Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Wang Leehom | Full Address [Oxford Union/Youtube] #RisingChina #Music #WangLeeHom

Bridging a great divide : American-born Chinese all-round entertainer Wang Leehom 王力宏 at the Oxford Union on  Chinese soft power deficit in pop culture, identity and the East/West cross-pollinaton that is nowhere near potential.

Also – Check out Wang Lee-Hom’s homage to his ethnic heritage  with a cover of  龙的传人 (Descendants of the Dragon).

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Wang Leehom | Full Address
Source – Youtube, published April 21, 2013
Download the mixtape here – : http://www.wangleehom.com/OxfordMixtape

Drawing on the lessons of his experience growing up in the US and then migrating East, Wang Leehom talks about Chinese pop music and the ability of music and pop culture to strengthen the relationship between the East and West.

Filmed on Sunday 21st April 2013

ABOUT WANG LEEHOM: The first Chinese pop star and actor to be invited speak at the Oxford Union, Wang Leehom is the perfect ambassador for Chinese pop music and commentator on the emergence of “World Pop,” not only because he has sold millions of albums and consistently been one of the hottest names in Chinese music since his debut in 1995, but also because of the unique journey he has taken from his childhood home of Rochester, New York, to concert stages and movie sets around the world.

Formally trained at Williams College and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Leehom has written and recorded songs in a large variety of styles, including pop, rap, hip-hop, jazz and R&B, and is also known for his pioneering infusion of traditional Chinese elements and instrumentation into contemporary music. In addition to his successful solo concert tours, the latest of which will bring him to The O2 in London on April 15, Leehom’s diverse musical talents have seen him perform onstage with everyone from Usher to Kenny G to the Hong Kong Philharmonic, with which he appeared as as a guest conductor and violin soloist.

Additionally, Leehom is an acclaimed actor who has starred in the Golden Lion Award-winning “Lust, Caution” from Ang Lee, “Little Big Soldier” opposite Jackie Chan and the self-written and directed “Love in Disguise”. He is also well known for his philanthropic work and environmental advocacy, which were cited as reasons he was the only Chinese recording artist selected as a torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

With over 33 million followers, Leehom is among the most followed personalities on Weibo (a Chinese analogue to Twitter). Source – Oxford Union, 2013

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Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ethnicity, Greater China, History, Ideology, Influence, International Relations, Lifestyle, Mapping Feelings, Media, Modernisation, Music, Overseas Chinese, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, Taiwan, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S., Youtube

Percussion shows me the world [People’s Daily] #RisingChina #GlobalPulse #Percussion

Good stuff! No pulse = no life.

Better days ahead for the global pulse…

without the excess baggage of visual culture nor colour symbolism.

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Percussion shows me the world
Edited and translated by Huang Jin
Source – People’s Daily Online, published June 14, 2013

The performance “Mountain Drums” played by 39 visually impaired students from Guiyang Special School won gold prize at Disabled Arts Festival of Guizhou Province on June 7, 2013. The 39 students, from 9 to 21, are from a world without color.

Because of the visual impairment, the practice is very hard for them. However, the percussion brings them happiness and tears, and shows them the world…

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto - Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

Long Wei, a sophomore, practices drum. He never stops practicing, even in April when his mother died. Pnoto – Chinanews, by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

An Xingxing, 9, the youngest player in the team, practices percussion. It was the third bamboo tube that she has broken. Photo – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan

A teacher holds the students' hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source - Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

A teacher holds the students’ hands and teaches them how to feel the rhythm. Source – Chinanews by Zhang Yuan)

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, China Dream, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Disabilities, Domestic Growth, Education, Entertainment, Ideology, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Music, Peaceful Development, People, People's Daily, Population, Social, Soft Power, Tao Guang Yang Hui (韬光养晦), The Chinese Identity

Mountain drumming atop Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 玉龙雪山, Yunnan, China

At 4,680m above sea level, this is the highest point I have drummed. The mountain mastif is the southernmost glacier in the northern hemisphere. Djembe’s tuning had rather massively gone out of whack due to the temperature changes as I ascended. It’s not hard to see the sheer number of tourists at this AAAAA-rated destination. 99% domestic tourists as far as I could make out.

To top it off, my fingers were stiff as, they could have done with far more warming-up before having a bash.

Filed under: Bob's Opinion, Music

Mountain Drumming at Black Dragon Pool 黑龙潭, near Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Greetings! Good weekend all, this round of exploring China is complete. Here’s a short clip of WanderingChina having a short bash on a locally bought Djembe a Black Dragon Pool facing the classic picture postcard Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the southernmost glacial mountain mastif.

Filed under: Bob's Opinion, Culture, Music

Bob Dylan denies China censored his choice of songs [BBC]

Can China really tell the emblem of world change, Bob Dylan what to do? Bob Dylan stands accused by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd for censoring his choice of songs “The idea that the raspy troubadour of ’60s freedom anthems would go to a dictatorship and not sing those anthems is a whole new kind of sellout,” – something the original anti-war and freedom hero has denied. In the piece written a month ago, she also criticized Dylan for not speaking up for artist Ai Weiwei (New York Times, April 9, 2011).

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Bob Dylan denies China censored his choice of songs
Source – BBC, published May 14, 2011

Dylan’s set lists change from one show to the next. Photo – BBC

Singer Bob Dylan has hit back at suggestions that he gave in to censorship during a recent series of concerts in China.

The folk-rock legend, 69, agreed to give authorities set lists before performances in Shanghai and Beijing.

He was criticised in print and online for ignoring 1960s-era protest songs.

Writing on his website, Dylan has now insisted he knew nothing of any censorship and says he and his band played all the songs they intended to. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Ai Weiwei, BBC, Beijing Consensus, Censorship, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Domestic Growth, Education, Mapping Feelings, Media, Music, Public Diplomacy, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities

China approves Bob Dylan concert in Beijing [The Age]

Interestingly apt that the writer of the song ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ finally makes it into China to perform! Cross-pollination of cultural capital in the most peculiar way – the U.S.’s anti-war hero saying about change in the land of what probably is the U.S.’s strongest opponent.

‘The news comes a year after a Taiwan promoter said its bid to take Dylan to China was scuttled after the Beijing government refused to approve shows by the writer of some of rock’s most iconic and politically charged songs.’
Channel News Asia, March 04, 2011

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China approves Bob Dylan concert in Beijing
AFP
Source – The Age, published March 12, 2011

China’s culture ministry has confirmed American music legend Bob Dylan will be allowed to play in Beijing, the first time in the singer’s illustrious career he will have performed in the country.

The ministry said in a brief statement that Dylan — the writer of some of rock’s most iconic and politically charged songs — must perform “strictly according to an approved program”.

Dylan will be allowed to play in Beijing from March 30 to April 12, the ministry said, without mentioning if the singer would also be granted permission to perform in Shanghai. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: AFP, Beijing Consensus, Culture, Domestic Growth, Media, Music, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, U.S.

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