How Funny And/Or Endearing Is This Picture?

Old people - book fair
I don't want people thinking I'm making fun of geriatrics. This photo is actually incredibly endearing, and only somewhat funny. It's via Xinhua to promote the 2014 Beijing Book Fair at Chaoyang Park, which kicked off yesterday and will last until April 20. May just be worth the visit. Read more »

Beijing Air Quality Is Bad. Will We Ever Get Over It?

Beijing air quality index last six years featured image
Forget human rights, which will not, I promise you, get the man on the 5F dancefloor to lose his groove. Forget censorship, because who cares about cultural emasculation? Forget Zhou Yongkang, school stabbings, Diaoyu Islands, corruption, Sichuan earthquakes, shoddy construction. Take a lesson from the New York Times when it wants to link-bait: head over to the US embassy's Beijing air Twitter account and report the latest AQI, because nothing -- absolutely nothing -- unites the English-reading populace of China quite like bad air. Read more »

Concerts, Fires, Bathroom Sex: An Oral History Of 4Corners

4corners
You've probably heard the rumors of 4corners's demise, but are they premature? "Forced renovations" is how owners Tavey Lin and Jun Trinh describe their popular bar/restaurant/livehouse's impending (temporary?) closure. What this means for the rest of us is two huge parties, today and tomorrow. To get a preview, I sat down with Tavey and Jun on Wednesday. In addition to looking ahead, they couldn't help reminiscing a bit about everything, from parties to concerts to bathroom sex. Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: A Uyghur Dream Manifesto

A Uyghur Dream Manifesto
In an earlier version of her “Wild Pigeon” project the award-winning National Geographic photographer Carolyn Drake dedicated one category of her images to dreams and what Uyghur viewers of her images said about them. One viewer told her: “Good dreams, you tell your good friends. If you do, maybe the dream will come true. If someone says ‘I was in a forest, I faced a tiger, and the tiger attacked me,’ some people will say, ‘don’t speak about it.’ If someone speaks bad words, they will come true.” Read more »

Art Thrown Out With Trash In Hong Kong (And Not As Meta Commentary On Art)

Snowy Mountain
An expensive work of art was reportedly thrown out with the garbage at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong on Tuesday, and it wasn't made by Damien Hirst. As Coconuts Hong Kong, SCMP, WSJ, and basically everyone else is reporting, Cui Ruzhuo's "Snowy Mountain," pictured above, was sold at auction for HK$28.8 million (US$3.7 million) on Monday, and one day later, police were searching for it among the city's rubbish. Read more »

Xu Li’s Mysterious Modern Ink Paintings

Xu Li - Art Bridge Gallery 1
Using simple lines and traditional ink, Xu Li brings ancient ghosts and ladies to life on xuan paper. Xu is a representative of China’s “grassroots” artist movement, a group of classically educated artists who have given up on academics to focus on creating art that is closer to everyday life. Read more »

Guangdong Farmer Builds Brilliant Model Space Shuttle On Rooftop

Model rocket on top of building
Via Ecns.cn, here's a photo of a model space shuttle and rocket on a rooftop in Jiexi, Guangdong province, reportedly built by a 60-year-old farmer named Huang Yuzhan. We love everything about this: as a celebration of the can-do spirit, the very human tendency to detach from our worldly fetters and drift and spin alongside imagination as boundless as the pale blue sky, and as a simple expression of craftsmanship, patience, and (dare I say?) innovation. This photo deserves a song. Read more »

Dispatches From Xinjiang: Shiralijan’s Fist And The Xinjiang Spirit

Shiralijan's fist CBA finals
The Xinjiang Flying Tigers may have lost the CBA championship to the Beijing Ducks, but Xinjiangers around the world came away from the games with a powerful meme. It came at the end of Game 5, after the Tigers rallied and pulled off an improbable win in front of a hostile Beijing crowd of 18,000. Shiralijan, the star Uyghur point guard for the Tigers who had been tasked with defending Stephan Marbury -- the star of the Ducks (and best player in the league, according to Anthony Tao!) --threw the ball in the air and raised a twirling, emphatic fist: Read more »