Tag Archives: new york city

Between Two Cultures

An Rong Xu, a New York-based photographer and filmmaker, explores the world from a unique perspective. Born in China and raised in New York City’s Chinatown, Xu has a wistful and cinematic aesthetic, as well as a deep appreciation for capturing the beauty of the ordinary.


许安荣是来自纽约的一名摄影师和导演。在中国出生,后在纽约唐人街长大,许安荣以自己独特的文化视角探索他身边的世界。他的作品以弥漫着朦胧愁绪的电影美学为标志,尤其擅长捕捉平凡人的美。

Xu says he was raised between two cultures. “Growing up in Chinatown was like learning how to be Chinese through a translator and learning how to be American through my own experiences. I learned about my cultural heritage through my parents and their daily rituals, which was essentially hustle, hustle, hustle. I watched the Chinese New Years parade, with lion dancers going down Mott Street, but I didnt understand its significance. I learned about my culture, yet I was still unsure what any of it meant.” This uncertainty about culture and identity is a consistent theme across Xu’s art: “Often children of immigrants grow up feeling as if we belong neither to our inherited culture nor to our adoptive culture, so in my work, Im in search of what it means to be Chinese-American.”


许安荣跟我们分享了作为一名华裔美国人,在两种不同文化之间成长的经历:“在唐人街长大就像是通过翻译来学习如何成为中国人,同时通过自己的经历来学习如何成为美国人。我从父母和他们的日常礼仪中学习中国文化,这基本上可以用喧嚣这个词来总结。我看过中国的新年游行,看着舞狮沿着莫特街(Mott Street)表演,但却不明白舞狮的文化意义。我在学自己的文化,但是,我仍然不确定也不清楚它意味着什么。”这种关于文化和自我认同的不确定性已成为许安荣所有作品中的一致主题:“作为移民的孩子,长大后我们常常会觉得自己既不属于自己的原生文化,也不属于自己后天成长所在的文化,所以在我的作品中, 我也会去探讨华裔美国人的真正涵义。”

 

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Xu’s work has appeared in Time, GQ Taiwan, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, among other publications, and he’s shot for companies such as Instagram, Airbnb, Under Armour, and Google. He also directed a series of short films called New Romantics that depicts Asian-American love and relationships. About his creative process, Xu says: “As a photographer, I focus only on the image. As a director, I have to keep in mind image, story, and concept, all while things are moving.”


许安荣曾合作的出版物和公司包括《时代》杂志、《GQ》(台湾)、《纽约时报》、Instagram、Airbnb、Under Armour、Google和《滚石》杂志等。作为电影导演,他拍摄了月播短片剧《New Romantics》,讲述亚裔美国人的爱情和关系的故事。谈及自己的创作过程,许安荣说:“作为摄影师,画面永远是我最看重的方面。作为导演,在画面不断推进的同时,我还必须时刻关注画面、故事和概念。”

Xu tells the story behind an image he captured on a recent visit to Seoul. Not long before he had to return to the United States, he took a walk from Gangnam to his apartment in Haebangchon, on the other side of the river. “As I walked across the bridge, I saw this one couple hugging and looking out onto the river, just talking,” he recalls. I stood across from them, watching them enjoy their night, in love. And at that moment, all these feelings came over me. I wondered whether Id ever feel something like their love, whether I’d ever find someone to share life with. As I watched, they got on their motorcycle, and I waited for them to start pulling away. I caught that moment, just as those two young lovers were about to ride off into the night, so absorbed by each other that they didnt care about anything else.”


许安荣给我们讲述了他最近去韩国首尔时拍摄的一张照片背后的故事。在他即将离开韩国回美国的两天前,他从首尔的江南地区走路回去位于 Haebangchon 河边的公寓。他说:“那天晚上我穿过公园的时候, 看到许多年轻人在野餐,在享受夏日的夜晚。当我走在桥上时,我看到一对夫妇,他们相拥着,凝望着河边聊天。我站在他们对面,看着他们陶醉地享受着这个夜晚,沉浸在爱河中,在那一刻,我的内心涌起了各种的情绪和疑问,譬如,我以后有可能感受到像他们那样的爱情吗?我会找到一个可以一起生活的人吗?又或者,我以后会学会骑摩托车吗?他们开始骑上摩托车,然后我就等着他们骑车离开,我要捕捉住这一个时刻,捕捉住这两个年轻的恋人,两个相互吸引的年轻恋人,他们骑车没入这个黑夜,在他们眼中只有对方,别无他物。”

 

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In all his work, Xu captures his subjects with an emotional complexity that’s both revealing and intimate. “I try to go in with as much research as possible, to see if I can connect with them, so there’s a sense of trust and intimacy,” he says. “My favorite thing is to go for a walk, or follow along with them to see them in their element.” The honesty behind Xu’s approach to photography and filmmaking may be what makes his work so compelling. He says simply, “For me, an image is beautiful when it makes me ask more questions than it has answers.”


在许安荣的镜头下,他的拍摄对象总是呈现出一种讲述故事的欲望、亲密的情绪和复杂的情感。他解释了自己是如何去了解拍摄对象的:“接近他们时,我会先尽可能做充分的调查,思考应该怎样去接触他们,在我们之间建立信任和亲密感。我最喜欢做的事是去散步,所以如果可能的话,我常常会带着拍摄对象一起散步,沿路看他们做的事情,去观察他们和他们的心情。”正是这种真诚的创作方式,令许安荣的摄影和电影作品在情感上格外引人入胜。他用一句话概括道:“如果一张照片能让我除了看到画面上呈现的答案之外,还想要去追问更多的问题,那么在我眼中,这张照片就是美丽的。”

Website: www.anrongxu.com
Instagram: @anrizzy

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站: www.anrongxu.com
Instagram: @anrizzy

 

供稿人: 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.”


作为一个描绘史诗、大规模军事场面的艺术家,战争是他创作的主要灵感之一。他解释道:“对我而言,战争某种层面上是一件美丽的事情。战争创造了伟大的人物,也书写了历史。要成为战争中的指挥官,首先你必须是一位出色的艺术家。在战争中,必须掌握的艺术非常多,编队、经济问题、时间、策略、地理优势、我军与敌军在人数上的差异、关于忠诚与使命感的洗脑式说话艺术等等。这些都需要很大的耐心,同时也需要极大的魅力和智慧。无论是侵略还是防守,对我来说,看着一个人如何团结其他个体,凝聚成为对抗对手的巨大力量,这个过程真是充满了美感。”

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.”


谈到自己的创作过程,潘慕文说主要都是自发性和即兴的创作。绘画时,他从来不会先画草图,而是更喜欢自由地创作,随心所欲地作出改变。每幅画在完成的过程中,反映出的正是他平日生活里的情绪和经历。他解释说:“我把作品与我生活中发生的一切交织在一起,这给了我继续前进的动力。”

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.”


对潘慕文来说,艺术是在现代社会的制约下,人们得以发泄内心能量、破坏力和战争倾向的一种方式。他解释道:“我崇拜人和动物的力量。我梦想拥有支配权力来统治、摧毁,让敌人畏惧我。当然,这都是不可能实现的。今天的世界上没有人能拥有这样的力量。所以我用画像来为自己创造这样一个世界。在我的画里,我可以做任何我想做的事情,吃掉我讨厌的人。我画的每个怪物其实都是一幅自画像。”

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


网站mupan.com
Instagram@mupan1911

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

Passion & Fragility

Friends

Mizuki Nishiyama is a Japanese multimedia artist, painter, and poet based in New York City. Currently a student at the Parsons School of Design, Nishiyama creates abstract expressionist works that examine personal experiences, ideas of the extreme, and the concept of human fragility. Nishiyama tells Neocha more about her artwork below.


Mizuki Nishiyama是来自日本的多媒体艺术家、画家和诗人,现居纽约,就读于帕森设计学院(Parsons School of Design)。Nishiyama以抽象表现主义的作品,探讨自己的人生经历,极端的想法和人类脆弱性的概念。最近,Nishiyama和Neocha分享了她对艺术、文化和创意的一些想法。

Snails In Her Eyes
Gustav
In My Lake of Boulders

Neocha: What first drew you to pursue art?

Nishiyama: My grandma, granduncle, and mother are all painters. Each of them work in different mediums – my grandma uses tennen iwa enogu (powdered minerals) for Nihonga (traditional Japanese art), my granduncle paints with watercolor, and my mother paints with oil. As my family has an artistic background, I presume I’ve been influenced by them. Nevertheless, many of my own personal developments have led me to explore different methods to recreate or make a statement, whether it be through music, dance, or writing. Over time, I’ve realized that painting allows me to create the most accurate representation of what I intend to visualize.


Neocha: 你一开始为什么会对艺术感兴趣?

Nishiyama: 我的祖母、伯祖父和母亲都是画家。他们各自用着不同的媒介来创作。我的祖母用Tennen Iwa Enogu(粉状矿物质)来画日本画(Nihonga,指日本的民族传统绘画),我的伯祖父画水彩画,而我母亲则是画油画。由于我家的艺术背景,我从小就已经受到他们的影响。尽管如此,我个人的很多经历也在促使我去寻求不同的方法来创作或表达,可以是音乐,也可以是舞蹈或写作。慢慢地,我意识到,绘画能最准确表达出我想要可视化的内容。

Rokurokubi

Neocha: Aside from familial influences, how does Japan and its culture influence your artistic process?

Nishiyama: I was fortunate to have been raised in a culturally diverse environment. My father is from Japan and my mother is from Hong Kong, but they spent a big portion of their lives in Italy. Bouncing between five languages at home and attending a Canadian International School in Hong Kong, I’ve never been able to identify concretely with particular heritages. However, I’ve always had a fondness for Japanese history and culture. By visiting Japan ever so often, I’ve been exposed to traditional arts such as bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theatre), kabuki (classical Japanese dance-dramas), buyō (traditional Japanese performing arts), and ukiyo-e (an art genre that flourished in Japan between the 17th and 19th century), which have all brought my attention and attraction to classical arts. I’m so grateful to have been brought up with multiple cultural values, as I do realize that I unconsciously blend aspects of all those cultures together.


Neocha: 日本文化对你的作品有什么影响?

Nishiyama: 我很幸运可以在一个多元文化的环境中成长。我的父亲来自日本,而我的母亲来自香港,但他们大部分时间都生活在意大利。在家里,我会在五种语言之间来回切换,加上是在香港的加拿大国际学校读书的,所以,对我来说,我从来都没有特别觉得自己属于哪一种文化。不过,我一直都很喜欢日本的历史和文化。我经常去日本,也接触到很多当地传统艺术,例如文乐(Bunraku)、歌舞伎(Kabuki)、舞踊(Buyō)和浮世绘(Ukiyo-e)、而这些艺术又让我开始注意并喜欢上古典艺术。我很感恩,自己能在这种多元文化的环境中成长,因为我发现,自己会不自觉地将这些不同文化融合在一起。

B.D.P.C.
She
Peas and Peaches

Neocha: What are some recurrent themes in your artwork?

Nishiyama: I’m a very emotionally driven person. I’m tempestuous, and my thoughts are impassioned. The images that I paint come from a very sensitive and ardent side of my human experience that I simply want to document.

My work covers unconventional topics about the human experience that are intentionally confrontational. I’m extremely intrigued by the rawness of the human psyche when we are vulnerable to our emotions. These feelings help cultivate my creativity through emotional intimacy between myself and the brush. The themes I’ve expressed thus far have been based on personal experiences and spontaneous social issues, often ignored or instinctively disregarded by society.

I started painting as a response to many situations in my life. This allowed me to take a step back, and analyze these situations through a secondary lens. I consider my paintings as somewhat of a visual diary. By looking back at my work, I’ve learned to understand myself better – emotionally and circumstantially.


Neocha你的作品有哪些常见主题?

Nishiyama我是一个很情绪化的人。我性格暴躁,充满激动的想法。我所创作的画像,灵感就源自于我想要记录的那些极为敏感和激烈的人生经历。

我的作品探讨的都是比较颠覆传统、关于人类经历的主题,充满着故意的对抗性。我尤其热衷研究人类最本质的精神世界,因为那时候的我们很容易受情绪主宰。这些情绪能让我和画笔融为一体,从而提升我的创意。迄今为止,我所表达的主题都是来自于个人的经历和当下的社会问题,尤其是那些常常被社会忽视或本能地忽略的话题。

我一开始画画,是为了对我的生命中很多情况作出回应。通过绘画,我可以让自己退后一步,以另一个角度来分析这些情况。我觉得自己的画作其实算是我的视觉日记。回顾这些作品,可以让我更好地了解自己的情感和身处的环境。

Camellia
Tic Tac Toe
Swing Me From The Cantaloupe I Swear To Beckon This Raisin Day

Neocha: How does color play a role in your art? What does color mean to you?

Nishiyama: Selecting the appropriate colors to provoke emotions and amplify messages are constantly on my mind. Themes surrounding my pieces are often quite impassioned, so I tend to naturally grab darker, more vibrant and vivid shades. I am currently experimenting with mediums. I am familiar working with highly pigmented shades, however, I’ve recently begun incorporating gouache, gloss, thickening mediums, as well as glazing to create a variety of looks.


Neocha: 色彩在你的艺术创作中扮演什么角色?色彩对你来说意味着什么?

Nishiyama: 我总是会去思考如何选择合适的色彩来挑动情绪,突显作品想要传达的信息。我的作品主题往往都十分激烈的情感,所以很自然地,我倾向于使用更鲜活生动的暗色调。我目前在尝试用不同的媒介进行创作。我比较擅长用高饱和度的色彩创作,但是最近我也开始使用水粉、光泽涂料、可以增厚质感的媒介,以及透明画法(glazing)来营造同不的效果。

Sunflowers Dream

Neocha: As both a painter and a poet, how does your creative process differ across these two mediums?

Nishiyama: Literature and painting go hand-in-hand when it comes to being able to show an accurate representation of what I intend to document. I’m a big fan of confessional poetry. I do not intend to create flawless stanzas nor sculptured phrases. I have always treated both my paintings and my poems as representative milestones in my life. The commonality would be the emotional heaviness I convey through both mediums.


Neocha: 你身兼画家和诗人两个身份,那么你在分别创作这两个媒介时,会有什么不同的创作思路吗?

Nishiyama: 文学和绘画都能准确表达出我想要记录的内容,在这一点上,两者是一样的。我特别喜欢自白派诗歌(Confessional Poetry)。我不打算创作出完美无瑕的诗节,也不想精雕细琢所用的词语。一直以来,我创作的画和诗都是记录我生命的里程碑。两者的共性在于我透过这两种媒介传达的沉重情感。

Katherine

Neocha: How has studying in New York City influenced your attitude towards art?

Nishiyama: I became more driven once I started attending the Parsons School of Design, due to constantly being surrounded by highly motivated and creative people. Moving to New York City meant there were going to be a lot of new life changes, and that resulted in many conversational pieces. Nonetheless, Hong Kong, Japan, and New York are all creative, visionary cities to develop one’s art. But I do favor New York simply because it is a new chapter in my life, and there is yet so much more for me to learn and explore.


Neocha: 在纽约学习的经历让你对艺术的态度产生了什么变化?

Nishiyama: 入读美国帕森斯设计学院( Parsons School of Design)后,我变得更有创作的动力,因为身边的人都充满了创作欲望和创意才华的人。搬到纽约后,在生活上自然会发生很多的变化,也因此创作了很多交谈画(Conversational Piece)。虽然香港、日本和纽约都是充满前卫创意的地方,非常适合发展艺术,但我尤其喜欢纽约。原因很简单,它代表着我人生的新篇章,在这座城市有那么多值得我去学习和探索的东西。

Messy Heads

Website: mizukinishiyama.com

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


网站mizukinishiyama.com

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

The Foxgrove

The Foxgrove is a new boutique electronic music and DJ school that opened late last year in New York City. It was created for beginner-level music lovers, who have absolutely no production skills and probably never imagined being able to make their own music. Co-founder Natalie Lam, who originally is from Hong Kong and previously had worked 20 years in the advertising industry, actually prefers to think of The Foxgrove not as a school, but more as a “music social club” or a “fine learning experience”.


The Foxgrove是一所电子音乐和DJ的精品学校,于去年年底开设于美国纽约。这间学校是为毫无制作经验,甚至可能从未想象过拥有能力制作自己的音乐的入门级音乐爱好者们所设。联合创始人Natalie Lam,这位前20年致力于广告业的原香港人,更乐于不把The Foxgrove看成一所学校,而更多是一个“音乐社交俱乐部”,或者是一个“极佳的学习体验”。

 

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She believes that most people’s knee-jerk reaction to the idea of schools is not necessarily a positive one, but aside from the learning part, how The Foxgrove functions is unlike how traditional schools work. For both Natalie and co-founder David Maurice, creating a comfortable learning environment was really important. They decided at the beginning to get rid of the things that they didn’t like about schools, namely the “bad lighting, coldness, rigidness, discipline, (and) pressure”, and add the things that they would have liked to have had in school.


她相信,大多数人对于学校这个概念的本能反应不见得是积极的,但是除开学习部分,The Foxgrove的运作与传统学校则是大相径庭。不管是对于Natalie,还是另一位联合创始人David Maurice来说,创造一个舒适的学习环境相当重要。他们一开始就决定去除学校中他们不喜欢的东西,即“糟糕的光线,冷清,坚硬,纪律,(以及)压力”,加入他们希望一些学校有的东西。

The space of The Foxgrove was designed with “organic luxury in mind”. They used “ample wood, leather and fabric elements to create an intimate, relaxing space to offset the brand new music gear”. For Natalie, it was important that people didn’t feel intimidated by some of the challenges of having to learn and work with new technology. Some of their past students have likened the experience of attending a class at The Foxgrove to “learning to remix EDM in a spa”, while Natalie herself likes to describe it as a “boutique hotel meets recording studio”.


The Foxgrove的空间设计上应用了“有机奢华”。他们用“大量木料、皮料以及织物元素去营造一个私密放松的空间去陪衬崭新的音乐器材”。对于Natalie来说,让人们不被应用新技术所遇到的挑战吓退是很重要的。他们过去的一些学生曾将在The Foxgrove上课比作“在SPA中学习电子混曲”,而Natalie自己本人则喜欢说它是“精品酒店遇见录音工作室”。

The Foxgrove believes that the future of music in this digital age will go beyond streaming music and will also involve the democratization of music production. Natalie says, “We all love music. A hundred years ago, many people played music in their homes. It was only in the past fifty years that music was monopolized and commoditized by the record industry – music was put on a high pedestal. Music creation was reserved by the industry for the few who are ‘talented, charismatic, and connected’ in order to make massive profits.” The Foxgrove believes that with the current advancement of electronic music technology, more and more people can become the creators of music without even relying on record labels. With the technology becoming more accessible and affordable, the future of music may soon lie in the hands of music lovers and amateur producers. Natalie says, “We want to be the portal for those who never thought of touching music to get the first sweet taste.”


The Foxgrove相信在这个数码时代中,音乐的未来会超逾流媒体音乐,也将迎来音乐创作的普及化。Natalie说: “我们都爱音乐。一百年前,很多人在自己家中演奏音乐。仅在过去的五十年间,音乐就被唱片行业垄断和商业化了,音乐被高置神坛上了。音乐创作被预留给‘有才华、有魅力、有关系’的少数人以大举逐利”。The Foxgrove认为当下电子音乐技术的发展中,越来越多的人可以无需依赖音乐厂牌就能成为音乐创作人。随着技术的越来越触手可及,音乐的未来可能很快就被掌握在音乐爱好者和业余创作人的手中。Natalie说: “我们想要当一个传送门,让那些从未想过触碰音乐的人得到美好的音乐创作初体验。”

So far, The Foxgrove have had over 300 students attend their school. They are mostly young professionals looking for a new hobby or teens from high school. Their approach to classes and workshops is to provide their students with useful music education in digestible quantities that are short and sweet. There are music introduction classes that cover about 80% of the basics of music production and DJing, and there are also more advanced courses for those who are more serious. The focus is mostly on having fun, and turning the idea of music production into a mainstream hobby, like going for yoga class after work or going to catch a movie during the weekend. Similar to how Instagram and digital photography have in recent years helped democratized and popularized photography, The Foxgrove is looking to help bring music creation back into the lives of people. In the future, they are looking to expand globally to other important creative hubs, in cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and elsewhere in Europe.

 


迄今,The Foxgrove已有超过300个学生加入他们的学校。这些学生多数是寻求一个新爱好的年轻职业人士或高中青少年。学校的课程和研讨班,以短而精易为消化的数量,为学生们提供有用的音乐教育。这里拥有初阶课程,其包含了80%的音乐制作和DJ基础知识;也有更高阶的课程,以满足有更进一步追求的学生。这里的注重点多数还是在于享受乐趣,以及将音乐创作转化为一个更为主流的爱好,好比下班后上瑜伽课或者周末看场电影。与Instagram和数码摄影近年为摄影的普及化和流行化助力相似,The Foxgrove期望可以将音乐带回人们的生活里。他们期待着在未来可以扩展到全球其他重要的创意中心去,例如上海、北京、香港这样的城市,以及欧洲。

Websitethefoxgrove.com

 

Contributor: Leon Yan
Video & Images Courtesy of The Foxgrove


网站thefoxgrove.com

 

供稿人: Leon Yan
视频与图片由The Foxgrove提供