For those of you too busy to check in on the RADII website every day, we’ve got you every Tuesday with a summary of all we got on China’s youth culture from the last week. In this edition:
- This fashion blogger, who has gained popularity recently, does not appear to be as old as she actually is.
- A new women-only gym in Central China’s Henan province has got millions of netizens talking about ‘gymtimidation,’ harassment, and gender inclusion.
- Stuck in China because of ‘Big Rona’? Make the best of it and seek out these awe-inspiring sights around the country, from a terrifying ghost statue to a monument dedicated to mystical emperors.
- While it can sometimes be hard for Western audiences to relate to Chinese authors, these three jewels of contemporary Chinese literature transcend the boundaries of culture and language.
- Tightened regulations have pushed the vape industry to the brink of collapse in China, but to some, less supply amidst higher scrutiny means a lucrative opportunity.
Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.
This Rising Fashion Blogger Is Not as Old as She Looks
With 34,000 fans on China’s Instagram-like platform Xiaohongshu, Queen Sun is known as an older fashion blogger and artist. But in reality, she is only 23 years old.
Sun made her first post on Xiaohongshu on International Women’s Day last year. Using an aging filter, she looks like a badass older woman. She said her original intention was to battle against appearance anxiety.
A graduate of the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, Sun also does art projects. For example, her graduation project was a set of wearable instruments to raise awareness of domestic violence.
Into the Night is a series exploring China’s vibrant nightlife and music scene and the roster of young people that make parties in the country so damn fun. This story introduces Chengdu-based hip hop producer Eddie Beatz.
“The difference is that life is more relaxed here,” Chengdu hip hop producer Eddie Beatz tells us about the city. “When I go to Shenzhen, people talk about work, housing prices, and other financial things. In Chengdu, because it is so casual, you can really sit down and talk about music, talk about a record, or what you have been listening to lately. That’s an experience that friends in other cities rarely have.”
Beatz draws on his own experience to sum up the city in three words: freedom, rebelliousness, and wildness.
Lying at the center of China, in the vast province of Sichuan, Chengdu straddles somewhere between the shiny new metropolises of the eastern coast and the hinterlands in the far west of the country, a meeting point for China’s minority cultures.
RADII spoke to some Chengdu-based artists to find out how the city’s laid-back atmosphere and the melting pot of cultures shaped China’s biggest and brightest hip hop scene.
Watch 'Why This Chinese City Produces More Rappers Than Any Other,’ episode two of RADII’s mini-doc series ‘Into the Night’ on our YouTube channel on December 16.
An eclectic genre born in Jamaica in the late 60s, reggae music has since spread across the globe.
Today, reggae in all corners of the world features a wide variety of sound ranging from imitation to reinterpretation, appropriation to acculturation.
For example, the genre has found a niche following in China's southwestern Yunnan province, one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the country. Yunnan has a large population of ethnic minorities, including Yi people and Wa people.
Many reggae fans in Yunnan are exploring their cultural roots through music, taking inspiration from Jamaican rhythms and the Rastafarian philosophy of ethnic unity.
RADII visited some Reggae musicians based in Yunnan to speak about how the local adoption of reggae represents an effort to comprehend the relationship between ethnic identity, cultural practice, and the land.
- In recent weeks, Chinese fans of Nintendo’s hit game series Animal Crossing have been visiting museums across China to find items that they’ve collected in the game.
- Released on Netflix on December 2, the sci-fi blockbuster ‘Warriors of Future’ recently became the highest-grossing Chinese-language film of all time in Hong Kong.
- With Covid restrictions loosening in China, many people are keen to see ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ on the big screen, despite steep IMAX ticket prices.