Culture

  1. Each year, music streaming giant Spotify’s “Wrapped” campaign looks back at the songs, albums and artists each of its 248 million users worldwide listened to during the past 12 months.2019 was a big year for Eason Chan Yik-shun, who was Hong Kong’s most streamed artist, on both the local and global lists.Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou came second on the global list, with mainland China-born Canto-pop singer Hins Cheung King-hin coming in at number three. Cheung was second on the list of most…
  2. Gosh, aren’t detectives looking so young these days? Take Jo Tae-sik (played by Korean actor, singer and model Lee Min-ki), lead sleuth on the case in The Lies Within, a Netflix tale of political skulduggery, kidnapping and murder.That unholy trinity make for easy bedfellows, so no surprises there, but there’s something about this mystery-thriller, now streaming in its 16-part, first-season entirety on Netflix, that is appealingly off-kilter.A young woman takes an apparently suicidal dive off a…
  3. In this regular feature series on the best of Hong Kong martial arts cinema, we examine the legacy of classic films, re-evaluate the career of its greatest stars, and revisit some of the lesser-known aspects of the beloved genre. We continue this week with the philosophy of Bruce Lee.Chinese martial arts styles are grounded in traditional philosophy, and Hong Kong martial arts superstar Bruce Lee worked hard to endow jeet kune do, a fighting style he created, with philosophical underpinnings…
  4. K-pop was in a strange place at the end of the previous decade. Its biggest artists, such as Rain, BoA and Wonder Girls showed potential to take the sound global, but there was a disconnect between the excitement for the music in Asia and the rest of the world.Fast forward to 2019 and the K-pop scene is at an all-time high in terms of commercial success and global interest, with this past year being perhaps the industry’s biggest to date.From the boundaries pushed internationally to the…
  5. Silk Roads: Peoples, Cultures, Landscapes by Susan Whitfield, Thames and Hudson/University of California Press, 4/5 stars Silk Roads is encyclopedic in scope and structure, and made up of several dozen short essays by almost as many different authors – each lavishly illustrated with indescribable photos of objects and places. The Silk Road is, as a term, a modern (late 19th-century) construction. Like the Holy Roman Empire – which was famously neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire – the Silk…
  6. This hotel room in West Hollywood, dimly lit with the curtains drawn, shows no signs of film-star excess. No half-full bottles of flat champagne, no overflowing ashtrays. No powder-flecked mirrors on the countertops. No cracks in the plasma television. Just some fresh clothes folded neatly over a chair and, on the table in front of us, a Nintendo Switch and a big bag of sour candies.And anyway, its occupant isn’t exactly a film star. At least not yet. Thirty-year-old Simu Liu clears off a spot…
  7. Award-winning photographer John Offenbach looks at one of the portraits featured in his exhibition “JEW” at the Jewish Museum in north London.“I liked this woman because she talked about discovering her Jewish heritage from an official document,” he says.The black-and-white photograph is captioned “Kaifeng Jew II”. It shows a middle-aged Chinese woman, surnamed Li. Offenbach travelled to her hometown, Kaifeng, in the central Chinese province of Henan, to learn more about the Jewish community…
  8. Ghost in the Shell, directed by Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Oshii and released in 1995, is not only one of the greatest anime movies ever made, it is also one of the best science-fiction films of all time. What’s more, the story of an artificial intelligence that evolves to such an extent that it demands to be treated as a new life form is more relevant today than when the film was made. Although it is pinned to an action-oriented storyline, Ghost in the Shell features many philosophical scenes…
  9. By Estelle LiotardK-pop stars are extremely popular on Instagram – and for a good reason. They know what photos to publish, what captions to write and what filters to use. They are good at interacting with the audience and they know how to gain a massive following.Every blogger who has a dream to become famous, influential and wealthy should follow the trends set by the K-pop stars. Here is a list of top trends that are worth your attention.Be gratefulK-pop stars regularly express gratitude…
  10. By Jung Hae-myoungThe death of South Korean actor-singer Cha In-ha has raised concerns that the country is witnessing the copycat-suicide phenomenon known as the “Werther effect”.Named after the protagonist of the novel The Sorrows of Young Werther, written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, it refers to the phenomenon of people taking their own lives following widely publicised suicides.Cha’s death on Tuesday followed the suspected suicides of Sulli, a former member of K-pop girl group f (x), on…