China is Like A Huge Bronze Head

I know what you are thinking about, you are thinking. What is he on about know? Well yes, that is a correct reaction to my usual rants which not too many people understand. But what do I care, I know a lot more about China than others. Just because you don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean that it’s something stupid. OK, in my case it might little bit be. Perhaps because I don’t really think in terms of what makes sense or what doesn’t. After living in China for so so many years, I think my head had become like a huge bronze head statue!

Yes, it’s pretty funny but my inspiration was sparked from a description of the Golden Mask Dynasty show, in Beijing. It’s a huge spectacle, or a performance they call it. And there everything is big and flashy.. with a lot of sound. And it all started from that same bronze head that the director saw on his visit to an archaeological site. Sounds interesting, yes!

What has a show got to do with bronze heads, and furthermore how is China put into the picture. Well, it goes way way back into the ancient and magical China. These heads were important for rituals and other daily tasks. But most of all, they depict something real.. anything from emperors to peasants. And one of the most golden of such emperor times, is the Golden Dynasty! If you would see one of these masks or heads, you would understand. And the reason I am not posting a picture this time, is because you need to see them live. They are really, really awesome!

If you are not an archaeologist yet, this experience just might make you one! :)

Greetings! — Sebastian

Rat Train Station in China

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I found a rather, peculiar station name in China. “Rat Station” is probably a horrible, “translation went wrong” situation. Although I have no idea if that Chinese character actually means rat or not. Either way I though someone might find it funny, I was pretty amused. Also the “Do not touch” text there made me worry if there was some rat poison involved. Harhar!

Chinese Opera Masks a Touch of Ancient China

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I love Peking Opera masks.. they have the touch of ancient China that’s missing from the modern days. Each mask is carefully hand painted and depicts certain kinds of characters. These character types are what make the twists in the stunning stories that revolve around opera in Beijing.

If you are interested, have a look at the different meanings of the opera masks. Every colour means something different. It’s been a long time since I went to see Peking Opera, so I am kind of feeling nostalgic when I am thinking about it already. I’m even thinking of making one all by myself. It’s fun to think about what kind of enhanced features, your personal opera mask would be.

Shanghai Pollution

Shanghai Pollution

Ever tried turning a picture of the pollution in China into black and white. I was astounded at the result.. it looks absolutely dreadful. Indeed lately, once again PM2.5 has been heavily in the Chinese news.. especially those of CCTV that have taken a “central focus” on pushing forward solutions towards solving the problem. Building the worlds biggest climate test facility is forecasting a lot of chemical rain in the near future.. solution, perhaps? long term solution, no way. China needs a sustainable future.

Spooky Wonderland Amusement Park near Beijing

Wonderland Beijing

There is something thrilling about some of the weaknesses of China. I’ve always liked places that are different or unique in some way and China is one of those countries where you can find things that you cannot find from anywhere else. Take this abandoned theme park for example, “Wonderland” was a huge construction project just 32 kilometers outside of Beijing. Obsiouly this big structure never saw it’s day of operation.. even though it was designed to be the largest in the whole of Asia! Now mainly reclaimed by local farmers.. Spooky isn’t it?

The Performing Shanghai Acrobatic Show, in Style!

Visiting Shanghai, I’ve come across lots of amusement. Surely the city is one of the biggest entertainment centers of China with plenty of theaters and venues to visit. Filled with such events, particularly nightlife needs a website to guide you.. but I was rather disappointed at what the internet has to offer. Until I found the Show Shanghai nightlife guide (see: www.showshanghai.com). There you can find well displayed and most importantly CORRECT UP TO DATE information about show venues. Especially great site if you are into Chinese acrobatics!

Shanghai Acrobatic Show

I’ve uploaded a picture of an amazing acrobatic feat from a famous acrobatic show in Shanghai known as “ERA, Intersection of Time”. A beautiful woman balancing dozens of glasses on her feet with a gorgeous background.  This is an contorsionist act at it’s best! But to my surprise the performance was not all amazing tricks and stunts, there was plenty of choreography, dance and even some humor. All in all I would say the best acrobatic show I have ever seen (read more here).

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This is another great shot I managed to capture, a human pyramid. Incredibly all the girls are extremely young, but that’s the way it goes in China. If you want to see a good performance, go and see what the youngsters are doing because they are very ambitious and leading the change in the acrobatic scene. For further reading, there is a great acrobatic show review here. Check it out!

What’s With the Haircuts of Chinese Kids

Chinese Kid Haircut Chinese Kids often have the weirdest haircuts. The most popular is this one where you have everything shaved except a small patch of hair that’s left on the front. I cant help thinking if some kids might become traumatized from this experienced… vs. the western “place a pot on top of your head and cut everything around it”. But from what I’ve heard it’s just “funny”. As soon as an adult has this haircut, it is no longer funny. Which is a little confusing to me, because personally I would think this is more funny on someone who is actually more conscious about how ridiculous the haircut looks like.

This is not the only style, some have different kinds of pictures on top of the head and anything is possible. Then you become a showcase for your parents and grandparents can be very proud of the kid.

 

Laowai Comics

I wanted to introduce Laowai Comics which is an absolutely hilarious take on some of the mainland issues, covered from the capital Beijing. Viewing customs and the behavior of locals has always been interesting from the side of the foreigners. In a country like China, easily people fall into two different categories. One endlessly complains about everything and shakes their head around till time to go home, the other makes fun out of the horrible and comic situation he faces in everyday life. After all it’s about survival and what better way to enjoy your time then making jokes about everything! Laowai comics is a perfect example of that ability to enjoy life, where ever.

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My Cap on Beijing Theatre, The Workers Red Attitudes

Now having experienced a lot of the night shows here in Beijing I would like to share my final expertise on it. Absolutely the best show I ever saw here is the Legend of Kung Fu. It tops not only all the shows I’ve seen in Beijing but also it’s one of the top shows I’ve ever seen. To explain my background to back up my claim, I use to be a regular at Broadway when I use to live in New York. Also I’m an ex. gambler and have frequently visited Los Angeles. There the spectacles are somewhat grand in scale and magnificent of course but some do lack in authenticity. The Beijing Red Theatre however, is filled with that essential authenticity which makes it a great performance without a huge audience. Still there I believe the theatre can host more than a thousand spectators and it does get fully booked which is why they have two shows every day.

As for the tickets, they are way too expensive for a nifty budget picker like me. I highly recommend May Tours as your choice for discount tickets. Great friendly service too. I heard a friend of mine booked a tour with them and though their tours are not as generously priced as the discount show tickets, the service is just right. Nowadays you have to be careful not to pick one that tries to extract all your money through commission shopping. A game that at best is fair, at worst is very abusive.

There’s not much to say about my job here. Seems they just wanted to have a foreign expert in the project but not with the project if you know what I mean. Chinese look up to foreigners in terms of status, but carry such huge nationalistic pride that working with them on the same level is very difficult. The experience has still been very rewarding and I will give me great merit and

The Best Acrobatics I Ever Saw

Here’s another incredible show I want to present to you all. It’s called the Chaoyang Acrobatic Show or also know as the Flying Acrobatic Show http://www.chaoyangacrobaticshow.com

As a theatre freak I have seen some shows in my life. But this one tops them all and this time, I have brought my camera with me. Not much can be said about Acrobatic shows since there is no dialog, no story line, just stunt after stunt that leaves you speechless. Often it can be rather annoying at the movie theaters because the Chinese like to chat even with the lights off. But this time there was no chatting as they were busy watching the show in awe.

Here are some of the most amazing scenes I managed to capture with my limited skills.

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