The Nanfang / Blog

Netizens Upset at “Blasphemous” Combo of Chinese Opera and Bikinis

Posted: 07/28/2014 4:47 pm

swimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional operaModern China can be described as a country rushing headlong into the future while keeping one foot in the past. Sometimes, though, this makes for an uneasy alliance.

Netizens are furious after pictures of a private fashion show in Fujian appeared online that showed models clad in bikinis and swimwear while wearing traditional stage headdresses from the local Fujian Chinese opera.

Linzi, an organizer of the show, explained they wanted to create something fresh, so they combined swimwear with traditional opera headdresses as something ”old and new”. Linzi said the performance was just a one-time small-scale fashion show, and she said she’s sorry if any netizens had their feelings hurt.swimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional opera

The response to the photos has been overwhelmingly negative, calling the fashion show “blasphemous” and “a violation of China’s innocence”.

Here are some netizen comments over the controversy:

Are they all prostitutes?

They should wear the dudou (an undergarment that covers the chest and abdomen). That way it’s sexier.

Historic traditions are for remembering, not to be remade! Don’t destroy several thousand years of Chinese history!

In order to made the anhiliation (of history) all the more thorough, is this some kind of draft (to work in) Dongguan?

This is a violation of our country’s innocence

swimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional opera

So hard on the eyes! Nothing good will come of this!

Nothing wrong here

The design composition of those pieces of cloth is not enough, I feel as though the top and bottom are not coordinated. The headpieces are too solemn and grandiose, while the clothing is too spartan.

Do you fucking take this to be a Category III film? Businessmen will do unscrupulous things for money; before long, the several thousand years of culture left to us by our ancestors will be completely destroyed by this scum.

swimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional opera

What a tragedy… people from generations past are more innocent. It never would have occurred to me that people of this generation would destroy the image of our country’s innocence.

Very ugly, including the faces. [happy.emo]

It has lost the feeling of beauty.

I feel as if I’m watching the Golden Lotus (a notorious Ming Dynasty known for its sexual content), but is an updated modern version!

I’d say I can accept this because this involves cultural content, and so will multiply without end.

A day without selling meat spells the end of your days.

Here are more photos from the fashion show:

swimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional operaswimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional operaswimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional operaswimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional operaswimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional operaswimsuits traditional headdress fujian chinese traditional opera


Photos: Guangzhou Daily


Photos: The Most Fashionable Man in China is a Henan Beggar

Posted: 07/21/2014 3:20 pm

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralDa-yam: when you’ve got it, everybody knows. Photographs of an old man in Henan walking down the street have gone viral in China simply for this man’s fashion style.

A Weibo user from Guanlin, Luoyang posted pictures of the man, and wrote text to accompany them: (translated)

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralWait until my hair grows to my waist, it will be better to marry you then.

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralluoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

Now, this is what you call an ‘elegant demeanor’.

luoyang old hipster fashion henan viralluoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

Guanlin has a model for international style. luoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

Give me a ‘like’. luoyang old hipster fashion henan viral

However, while he’s lauded as an old hipster, he’s still a beggar, according to the original poster:

An old beggar, though his heart remains young. I am stupid, I am elegantly unrestrained.

And so, the compliments come in, perhaps even too easily now that everyone knows his social standing. Here are some comments from netizens from the original post:

He’s leading the way of the international trend!

Feh, he’s so handsome.

Don’t know which sect he belongs to. [confused.emo]

After going through the circuit of all the big stars, international fashion has lost all of its moxy in the blink of an eye.

Wow, so cool! He’s a model for international style! [laughing.emo]

He’s got the magic touch [thumbsup.emo]

He’s super cool [laughstifle.emo]

His shoes are very current; he reminds me of Brother Sharp.
[Brother Sharp was a meme from a couple of years back; he was also a homeless man just walking on the street when someone took a flattering picture of him]

Whatever people are isn’t important; what’s important is the attitude with which we treat them.

Other people laugh at me for being crazy, I laugh at other people for not wearing what they acknowledge (to be fashionable).

Photos: News China


Foreigners Modeling on Taobao Make Up to RMB 2,000 An Hour

Posted: 07/15/2014 11:19 am

foreign model

As you browse Taobao you may be curious where their fashion photography comes from. Who exactly are these foreigners modeling for Chinese companies?

Pat Lisa is one of them (pictured above). She hails from Slovakia and is one of the top contract models for a fashion photography company. She’s one on a roster of some 100 foreign models that come from 20 countries including Brazil, Ireland, and Finland. As their top model, Lisa earns about RMB 2,000 a day, reports MSN.

The pictures come from fashion photography firms that are contracted by companies like Maoshan Clothing of Tongxiang, Zhejiang Province. Having grown rapidly, Maoshan is in constant need of models. In 2013, the company sold 60% of China’s woolen garments for RMB 2.3 billion.

Working conditions for a model are not always ideal, however, despite the pay. A model working a single day with photographer Wang Ji may be asked to change clothes more than 200 times.

Here are photos from a recent shoot where Lisa plys her trade:

foreign modelforeign modelforeign modelforeign modelforeign model

RMB 2,000 a day is still is not the upper limit to what a model can earn in China. By contrast, male model Chris from Brazil earns RMB 2,000 an hour.

foreign model

The salaries beat teaching English, that’s for sure.


Photos: MSN


Smelly Crocs For Sale in China Dangerous to Human Health

Posted: 07/1/2014 9:48 pm

crocsCrocs are as popular in China as Angry Birds or KFC, but now it appears they may be something besides hideous looking: they are apparently bad for your health.

CCTV is reporting that some varieties of Croc-style shoes sold in China pose a health risk to consumers due to some producers adding phthalates to the plastic shoes in order to increase their flexibility, durability, and longevity.

Guangzhou Daily blames domestic factories, which are trying to cut production costs by using the dangerous chemicals. The paper cites a German report noting six out of the ten Croc shoes tested contained polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). PAHs can cause problems when exposed to humans, particularly to expectant mothers. They can result in kids with asthma, anxiety, and other issues.

It’s important to note, however, no authentic shoes made by the Croc company itself were found with the additive.

So how can you tell if your shoes are safe? Apparently the hazardous fake Crocs have a strong, acrid odor. If you ask some Chinese retailers, though, they’ll say the smell is nothing to worry about. A vendor at a stall at Beijing’s Xiyuan market says the bad smell is normal.

All of the shoes that are on sale here can be purchased at malls for hundreds of kuai. However, both these shops and my own all get our stock from the same source. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of these shoes. Take these shoes home and leave them out in the sun, and after a few days the odor will disappear.

Meanwhile, knock-off Crocs are also sold cheaply online. On Taobao, one high-profile retailer had sold over 1,000 Crocs for 50 yuan. After some customers had complained of the smell, the retailer wrote:

No matter what material is being used, there is always going to be a smell. When retail stores display their shoes for a long time, the smell won’t be as strong after a while. Shoes having a smell is normal, and has nothing to do with the shoes being bad. You just need to place them in a place with ventilation and sunlight, and the smell with disappear.

We hope that people everywhere will protect their own safety before buying a faulty product that poses health risks. After that, we also hope that people everywhere will choose to uphold a basic standard of fashion.

Photo: Business Insider


Look Out: The Swimsuit-Matching “Facekini” Is Back

Posted: 06/30/2014 2:40 pm

facekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenHey, ladies: do you want enjoy all the advantages of being out in the sun, but don’t want to get a tan? Then here’s the solution for you: the “facekini”.

This selection of photographs depict a group of women at a beach in Qingdao protecting their faces from the elements with a keen sense of fashion. Not content to wear any ordinary welder’s-type mask, the facekini is color-coordinated with bathing suits to create a matching ensemble.

This summer, don’t be held hostage by the fear of ruining your pearl-white complexion. Instead, let your worries be as anonymous as your identity with these concealing masks.

facekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreen

facekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreenfacekinis swimsuit china qingdao bathing suit sunscreen

Photos: Pearl River Times


Guangzhou Crackdown on Foreign Models Without Proper Visas

Posted: 05/13/2014 8:49 pm

A crackdown on illegal foreign workers in China has spread to the Guangzhou fashion industry as an undisclosed number of models have been apprehended by police, reports Fashion Times.

The crackdown appears to have first been initiated in Beijing where an undercover sting operation at the M3 modelling agency in Jianwai SOHO resulted in some 60 models being in “custody”, while another four were “jailed”.

Entrapped by a feeling of desperation, Fashion Times reports that extreme measures have been taken up by models in Guangzhou after those in custody gave up contact information for other models:

Models have reportedly advised others not to answer their phones, not to answer their doors to strangers and to keep their lights off at night. Models have also been advised to hide their portfolios and comp cards.
According to Fashionista, some models have been moved to hotels and were told to act as if they are tourists, while others have been relocated to Hong Kong, where it is easier to obtain a work permit. Foreigners that look like models are also being stopped and asked to show work papers.

Foreign models are allowed to work in China, but only through the use of an entertainment visa. As tourist visas are much easier to procure, a “grey area” sometimes happens in China through which a foreign model can work without the proper certification.

We advise all models in the Guangzhou area to exercise caution, and remember: never let them see you sweat.



Photos: Shenzhen Lingerie Supermodel Contest

Posted: 05/7/2014 1:33 pm

shenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantA supermodel lingerie pageant called “Beautiful Chinese Dream” was held on May 5 to kick off a SIUF 2014 brand exhibition as well as to celebrate China-international Lingerie Week.

Organizers emphasized that the 50 contestants taking part in the competition are all comprised of top-tiered, elite models who all embody the vanguard of lingerie modelling and culture in China.

To underscore this claim, the models are all said to be the pedigree of top modelling agencies and noteworthy post-secondary institutions that include Beijing Academy of Fashion, Tianjian Engineering University, Shenyang Normal University, Sichuan Media Academy, and Guangdong Engineering University. As there were originally 2000 applicants to this competition, we can see that only the cream rises to the top, if but with the aid of a little underwire.

The winner of the pageant receives a contract with a famous Shenzhen lingerie brand, but we all know the real winner is each and every one of us.shenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantshenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantshenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantshenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantshenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantshenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageantshenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageant

shenzhen lingerie model fashion week competition pageant

Photos: Yangcheng Evening Report


Guangdong schoolgirl attempts suicide because teacher disapproved of hairdo

Posted: 04/1/2014 4:27 pm
hairdo rejection nandu schoolgirl suicide attempt


It’s not just the bald man who laments, “Hair today; gone tomorrow.”

On March 30 at around 7pm, police in the city of Heshan concluded 16 year-old schoolgirl Xiao Zhong leaped from the third story of the Shanping Middle School in an apparent suicide attempt, reported

Urged by government officials to find a harmonious conclusion to this investigation so as to preserve teacher-student relations, police have found that Xiao Zhong was not coerced into this action; however, they still do not have a clear reason for the suicide attempt.

Xiao Zhong had left clues leading up to her jump. Her last QQ status update was: “Please cherish the last moments we spent together this past week, okay? while another message she left was Am going to the place they call Heaven!

Fellow students of Xiao Zhong say that the teacher of the homeroom did not find her hairstyle to be suitable according to school requirements, and would “teach her a lesson”. Xiao Zhong had gotten her hair done in a “W” style because the name of the boy she has a crush on starts with this letter.

Police would refer to this infatuation in pointing out that Xiao Zhong was in a state of “emotional turbulence”; as well, they would offer conclusive proof to her state of un-being by finding a note in her belongings that said, In this world, what are feelings for?”

Xiao Zhong suffered serious head injuries and bone fractures; she is currently in the Intensive Care Unit where her condition has been stabilized.

Xiao Zhong’s father, who works in a shoe factory along with her mother and fully admits he knows nothing about his own daughter’s emotional state, said about Xiao Zhong’s condition:

“I don’t know why she would jump off a roof; all I want for her is for her to get another new haircut.”


American fashion invades the PRD: Forever 21 now open in Shenzhen

Posted: 10/17/2013 2:40 pm

A slew of American and British stores have been opening the PRD and Hong Kong in the past few years, giving shoppers a whole lot more choice when it comes to fashion.

The latest is American brand Forever 21, which recently threw open its doors at Coastal City mall in Shenzhen.  The 2000-square-foot store is the third shop to open in Mainland China, with the first two in Beijing and Shanghai.  Up until now, those wanting Forever 21 had to hop the border into Hong Kong, but that is increasingly becoming no longer necessary (via SCMP):

“Shenzhen shoppers looking for international fast fashion [high turnover] brands used to love going to shop in Hong Kong,” said Linda Lin Dan, retail services director in Shenzhen for property consultancy Colliers International.

“But since more of these brands began setting up their stores in Shenzhen in recent years … an increasing number of middle-class consumers are staying to shop in Shenzhen.”

Topshop opened a pop-up store in Shenzhen last year, and Topman opened last September. Meanwhile, Shenzhen was also the site for the first Apple store in China outside of Beijing and Shanghai.

There are still some reasons to pop across the border to Hong Kong though… it remains one of the few places in Asia with an Abercrombie and Fitch.


Founder of Guangzhou’s creative “Original Element” thinks city’s art scene set to flourish

Posted: 04/5/2013 4:46 pm

On a grisly wet morning, I find myself standing at the foot of a bright red banner displaying the words “Original Element”, followed by its Chinese spelling cramped underneath. This imposing sign opens the path towards one of Guangzhou’s last remaining art scenes, a business that is slowly receding, mostly unnoticed, at the hands of the government.

Modern art, in its diverse shapes and forms, has been slowly growing over the past few years, fed by a new promise of future liberalization and inspiration from its already developed Hong Kong counterpart. New artists rising from a “massive” underground subculture are breaking the conceptual and commercial barriers once closely guarded by the system. However, while the inspiration and content are there, pulsing and ready to burst, the ground seems to be crumbling beneath their feet.

A new breed of visionary artists is being hounded out of their rented spaces by the government. Old factories and industrial zones, rebuilt from scratch and transformed into booming, colourful headquarters of modern art are being yet again demolished and replaced by financial centres.

However, one man is doing his best to prevent this from happening.

Hugo, Chairman of SILO Creative Community, spread out a protective wing for Guangzhou’s art community and invested in Original Element Creative Park, an art centre coming to life at the heart of Liwan District in Guangzhou.

“All these resources have to form an industry of change,” he says, calmly looking outside the window of his office-turned-living room. Much like his business, the room, raised beyond street level on the rooftop of one of the centre’s under-construction buildings, is a splash of colour in the midst of a grey, seemingly decaying area.

A businessman at heart, he describes his native Guangzhou as “a very pragmatic and realistic city.”

“It took China 30 years to catch up with Europe’s developments. We spent the past developing the economy. Now, we can take a break and think about what life is about and how we want to spend it,” he says, with the help of our translator.

And the best way to start enjoying the already comfortable economic position of this continuously developing metropolis is to give art a chance.

Hugo is already giving it more than just that. With a personal investment of RMB150 million, he is revamping South China’s first brewery and turning it into a vibrant, welcoming art scene.

Outside in the pouring rain, the metallic blows of hammers and the sharp roars of machinery are diligently echoing his promise. Original Element, taken over by SILO Creative Community two years ago, already encompasses a range of art galleries, studios, expensive brand shops, and a sleek, cutting-edge restaurant. This makes for 80 per cent of the space, already established and attracting young audiences. The rest is to be developed within six months, about the same amount of time Hugo thinks it will take to start making a profit.

“The money-making part hasn’t started yet,” he says with a smile. When I marvel at this, he explains his faith in his investment. Having rented the place for the next 20 years, OE is only in its infancy.

It occurs to me that while other renowned art spaces, such as Redtory, are being constantly brought down and facing closure, 20 years from now, this small industrial-looking art district will be the last one standing, a single splash of colour on the city’s grey canvass.

Confronted with this image, Hugo laughs in disbelief.

“People think the creative industry is about places, but it is not; it’s about platforms. So it doesn’t really matter that the government is taking all these spaces back, because there are alternative platforms, such as the digital medium, for artists to express themselves, and that’s the key.”

Hugo’s unshaken belief in the art community’s potential is inspiring. After travelling around the world, including four years spent in Canada, he returned to China, confident that culture will enter a golden age within the next 10 years. His confidence is based on continual observation of Hong Kong, which is pushing new boundaries in terms of its art scene.

Soon, Guangdong will import the same openness, he thinks, especially in terms of modern dance, a form of art in which Guangzhou is already leading.

“China is opening up, mainly politically,” he says. “What you can see around you now is chaos everywhere. But art needs chaos for inspiration and that can be translated as a huge potential for the art world.”

OE is unique in many ways, including how it conducts its business. Artists are charged lower rents for their spaces in an encouraging and supportive gesture. Moreover, the performers are given a free hand: management mostly stays away from the creative process, allowing them to curate their own shows in the way they deem appropriate.

Without doubt, the whole business strikes me as a daring project. Is this a form of dissidence in itself? Hugo shakes his head dismissively.

“Artists don’t have time for revolutions,” he said.

“Sometimes, art can be a form of dissidence, but only in the hands of artists like Ai Weiwei. But these artists, like everyone else, want to survive. So they are not going to kill themselves by involving themselves in politically heavy art.”

However, he does mention a recent “angry exhibition” by a Chinese oil painter. The message, he says, can be interpreted only from an emotional point of view.

As the cold rain outside dies down, we start our descent back in the streets with Hugo explaining that art is the venture of emotions.

If this is true, the current developments are predicting a powerful emotional storm that will sweep Guangzhou in the near future.

Address: Original Element Creative Park, No 63, Xizeng Lu, Liwan District, Guangzhou (Exit D, Xicun Station, Line 5)

原创元素创意园, 广州市荔湾区西增路63号

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