Friday Photos

Bai Jingting, or Traveling in the Age of COVID-19

Photos, stills, posters that caught our eyes this week. What caught yours?

Word of Honor: A show that explores the topic of how to best raise a child for men. Look at Wen Kexing’s paternal instincts shown here!
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Filming begins for Liu Yifei, Chen Xiao’s Song Dynasty female ensemble drama A Dream of Splendor

A Dream of Splendor 梦华录 stars Liu Yifei (Mulan) as Zhao Pan’er, the owner of a Hangzhou teahouse who is abandoned by her husband-to-be Ouyang Xu after he ranks third in the national examinations. She embarks on a journey to the capital Bianjing to seek justice for herself, and helps Song Yinzhang (Lin Yun) and Sun Sanniang (Liu Yan) escape their abusive marriages along the way.

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Princess Liu Yifei in 30 million RMB worth of crowns

How is she still such a pure princess after so many years?

She may be the only Disney Princess who isn’t a princess, but that hasn’t prevented Liu Yifei from wearing her crown. Liu Yifei recently did a photoshoot with jewelry giant Chaumet, where she donned 30 million RMB (4.5 million USD) worth of crowns. The all-white photoshoot gives me a lot of nostalgia for her RoCH days when she was just 16.

BTW, Liu Yifei finally returned to China from the US last month, reportedly for a new drama project.

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Photographer Friday: Leslie Zhang’s oil paintings

Chen Wenqi by Leslie Zhang

Leslie Zhang Jiacheng is yet another instantly recognizable photographer. His photographs are characterized by an oil painting-like texture and composition. He also has a distinct interpretation of zhongguofeng or Chinese-style that is more muted than, say, the mainstream style of photographers like Chen Man.

Ni Ni by Leslie Zhang
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Flashback: Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 2003 stills

This still looks exactly like the illustrations in Jin Yong books.

Often lauded as director Zhang Jizhong’s best Jin Yong drama, his adaptation of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils has all of his fortes without any of his weaknesses. A perfect combination of solid hand-to-hand combat and artistic license in the action choreography, a stunning cast in equally stunning on-location scenery, a focus on the grandeur of the stories but finally with nuanced relationships and chemistry between the characters. Hu Jun is truly one of the few actors who pulls off the rugged-at-large-soft-in-the-heart Xiao Feng, while Jimmy Lin’s idol-drama-take on Duan Yu makes him much more likable than the original character. Liu Tao’s Ah-Zhu was the first TV character who made me cry, while Jiang Xin’s Mu Wuantong remains her most gorgeous role to date. Chen Hao and Shu Chang also gave amazing performances as two complex female antagonists.

The impeccably cast series stars Hu Jun, Jimmy Lin, Gao Hu, Liu Tao, Chen Hao, Jiang Xin, Shu Chang, Liu Yifei, Yang Rui, Xiu Qing, Tong Chun-Chung, Christy Chung, Diana Pang, etc.

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Photographer Friday: Liu Zongyuan

Known for his use of light to decorate his objects, Liu Zongyuan’s photographs often feel like they come from the impressionist school of painting. You might remember him from the famous Mulan-like photoshoot he did for Liu Yifei, but that photoshoot is not even up there among his best. He often brings an ethereal beauty to his subjects and their surroundings. Liu Yifei is probably Liu Zongyuan’s most common muse and the one who put him on the map, but he is also a frequent collaborator with actresses like Liu Shishi (who loves him so much she got him to do her wedding shoot) and Li Qin.

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