The Art of Xiyadie

25 06 2017


The gay-themed paper-cut work of a rural Chinese artist known as “the Siberian butterfly”, or Xiyadie, which is part of an exhibition titled “Spectrosynthesis – Asian LGBTQ Issues and Art Now” at Taipei’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

IMG_1777 IMG_1778

New Shanghai landmark

21 06 2017


The graceful moving facade of the new Bund Finance Centre, Shanghai.

Merciless Chicken

18 06 2017

HK culture: when your boss treats you to a meal and she/he subtly manipulates the lazy-susan (the turning table thingy) so the head of the chicken ends up pointing towards you its called “Merciless chicken” 「無情鷄」. You’re fired.

When I grow up, I want to be..

30 05 2017


Fan Bing Bing at Cannes

IMG_0949 IMG_0930

27 05 2017


Hong Kong: horrible histories

27 05 2017


Facts I learned from Jan Morris’s charmingly dated (it was written in the 1990s by an author most interested in British colonial history) book about Hong Kong:

  • The pre-colonial inhabitants of the area suffered from a “horror called Xhu Mao Bing, the Bristle Disease,whose victims found spiky bristles like pighairs (sometimes apparently fishscales, too} sprouting through their skin.” Curious, I looked this up online but couldn’t find any other reference to it anywhere.
  • In 1857 a Chinese nationalist plot poisoned the city’s bread supply, (presumably few Chinese ate bread in those days so it was a cunning way to target the British administrative elite). The dosage of arsenic was miscalculated however, so that the poisoning lead to mass European vomitting but not death, and the colonial regime survived.
  • The first ever hijacking of an aeroplane occurred in 1940 on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Macau by sea pirates looking to diversify.
  • Smoking opium was legal until 1940.
  • Under the Japanese occupation, Queens Road Central was re-named Naka Meiji-dori and a monumental Shinto temple was planned for construction on the Peak (but blown up when the occupation ended).
  • It was not until 1981 that the census recorded more than 50% of the population had been locally born, rather than migrants from the mainland. So in other words, the influx of people (and money) from the mainland is nothing new. Rather, the brief relative lull during the 1980s and 1990s was the outlier.

He’s got the look

18 04 2017


Discussed this weekend with a visiting Shanghai fashionista, the PRC’s look du jour – boys in skinny sweat pants, big colourful Kenzo sweaters, and an MCM backpack. Its the complete package.

6 03 2017


Ambition, by Chen Fei.

The nightmare/dream world of Chen Fei

6 03 2017


NSFW after the jump

Read the rest of this entry »

New sensation

12 02 2017

He has got the voice of an angel, the looks of a K-pop idol and an octave range to bother Mariah Carey: Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergenov is the breakout star of this season of China’s hugely popular singing contest “I Am A Singer.” The series has cannily adjusted the usual X Factor format to pit professional, established singers from across the Chinese speaking world against each other, bringing with them their various fan-bases and offering the singers the chance to hit the RMB jackpot on the Mainland. So there are Taiwanese rockers, HK balladeers and the hitherto unknown-outside-of-Central-Asia Dimash who wowed the world’s biggest country with his inaugural performance of a song by Russian singer Vitas (above) and instantly established himself as the one to beat. I’ll be cheering for him.

She’s still got it…

15 01 2017


The glorious return of a fashion icon, as Faye Wong serves some classic Faye looks at her 2016 Shanghai concert (which was also filmed for VR release).

img_4947img_4946 img_4950

Mr Gay China

15 01 2017


A list of gay Chinese it-boys; be prepared for lots of very fake-looking photos though…

Fifty shades of grey

14 01 2017

After a notably warm winter, the cold finally descended on Hong Kong this week, together with the grey. A cloud of pollution which had covered swathes of the mainland blew South, although it wasn’t as bad as in Guangdong and Shanghai.


In one village, a rare bird of prey fell out of the skies, exhausted, after it had been unable to spot prey through the thick grey smog clouds.

The skies have now cleared somewhat, but the forecast is for rain all weekend… a good weekend for snuggling in bed until 1pm, lazing on the couch under a blanket and reading Andres Neuman or Junichiro Tanizaki in cafes in Shek Tong Tsui.


14 01 2017


I recently joined instagram, mostly to brighten up my life with a feed of #instagay celebrities, avant-garde fashion icons and other assorted interesting people while I sit on the bus.


Like the flamboyantly funny Thai TV hostess Madam Mod.


New York go-go boy Matthew Camp, currently hawking his own fragrance, called 8.5.


Belo Horizonte muscle-hipster Joapane.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-09-03-pm screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-12-00-pm

The swoonsome immense_ray (言武) in Shanghai.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-05-21-pm screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-07-12-pm screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-12-06-10-pm

Dandrogyny, who performs at Melbourne’s HonchoDisko night (how did I miss that?)

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-10-59-22-pm screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-10-59-43-pm

And Japanese go-go king Kenta, now repping his boyfriend’s Korean clubwear brand, VEAKSeoul.

Waa Wei

4 12 2016


Breathy Faye Wong-essque pop from Taiwanese star Waa Wei.

31 10 2016


The neon demon

31 10 2016

Arriving in Shanghai for the first time was thrilling. It felt like arriving in The Future, the new world capital. Here was a Tokyo-in-the-eighties money-making monster, ready to take on the world and swallow it whole, its streets lined with (literal) phlegm and (figurative) money. Yes, the people still spat, and pushed and yelled, and some of the shit they wore! But the architecture was astounding, even wreathed in rain and smog. Neon-lit tomorrowland tower peppered the horizon. And the city’s energy was both palpable and contagious.

Here was a city with a complicated history  – once a quasi-colonial national humiliation, then birthplace of the Communist party before being shunned by it – roaring back into poll position in the race to remake China, and the world. Shanghai in 2016 is a city of luxury shopping malls, innovative internet solutions and chic art museums, one that can singlehandedly set real estate markets bubbling in Vancouver or crash the price of bauxite in Africa. Yet it is still also in a country with a GDP per capita of 400 US dollars.

The city’s Subway Line Two sweeps like a triumphal avenue from the gleaming tomorrowscape of Pudong to the city’s West, connected to a labyrinthine swarm of lesser lines, and with a major international airport bookmarking it at each end. Here though, planes often wait for hours to take off on the congested runways. High speed trains disgorge immigrants from the countryside and holidaying urbanites returning from the provinces. Crowds push and hustle.

Shanghai is grey and gritty, but effervescent, a city of bright lights and even louder voices, a city which is on the move and waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

The big time

31 10 2016

img_0191_zps5l8uch3v img_0271_zps4lqrjy2z img_0167_zpsxgxp4nae


31 10 2016

14721650_10154349386842415_3160656331049449189_n_zpsxwfjghcv img_0363_zpscopofbdg img_0322_zpsl7n11lfg

31 10 2016

img_0561_zps2mhmccupimg_9424_zpstqcycadw 14908204_10154349387492415_1049785798809615181_n_zpswgv9nep1

31 10 2016

img_0584_zpsjeoptjg8 img_0595_zpsa9vobv68 img_9371_zpsud2oecdk