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…)

Anson Hu Will Go Red in 2009 with his New EP

I couldn’t bear to leave Wind and Cloud’s song as the first post on this blog, so here’s some real quality for everyone. Having successfully become the first mainlander to give a solo concert in Taiwan, a real step forward, Anson’s now taking it back, way way back to when China could actually be called communist without Karl Marx turning in his grave. It will be the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PROC in 2009 and Anson will be releasing an EP entitled Red Songs to coincide with this.

This particular song seems particularly popular with the masses. Hear it sung by Zong Xiaolin & alan (duet) , Han Hong, Zhang Jie, and Zha Xi Dun Zhu (very contemporized). All of them are absolutely amazing singers, and it’s a treat to hear them sing a song that allows them to show off their voices. These are all live except for the Han Hong one, since that’s an MV. It is kind of funny to hear them singing about Mao though.

Say what you will about those propaganda-filled times, but they produced some awesome music, before music became too decadent for the masses of course. Which reminds me of one I’ve been looking for a while…does anyone know what the song played during the beginning of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress was?


Zha Xi Dun Zhu’s Second Album Almost Complete

This was a good day for me, mainland music-wise. First Peng Tan wins an award, and now I find out that Zha Xi Dun Zhu is going to release another album. I wasn’t sure what his sales were and I was sure he was going to fade into oblivion which was devastating at the time. Yes, devastating. He may be considered part of the idol group, but his voice is like rich butter milk.

With his good looks and great voice, Zha Xi Dun Zhu has become Yunnan province, and CCTV’s media darling. He revealed that second album already has 7 or 8 songs, 4 of which he wrote himself. He is also planning a musical. Zha Xi Dun Zhu, an ethnic Tibetan, released his first album in November 2007. A youtube vid from that under the cut.

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