Ethnic minorities in Chinese entertainment

Does she look Chinese to you?

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.

Super Girl He Jie

our Yi-group
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…)

1/3 of “Chengdu, I Love You” Becomes its Own Movie

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In my growing apathy for this movie, I failed to miss this bizarre news which brought my interest back up a notch, and along with it many mixed feelings. As you may have read in early reports, this movie was supposed to show past, present, and future Chengdu, Sichuan, perhaps my favorite city. Well, it seems that the present-day segment, directed by the Korean director Heo Jin-ho,  has become so commercially enticing that it is being developed into its own movie called Season of Good Rain, leaving the past and future segments in its dust. I feel sorry for the Venice film festival thinking that it invited a full movie to close its festival, but only ending upwith 2/3. I feel sorry for the other two directors as well.  But at the same time, I’m almost rejoicing.

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Carsick Cars Releases New MV for Old Album

Maybe Mars, the newbie record label in China that launched the bands Carsick Cars, Joyside and Snapline, amongst others finally released Carsick Cars‘ first MV a month ago, for their song Muo Gu, Muo Gu, or Mushroom Mushroom, and I think the MV reflects the title pretty well.

There was an interview with Zhou Shouwang of Carsick Cars featured at Danwei.org, and with their permission, I’m posting  part of it here because I like the insight it gave about Chinese music past and present.

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“Chengdu, I Love You” Unveils Its Cast

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Gao Yuanyuan and Korean actor Jung Woo-Sung will star in "Chengdu, I Love You" as one of the three main couples.

Chengdu I Love You, the collaboration between a Chinese, Hong Kong and Korean director to show off the city of Chengdu through love stories had a press conference with the three directors and the stars of each segment of the film.

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Cui Jian Takes On “Chengdu, I Love You”

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What do you mean rockers shouldn't wear pink caps?

Cui Jian, one of the founders of Chinese rock, whose exposition usually involves mercilously mocking modern pop stars and the practice of lip-synching and anything else ruining the quality of Chinese music, shows his softer side as he turns his attention to directing, and away from the world of music.

Last December, Zhongbo Media announced the filming of “Chengdu I love you,” which will have three segments one directed by Cui Jian, a film  similar to “Paris, je t’aime” and “New York, I Love You.”  Chendu is the capital of Sichuan province, which was devastated by the earthquake in May.

Cui Jian said, ” I believe Chengdu people are like the French of China. They’re romantic with a happy attitude. That type of attitude allows them to calmly face the problems they face. After the Sichuan earthquake, they quickly recovered from the pains and went back to rebuilding their home. Through this film, I hope people will better understand Chengdu, understand the lives and feelings of the Chengdu people.

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Older Chinese Singers Criticize the New Wave of “Idol” Singers in China

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Ding Wei at the Wind and Cloud Newcomers Awards: "You can not just rely on a pretty face"

So part of the reason I chose to post on the Wind and Cloud Newcomers Awards and spend the time to stick a bunch of MVs there, and tell you exactly which ones have composed their own songs is because you can form your own opinions on their singing ability and their compositional skills while you read to this follow up post to it.

If you watched the Awards you may not have noticed the people presenting the awards. They were older and not as good looking as the massive amount of eye-candy reaping the awards. But these people were the foundation of Chinese music, putting their heart and souls into writing beautiful music, and they must have felt uneasy seeing one by one these newcomers with pretty faces and still questionable talent going up to get awards that meant the face of Chinese music was changing from skills-based to more looks/performance-based.

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Epic Post 2: No More Lip-Synching

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Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi

This bit of news is really, really old and I was not going to post on this at all, but I began writing an introduction to another post that eventually evolved into its own long-winded post, and so here we are with me talking politics all over again because I couldn’t bear to just drop what I had already spent time on. Btw, Epic post basically means political post now.

China, as you may know from reading other sites, has recently decided to ban lip-synching from commercial performances, which in my opinion was a decision that came from older people in the industry frustrated by the recent flood of idol singers and not for other reasons that western news sources like to conjecture about, such as the lip-synching girl, Lin Maoke at the Olympics. Basically the first 3/4 of this post talks about why I am so pissed at how the articles that came out about this revelation (revealed by Chinese committe head himself) were so ridiculously flawed, as the articles often were during the Olympics, and I think it’s ridiculous that this is still being stated as truth, like the Variety article I linked to. The last 1/4 talks about the Chinese entertainment circle and how and whom the ban would affect. Beware, this is even longer than my Gong Li Epic Post. (more…)

‘The Father of Chinese Rock’ blasts HK and Taiwan pop

Cui Jian, or ‘Old Cui’ one of the first people to write rock songs in China and still one of the most revered people in the Chinese Rock scene (yeah, it’s actually getting pretty big if not already) recently blasted Chinese pop. Maybe he saw the rise of boybands in China and was afraid.

Article:

In China, there’s not a lack of good artists, nor a lack of good songs. What it lacks is a talented manufacturing company. In Hong Kong and Taiwan, there is collective deception. What is well-known is the “Cow Dung into Gold” business way. As long as you look good, even if you can’t do anything, I can still make you popular. That is their culture.

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