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
Manchu (10 million)
Kiki, the lead singer of of Milk@Coffee
Wang Zhonglei and Wang Zhongjun! -president and CEO of H.Y. Brothers
Pianist Lang Lang
Actor Tong Dawei – lead of Struggle
Actor Hu Jun – (Semi-Gods and Demi-Devils, Bodyguards and Assassins, etc)
Wu Jing – fairly tall for a martial artist (5′ 7)
Hui (9 million)
the Hui are an Muslim offbranch of the Han majority
Folk group Shan Ren Yue Dui‘s Ai Yong (center back in picture)
Folk group Shan Ren Yue Dui ‘s Xiao Bu Dian. (left)
Strong recommendation to watch their episode on Happy Camp here. They have a most fascinating instruments show in the second half, and their music is great.
Ewenki, Oroquen and Daur
Multicolor Hunlunbei’er Choir (a mix of Ewenki, Oroquen, Daur and Mongolian children)
World Champion Gymnast/TV anchor Mo Huilan
(ex-?)boyband member Han Geng
There are also the aboriginal Taiwanese, of which the ROC recognizes 13 different tribes that the PRC groups into “gaoshan.” A-mei is the most famous pure aborigine I know of. Vivian Hsu is half. I’m not going to list them all because there are way too many with every fractions possible.
Many people are also mixed. Angela Zhang is 1/4 Uyghur, Qi Wei of Boy& Girl is 1/4 Korean and actor-singer Li Xiaolu is 1/4 Russian, etc. And increasingly, people from China are having kids with foreigners. Super Girl Tan Lina and Dragon Angel Luo Jing are two examples.
Even amongst the Han, with a population of over 1.2 billion, there is huge diversity among looks. There are stereotypes that say Northerners are taller and more slender than Southerners. But even amongst regions, there are differences between individual looks. Just think of how different Jiang Yingrong, Huang Ying and Li Yuanxi look like, and they’re all from around the same city.