Yesterday afternoon, Guo Jingming appeared at Dangdang.com for the first national internet signing event for Tiny Times 2.0. His influence was so large that, as of 5PM of yesterday, Guo Jingming signed 38,553 copies of his new book. In order to grab a chance to talk with the idol online, his crazy fans spammed the screen nonstop to the point of causing a server shutdown of Dangdang.com.
The first installment in Guo Jingming’s Tiny Times series, was released over a year ago, showing a sharp change in direction from his previous style, focusing on Chinese urban youth. Despite the fact that Tiny Times 1.0 already dealt with dark subject matter like rape, Guo Jingming has said “Tiny Times 1.0 is like a fairytale compared to 2.0.” Hunan TV acquired the copyrights for a drama version last year, although it has not started production.
On Dec 24th Xie Tian Xiao (incidentally also from Shandong for those keeping tally) gave his fans a memorable Christmas Eve, coinciding with the release of his new EP Chinese Zither Reggae Vol 1, with four new songs. XTX, who started off grunge, influenced by Bob Marley later became fascinated with reggae, and incorporated it into his latter albums. In this new EP he blended in zither instruments like the Gu Qin to create a style of “Chinese reggae”. A full album of “Chinese Zither Reggae” is in the works to be released later.
Even though there have been many trailers already for The New Dream of the Red Chamber, the previous ones tried to only convey an moody ambiance. This new trailer actually had dialogue, and shows off the beautiful camerawork and sets. The total costs of production for the 50-episode series reached 118 million yuan (for comparison, even the elaborate sets of The Message cost around 50 million yuan), but the producer, sounding much more confident than in previous reports, said that the costs should be definitely recoverable.
We first read about this group in a fascinating article in the business section of the entertainment news. In it mainland label Tai Rye talked about the costs of producing the boyband, first spending a year going to various art schools and talent locations in China to select from thousands. Then they picked 50 kids aged 15-17 to go to Beijing and train, eliminating a few each week. Finally, after three years, the group MIC was formed with 6 members, with a long-term investment of millions including choreographers for American artists like Madonna. The only thing they have mentioned in their upcoming lineup however is LG Lollipop phone commercial for the China market, which has emerged recently.
Making of LG Lollipop CF for the China market (with girlgroup f(x))
One of the most frustrating things about introducing new Chinese artists are the “they don’t look Chinese” comments. Considering China has 56 official ethnicities with their ancestral homes in China, and who knows how many unofficial ones, and 1.3 billion people, it’s unfair to homogenize any part of China (or of the world ). And according to wikipedia, minority populations are rising at 7 times the rate of the Han Chinese because the One Child Policy only applies to Han Chinese (no, China is not trying to eliminate its minorities via One Child).
Photographer Chen Haiwen recently paid a tribute to the diversity of China by producing a series of photos that captured this diversity. Along with a team of photographers, he traveled across China for a year to take photos of a family from each ethnic group. Those, along with thousands of other photos captured on the trip, were put on display in Beijing’s WangFuJing Street last month. zhouzhzh on youtube has a slideshow of all the photos.
Here’s a spot light on some, definitely not all, minority Chinese artists in pop culture.
manager: Super Boy Ji Jie and brand manager for Bacardi
members: two powerful and tomboyish songstresses SM’s lost cause Zhang Liyin
and really lost cause Super Girl He Jie
and boyband Blue Bird Flying Fish‘s 70.
HuHu’s not Yi, but he’s there by association. Maybe Zhang Yunjing can join, too, by marriage. (more…)
The long rumored “Mermaid Kingdom” (official : Empires of the Deep) is said to have recently begun filming. The Huayi (?) co-production will feature Monica Belluci, Liu Ye, Hu Jun and Yu Na and tells the tale of a young man stumbling upon a kingdom under the sea. According to sohu, special effects creation for it begun three years ago.
This isn’t the only large-scale fantasy film to be made in 2010. Shengshi‘s adaptation of online novel “Xing Chen Bian/星辰变/Change of Fate” and an adaptation of Guo Jingming’s novel “Ice Fantasy “ are both major upcoming films that will require tons of special effects. The first is set in a videogame like world that involves fighting against hordes of magical animals, having a best friend bird that can eat up lightning, and going to a heavenlike place in an alternate universe. “Ice Fantasy” stars the prince of the Ice Kingdom. His wife is a mermaid, and members of his entourage include a Guzheng player who creates illusions by playing music. (more…)
Tian Hao Family recently did a Christmas shot with their artists Hou Xian, HIT-5, Sara and upcoming girlband S.P.Y. Watch S.P.Y. perform their new song here. Hou Xian’s EP “Baby Face” will be released at the end of the month. Listen to the cute song, a la urasiansourceCpop2 below and see the individual Christmas shots under the cut.
Jane Zhang sung her new song “I believe” live for the first time yesterday. “I believe” is her first album song to be penned by her (lyrics and maybe music?). Jane writes about her experiences since being an artist and how “I believe” came about. This song is definitely a step up from her previous non-themesong music, and I hope it’ll be representative of her album.
Once I played an unimportant role…. Suddenly, one day, everyone around me looked at me, and that made me scared… So I was always hiding. Sometimes, when there are too many eyes starring at me, to the point where I can’t see past beyond them, I would close my eyes. Too foreign a place, too many foreign faces, too many foreign paths.
Translation of her blog post on I believe below the cut. (more…)
This week I’ll be in and out, intermittently, and idarklight will be going to China soon as well for a month. Even when she’s not posting, she does a lot of stuff behind the scenes so don’t be surprised if the site falls into the crapper when she’s gone.
However idarklight will still be posting some things before she’s gone, including the big Chinese ethnic minorities in Chinese entertainment post (including Han Geng) so please be on the lookout for it. Otherwise, just talk amongst yourself and keep everything civil.