It’s been a very busy month, being on the road filming a research video with enovate and launching a new music video project with my friend Charles Lanceplaine. Let’s talk about the music videos first. The most recent one, filmed in Taipei is embedded in this post (watch it here if you’re inside China)
A group of Shanghai’s young advertising professionals (if you’ve got a better way to describe us, leave it in the comments) re-bonded last night over a few hot pots. It’s also a great opportunity to work out which agencies you could see yourself fitting into. In the event that you aren’t able to join us for the next Shanghai hot pot, the 4Chan guide to adland should help you decide.
But where’s BBDO?
Yes, the chap in this photo is for real. He’s one of the real life, crime-fighting vigilantes dishing out justice on the streets of Naples, Italy. There’s an entire online registry of people just like him patrolling neighborhoods all over the world.
It’s been happening for a few years and made the news in Seattle last week. But I felt it relevant to post after recently reading about our own masked vigilantly here in Shanghai, in an entertaining short story by local indie music aficionado Andy Best.
Check out Andy’s story “Mantis vs. Phantom“. A very entertaining read.
Shanghai 5 is a documentary of the development of the the city’s skate culture and their on-going love affair with it’s dreamy urban architecture. The debut screening was held at The Source, back in early December and I really wish I could have made it along. Late or not Shanghai 5 deserves to be written about. More after the jump.
Yesterday Mattias and I rode our bikes to the outskirts of Shanghai to check out the world’s largest skate park (‘SMP International Skate Park‘). We ran into seven year-old Xiao He, comfortably dropping-in and rolling around the various banks, hips, fun boxes, rails, ledges and hubbas. He told us he’d been skating for one year. For me it was further evidence of a growing mainstream acceptance of alternative sports and sub-cultural movements like skateboarding, fixed-gear cycling, punk, indie music, urban art and sneaker culture. After all, his parents had to buy the equipment and drive him to the skate park every weekend for the past year.
Shots of Xiao He in action after the jump.
Earlier this week Diederik van Middelkoop of Massive Music emailed me their latest music video, “Shanghai, Shanghai” featuring rapper ‘TK’ Tang King. It’s a really fun clip, featuring glimpses into all the iconic scenes you encounter everyday, living in Shanghai.
After the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and the millions and millions of visitors who came and went, the message still lingers on in Shanghai: ‘Better City, Better Life’
Film Director Bas Roeterink, music house MassiveMusic Shanghai and Rapper Tang King (‘TK’) sat down, took that message, and spun it around.
‘Make a Better City, Have a Better Life’.
Beijing indie-pop rockers Queen Sea Big Shark played at Shanghai’s Mao Livehouse on Friday night. I’ve had people in the (China music) industry tell me their live show was over-rated. Friday night was anything but. The venue brought great sound and front gal Fu Han brought a visual feast of a show and bag loads of intensity. The set flirted between club music and their signature guitar-pop and B52s-baselines. One friend aptly described the mix as almost Bowie-esque.
20 images from the show below. And a playlist to stream while you browse…
My first attempt at a technique called “lens wacking” or “free lensing”:
A short film about our neighbours.
The couple downstairs in our Shanghai laneway compound spend every afternoon dicing up fresh vegetables and cooking fresh noodle pasta. Then at 9pm, they wheel it out onto the intersection at the end of our laneway and fry-up woks full of tasty vegetable noodles until 5am.
Between the laneway and the intersection is one of the most popular fruit shops among residents of the French Concession. The local business owner stocks a huge range of hard-to-get imported ingredients and fresh produce, which has earned her the name ‘Arugula Lady‘ among expats.
For 5 kuai, you can eat like a king in Shanghai.
Song is a special Daytrotter Studio recording of ‘Ghosting’ by Freelance Whales. Download the whole session free.
Wrote a post yesterday about JR’s work. Went and check out his latest exhibition opening at 18Gallery on the Bund tonight in Shanghai. JR himself (+team) was at the gallery and I managed to catch him to ask a few questions that I was keen for answers on. I also found out the locations of some of his Shanghai pieces.
Pervasive street artist JR, who was just awarded the TED Prize, is opening his latest exhibition ‘The Wrinkles of a City’ in Shanghai tonight. His work is characterised by intimately-shot black and white photographs, super-sized and pasted in remarkable urban locations. There’s always a strong humanitarian message in his works.
[image credit: Rasmus Weng Karlsen]
A few months ago Danish duo Reptile and Retard completed a massive and very debaucherous tour of China. Here are some of the highlights published by Vice Magazine this week.
Swiss artist and my good mate, Ian White (aka Cutterskink, aka ARAB) recently dropped into Shanghai for a visit. Among some of the the mischief while he was here, we thew some paint up in an incredible abandoned old building. Check out some of the stills from the area on flickr.
C.Custer posted an interesting retrospective on the ChinaGeeks blog this week, discussing soft power, censorship and how the Wu-Tang Clan became unlikely ambassadors for China and its traditional culture. So what do 90s east-coast hip-hop, the Confucius Institute, a 1987 film by Steven Spielberg and an Australian electro-pop duo have in common?
The US names and shames the world’s worst piracy offenders. The release, circulating news wires around the world couldn’t come at a more opportune time for two of the main offenders. From 28 May–4 June 2010, a league of Canada’s key music industry innovators and decision makers travel to China for the mainland’s largest music industry business conference –transmitCHINA.
The most over-observed, polite conversation point in Shanghai: the tardy arrival of the new (warmer) season. Rather than pine about how much we missed the weather, with it’s beautiful blue sky, tweeting birds and golden morning sun, we celebrated it’s company with a delicious home-cooked stack of thin pancakes — not crepes — thin pancakes. I’m not going to explain the difference, you’ll just have to trust this former skeptic that one indeed exists.