Jingju Backstage, Sadler’s Well

Jingju Backstage, Sadler’s Well

Art, Live, London
This is the third time in a row, China National Beijing Opera Company came to London. I have been diligently following the shows throughout the three years, and have always considered the performances a treat for my birthday. This year again, I was very privileged to be at the backstage watching the operas, and this time in Sadler's Well. There is always something very magical about watching the opera backstage. Perhaps, it is the light. Or perhaps, I get to see the more complex side of preparation for the performance, where everything becomes more dynamic. It was as if, the actual performance is only the tip of the iceberg, and I had the chance to see the rest. Everything to me here was art, fine art. There were numerous props…
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Synergy and Conflict: a journey through the art of glass

Synergy and Conflict: a journey through the art of glass

Art, London
Synergy Purely by chance, we walked into this glass art exhibition. It was just after our lunch at Flour & Grape. Mildly under the influence from the the glass of red, I walked into this small gallery: Peter Layton's glass blowing. Beautiful, perfect, synergistic... Walking among the art works, at some point, I disappeared, became part of it. Part of me echoed with the glass. I suppose this is what art gives you. Deep down, we all yearn for aesthetics. That's probably the truest part of our brain and emotions, the love for beauty. This is the ultimate synergy, resonance between the artist and the viewer, transcended through glass... Conflict? Where is the conflict? The conflict was from me, a conflict within myself. The love for art was awakened by…
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Mid-autumn: a night of classic Chinese performing arts

Mid-autumn: a night of classic Chinese performing arts

Art, London, Travel
Today marks the The Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a very special occasion in China, with its importance being just behind the Chinese New Year. During this period, people celebrate with their families, eat moon cakes, and appreciate the full moon at night. on 27th September, in the name of Mid-Autumn Festival, the UK Han Culture Association  and UK China Performing Arts (UKCPA) collaborated with several London based Chinese artists,  and brought authentic oriental culture onto stage at London Hippodrome. Hippodrome was first opened in 1900, initially used for circus performances and variety shows, and later on became a popular spot for comedies, musicals, jazz shows and burlesque shows. This time, Chinese performance art came onto this stage. What an interesting combination! Classic Oriental culture meets Western glam! Drum Solo The night started…
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Backpacking through Europe Part 6: Cologne

Backpacking through Europe Part 6: Cologne

Art, Backpacking through Europe, Travel
Place Boyfriend was very excited about Germany, or what he calls, the 'Land of Sausages'.  I was rather neutral about it. They are just sausages. For that, I was told, 'whoever says they are just sausages, never had the proper ones.' Out of our backpacking trip, we stayed in Germany the longest period. The first stop was Cologne, the cultural capital and fourth largest city of Germany. Upon our arrival at the Cologne main station, or the 'Köln Hauptbahnhof', the first thing that appeared in front us was the Cologne Cathedral, the Medieval Gothic Architecture. It is the tallest twin spired church in the world, at 157m.Its magnificence can only be felt if you are there physically. Looking up from the bottom, I felt rather small. Even as a non-religious…
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Backpacking through Europe Part 5: The Hague

Backpacking through Europe Part 5: The Hague

Art, Backpacking through Europe, Travel
When I told my friends that The Hague was one of the destinations, they all tried to persuade me to go to Amsterdam instead. I was told that there is not much in The Hague, and it is quite boring. Well, I am so glad we stuck with our decisions, and visited The Hague. The place did not feel very touristy, and there were plenty of beautiful architectures and art works to see, exactly my cup of tea. The Hague, or Den Hagg as the Dutch calls them, locates at the West coast of Netherlands. It is the 3rd largest city, just after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. It is the home of the Dutch government and the Supreme court, although not being the capital city itself. The reason would have to…
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Happy Easter: Egg Staining

Happy Easter: Egg Staining

Art, Eat
This is the first time I made an effort for Easter, staining the eggs. Yes, it is not just an activity for children, adults enjoy it too. So, from this year onwards, decorating easter eggs will become a tradition for the Household of Cotton (wait, what? Cotton is the head of the household?) As it was the first time for me staining the eggs, I went for the safe approach. I bought some powdered food colouring, and just added hot water. Then the hard boiled eggs were placed in the water for 4 mins, until the eggs changed into the desired depth of colour. How to make the perfect hard boiled egg: cover the eggs with cold water, then turn the hob onto medium. Switch off the hob once the water…
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Here Comes the Fire Rooster: lion dance at the Heathrow

Here Comes the Fire Rooster: lion dance at the Heathrow

Art, Travel
Happy New year! 恭喜发财! The Lunar New Year, aka Chinese New Year, took place on the 28th of January. This year marks the year of the Fire Rooster. Lion dancing is a traditional form of celebration, which usually happens for the New Year, and special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. This year I got to participate in a lion dance, as a percussionist, at the Heathrow Airport. The Lions There are two types of lions: Northern lions and Southern lions, originated from the North and South of China respectively.  The Northern lion resembles the Chinese dog Pekingese, which is more shaggy looking. The head of the lion was traditionally made of bamboo painted in gold. The whole lion tends to be yellow, orange and red in colour to signify…
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