutas: Be persistent. It’s a long game. It’s okay to make mistakes, to fail even; that’s just called learning. Often it’s two steps forward, one step back, and sometimes you just fall on your face. It’s just the way it is. Just try and tell stories any way you can. Even if you’re shooting on your phone, that’s fine. The important part is to keep on trying, to not take no for an answer.

Neocha: 对中国或其它国家那些有志于拍摄电影的人,你有什么建议?

Voutas: 坚持不懈。这是一场漫长的比赛。犯错误是可以的,甚至失败也行,这就是所谓的学习。你往往前进两步,又要后退一步,有时甚至会跌倒。这就是现实。尽你所能讲故事。就算你只是拿着手机拍摄也没关系,重要的是要继续努力,别放弃。

King of Peking will have an upcoming screening in Beijing, along with a Q&A session with the director. See below or click here for details.


Event: King of Peking: Film Screening and Director Q&A

Time: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017, 7 ~ 9:30 pm

Cost: 50 RMB

The Hutong
1 Jiudaowan Zhongxiang
Beixinqiao, Dongcheng District
Beijing, People’s Republic of China




时间: 星期三,2017年12月13日,下午7点至9点30

费用: 50元

The Hutong

Facebook: ~/kingofpeking


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

脸书: ~/kingofpeking


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao


Earsnail is an electronic music duo comprised of musicians Wang Xu and Yan Shuai. Combining their individual approaches to music, the duo is unconstrained by boundaries of genre. Their experimental style reimagines the possibilities of sound and how music can be presented. Under FakeMusicMedia, the two have recently released their debut album, 9999, and locked in tour dates that takes the duo across China. We grabbed drinks with the duo during the Shanghai stop of their tour to learn about their recent musical developments and what we can expect from them in the future.


Having played in bands when they were younger, Wang Xu and Yan Shi have both been interested in creating music even prior to Earsnail. In 2013, the two would meet up and experiment with the production equipment they each had on hand. These early days of experimentation became the foundation for Earsnail. Now, the two’s production style have matured immensely since those early days, with each track filled with richly complex elements. Yan Shi shares that one of his favorite samples is from a field recording of a random saxophonist they met at the park – even though the original recorded sound wasn’t interesting, they were able to take segments of it and integrate it perfectly into a track.


The new album, 9999, is a reference to Beijing’s nickname of “The Four Nine City,” a fitting name considering that the duo sees the album as a compilation of their memories from living in Beijing. For Wang Xu, the most meaningful track on the entire album is “City Bird.” “The song has to do with the place where I called home,” he shares. “There was a tree in front of my house, and during that time, Beijing’s air quality was particularly bad. A few birds made their nest there, and I would observe these birds as they grew and hatched babies. Watching them survive in this kind of environment gave me a lot of different ideas. It made me feel like our lives were not too different from the lives of these birds.” Similarly, their “Ant” track builds on the theme of living in urban environments. The song is a statement about the daily lives of the working class, likening them to a colony ants, continuously working to survive without a moment of respite.


Listen to select tracks from the new album below:

Earsnail – Ants

Earsnail – City Bird

Earsnail – Post Soho City


耳蜗 – 蚂蚁

耳蜗 – 城市小鸟

耳蜗 – 后现代城

The two share a similar mixed feeling around the current state of electronic music in China. They’re both eager to see more new faces and hear new sounds but also feel a sense of apprehension. “I feel like it’s good that more and more people are interested in this kind of music, and more are willing to try and produce it,” Wang Xu comments. “But at the same time, I feel like people are very impatient in this kind of environment, whenever they start anything they’ll first think about whether or not their work will succeed or be recognized by others.”

对目前的电子音乐创作环境,他们有担忧也有期待:“我觉得有一点特别好的是,越来越多的人对电子乐感兴趣,也尝试去创作。 只是其实当下的创作环境还是挺浮躁的,大家在做一件事的时候可能会先去想我的作品会不会成功,会不会被认可。”

As their tour nears the end, Earsnail has toured through a number of different cities across China. The duo has been documenting every city along the way. “Of course, every city is different,” Wang comments, expressing an eagerness to revisit certain cities on their tour. “I’m curious about the changes that these different cities have undergone over the years. The plan is to snap some photos and also keep my ears open to try and find interesting sounds to sample in these different cities.” Concluding their China tour, Earsnail will be stopping by Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai. Click here to purchase tickets.

巡演过程中,耳蜗去往全国很多城市,熟悉或不熟悉的都有,他们也期待纪录下更多内容。“每个城市都特别不一样,最大的好奇点是这些城市相对于几年前发生的变化。我们会在这些城市采集一些有趣的声音,拍一些有意思的影像。” 接下来,耳蜗的巡演还会去到广州、深圳及珠海三个城市,点此购票。

Xiami: ~/Earsnail
QQ: ~/Earsnail


Contributor: Shou Xing
Photographer: Ye Zi
Additional Images Courtesy of Earsnail

虾米: ~/Earsnail
QQ: ~/Earsnail


供稿人: Shou Xing
摄影师: Ye Zi

The Collage Art of He Chong

Collage art has been a long-established form of art. It’s a versatile medium that’s unrestrained by conventional forms of artistic expression and can be used to document time, history, and change. Beijing-based artist He Chong is one of the few Chinese artists who work primarily in this medium. But aside from his collage art, He Chong is also an avid photographer whose weapons of choice are Lomography cameras. In a way, his style in both mediums is quite similar, psychedelic and surreal but presented in a unique retro aesthetic.


When talking about the current state of collage art in China, He Chong tells us: “Most of the collage works that people know of are made by foreign artists. In China, there are only a few artists that work in this medium, and most of them are art students who might learn about or use collage for a class assignment. But I feel that in both the fields of art and design, collage is a medium that has impressive visual potential. I believe it has a bright future.”


As a self-described reclusive artist, He Chong spends his free time with his wife creating collages, taking photographs, or walking in the park. He’s someone who has found happiness in living a laid-back lifestyle rather than chasing superficial pursuits. He Chong’s work is much like his attitude towards life, relaxed and unconstrained. The creative freedom of collage art seems to perfectly go hand in hand with the mellow, carefree attitude that He Chong lives by.




Contributor: Sonic Yuan



供稿人: Sonic Yuan

Liuba Draws

Based in Beijing, Russian illustrator Liuba Vladimirova draws romantic, idyllic images of the Chinese capital. Originally, Vladimirova moved to China to study Chinese and completed her master’s degree in the city of Shenyang. After graduating, without any jobs lined up, she made the move to Beijing. Looking back, she says, “It was a bold decision. But I guess I was so young, so I didn’t really think about it.” For five years, she worked a full-time job unrelated to art. During this time, her interest in illustration continued to grow, and so, to satisfy her creative needs, she began exploring the many nooks and crannies of Beijing with a notepad in hand.

俄罗斯插画家Liuba Vladimirova目前在北京生活,她以这座中国首都城市为灵感,绘画了一幅幅浪漫和诗意的城市画像。Vladimirova最初来中国是为了学习汉语,在沈阳修读完硕士学位后,在没有任何工作邀请的情况下,她还是毅然去了北京。回忆起当时,她说:“那真是非常大胆的决定。可能自己当时还是太年轻了,也没有想这么多。” 五年来,她做着一份与艺术无关的全职工作。期间,她对插图的兴趣越来越强烈。为了满足自己的创作欲望,她拿起一个本子,开始去探索北京的各个角落。

As Vladimirova continued to spend hours on her art each and every day, she began receiving more and more positive feedback. After much perseverance and hard-work, she eventually became a full-time freelance illustrator and now even runs her own company. Today, her time is split between completing commissioned work, conducting art workshops, and of course, drawing for her own pleasure. But as a self-taught artist, Vladimirova admits that she often still feels lacking in confidence. Regardless, she feels that any anybody who learns a skill by themselves is committing to an admirable endeavor. She says, “They consciously made the choice. They taught themselves. They invested their time to being something purely because they wanted it.” As time went on, her style continued to mature. Now, she’s honed in on an aesthetic that’s uniquely hers, one that’s been sharpened and evolved through countless hours of practice. In her artistic journey, the only thing that’s stayed consistent since the beginning is the preference of using watercolor.


In terms of technique, Vladimirova is inspired by artists like Carson Ellis, Lizzy Stewart, and Yelena Bryksynkova. Outside of these big-name artists, she speaks fondly of conversing with other like-minded professional illustrators in her early days as a working artist. “These were people similar to me,” she recalls with excitement. “They thought in similar categories as me! They saw the world through the same artistic lens and appreciate colors and shapes from the aesthetic point of view.”

在创作技巧方面,Vladimirova的灵感主要来自于Carson Ellis,Lizzy Stewart和Yelena Bryksynkova这些知名艺术家。除此之外,还有她早期与其他志同道合的专业插画师之间的交流。她说:“他们都是和我一样的人,我们有相似的想法,会用相同的艺术角度看世界,从审美的角度来欣赏颜色和形状!”

For subjects matters, much of Vladimirova’s inspirations come from the city of Beijing, or more specifically, the hutongs of the city. In her works, she beautifully depicts the day-to-day life and persevering traditions of the ancient city. She describes the attraction to these scenes as a fascination with the “romantic side of a simpler life.” Today, as the city continues to grow, many of the places that she’s drawn in the past or planned to draw in the future have completely changed or altogether disappeared. However, Vladimirova remains optimistic, excited by the dynamic nature of China. With a smile, she proclaims, “You never know what is going to happen next!”


Instagram: @liubadraws


Contributor: Anastassia Ilina

Instagram: @liubadraws


供稿人: Anastassia Ilina

Black Dragon



Released by Beijing-based underground label Do Hits, Black Dragon is the latest EP from Chinese producer Alex Wang . Merging sci-fi and glitch sound fragments with the structure of bass music, the EP is an exploration of the invasive nature of artificial intelligence in relation to humanity. The MV for the EP’s lead single “Thorn,” directed by visual artist Brandon Tay of Singapore’s audiovisual collective and record label Syndicate, takes viewers into a void of darkness through mutations of geometrical space.

《Black Dragon》是制作人Alex Wang的个人最新EP,由北京地下唱片厂牌 Do Hits 发行。这张EP在bass音乐的骨架上填入Glitch/Sci-Fi的声音碎片,隐喻对AI人工智能逐渐渗透人类生活每个角落的思考。主打歌《Thorn》的MV由来自新加坡独立音乐厂牌与视听团体Syndicate的视觉艺术家Brandon Tay导演,以几何空间的千变万化,带领观众坠入虚无的黑暗世界。

According to Wang, “Black Dragon is a self-learning AI, which has gone out of the programmer’s control, so it starts surveilling every action of human beings. It keeps watch on you through your Samsung TV, locates you with CCTV everywhere in the street, spies on your social network, knows whether you like Coca-Cola better or Pepsi, your favorite color, and your bank balance.”

Alex 解释:“Black Dragon是一个可以自我学习的人工智能 ,在一次意外中脱离了程序员的控制后,它开始监控人们的所有行为。他通过三星电视监视你,通过路边的监控定位你的行踪,监控你的社交媒体,了解你喜欢喝可口可乐还是百事、偏好的颜色、你的存款数额、你的所有事情…… ”

Listen below for a few or our favorite tracks from Black Dragon. The full EP is available for streaming and purchase on Bandcamp.

Alex Wang – Ritual

Alex Wang – Play Test

Alex Wang – Black Dragon

Alex Wang – Binary System

我们从《Black Dragon》中精选了几首最喜欢的曲目。完整的EP可于Bandcamp上在线收听和购买。

Alex Wang – Ritual

Alex Wang – Play Test

Alex Wang – Black Dragon

Alex Wang – Binary System

Born in Northeast China and currently based in New York, Wang studied recording art at China’s Central Conservatory of Music, and went on to study computer music composition at the Peabody Institute in the United States. His interest in electronica, hip-hop, trap, and jazz, combined with his formal academic background, adds a strong experimental influence to his music. Wang will be performing in cities across China with Yllis, Meuko Meuko, and Jyun Jyun on the Do Hits Records Exodus Tour from August 25th to September 8th, 2017. See the flyer below for full details.

Alex Wang出生在中国东北黑龙江,现居纽约。在中央音乐学院学习录音后,他又前往美国皮博迪音乐学院攻读了计算机音乐的硕士学位。一直浸淫于Electronica、Hip Hop、Trap、Jazz等曲风,加上他的学术背景,使得他的音乐极具实验性风格。在2017年8月25日至9月8日期间,Alex 将加入Do Hits于的Exodus Tour巡演,携手Yllis、Meuko Meuko 和 Jyun Jyun 在中国多个城市表演。有关详细信息,请参阅下面的传单。

: ~/alexwangt


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao
Images and Video Courtesy of Do Hits Records



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao
图片与视频由Do Hits Records提供

Portrait of a Beijinger

Portrait of a Beijinger is a four-part video series, created by writer and editor Tom Fearon and filmmaker Abel Blanco, which documents the lives of ordinary Beijingers with extraordinary stories. Scroll down to watch all four episodes.

《北京人肖像》(Portrait of a Beijinger)是由作家兼编辑的Tom Fearon和电影制作人Abel Blanco共同创作的纪录片系列,共四集,记录了生活在北京的四位普通人和他们不普通的故事。继续阅读,和我们一起观看《北京人肖像》全片。

Episode 1 – “Beneath the Makeup”



Episode 1, “Beneath the Makeup,” follows Liu Xinran, a self-taught Peking opera performer who specializes as a nandan, or man who performs female roles on stage. Away from the stage, he has been a passionate collector of cola cans for almost two decades.

第一集《脸谱之下》(Beneath the Makeup)的主角是刘欣然,他是一名自学成才的京剧男旦表演者,即男性演员饰演戏剧中的女性角色。舞台之外,他一直热衷于收藏可口可乐罐头,已经收集了近二十年。

Episode 2 – “Call of Duty”



The following episode, “Call of Duty,” follows Yang Guoqing, a deli owner who discovered relics from the largely forgotten Battle of Nankou while he was camping by the Great Wall in 2008. Since then, he has used his metal detector to recover more than 3,000 military relics, which are displayed in his makeshift basement museum. Mr. Yang seeks to educate future generations about the cost of war and the value of peace, particularly amid growing modern tension between China and Japan.

在第二集《使命召唤》(Call of Duty)中,他们采访了杨国庆,一位熟食店老板。2008年,他在长城野营时,发现了一些属于那场被世人遗忘的南口战役的遗物。从此之后,他用自己的金属探测器,一共发现了 3000 多件战争遗物,并放在自己的临时地下室博物馆中展览。杨先生希望能教育子孙后代有关战争的代价和和平的可贵,特别是如今中日日趋紧张的局势下。

Episode 3 – “Raise the Red Flag”



Episode 3, “Raise the Red Flag,” follows Luo Wenyou, a man who turned his back on a promising career in the civil service in 1978 to pursue his passion for cars. In the following decades he ran several successful businesses, investing huge sums of money to buy more than 200 rare vehicles displayed today at his personal museum in the northeast outskirts of Beijing. For many Chinese visitors to the museum, the most popular cars are the Hongqi sedans once owned by China’s most famous (and infamous) politicians. Luo explains the unique story behind each vehicle, including Mao Zedong’s 10-meter limousine, and the reasons Hongqi is the automotive embodiment of national pride.

在第三集《红旗高高挂》(Raise the Red Flag)中,他们采访了国产老爷车收藏家罗文有。1978年,罗文有放弃公务员事业,转而追随自己对汽车的热情。在接下来的几十年里,他经营了几家成功的企业,投入巨额资金,购买了超过200辆珍罕的古董车。现在,这些古董车就陈列在他位于怀柔的私人博物馆中。最受当地游客欢迎的是中国最著名(和臭名昭着的)政治家曾坐过的红旗轿车。罗文有解释了每辆车背后的故事,包括毛泽东的10米豪华轿车,以及为什么红旗汽车是一个让中国人自豪的品牌。

Episode 4 – “Woman of Tai Chi”



For the final episode of the documentary series, they ended with “Woman of Tai Chi.” In the episode, they follow Lu Yan, who was the youngest member of the Beijing Wushu Team when she joined during the Cultural Revolution. In 1974, she and Jet Li took part in “wushu diplomacy” by performing for President Richard Nixon at the White House.

纪录片系列的最后一集是《太极女侠》(Woman of Tai Chi),这一集的主角是吕燕。文革期间,她加入北京武术队,是当时队中最年轻的成员。1974年,她和李连杰参与当时的“武术外交”访问团,在美国白宫为理查德·尼克松总统表演。