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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Flour & Grape: simply pasta and wine

Flour & Grape: simply pasta and wine

Eat, London
Here is a question that never gets old, 'what are you doing for your birthday?' Well, this year, it's just some pasta and wine. Flour & Grape In the recent years, it seems South East London has gotten hip. Artisan restaurants, eateries and bars are popping up everywhere. Here, Chef Nick Crsipini, who previously owned Antico and worked under top Theo Randall of Park Lane, came to Bermondsey. Last week, they were doing a soft launch with 50% discount, so naturally we checked it out. Instead of going to Oxo Tower, we celebrated my birthday here. I loved the decor immediately, although Mr only thought it as 'ok'. The menu was simple and straight forward. There're only three sections: pre-past, pasta, and post-past, all carefully curated. Of course, let's not forget…
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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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Dogs+Shakes: ‘move over, burgers!’

Dogs+Shakes: ‘move over, burgers!’

Eat, London, Street Food
Move over burgers, hot dogs are coming! Remember how we have such a craze for gourmet burgers. Apparently, they are no longer 'hip'. It is now all about hot dogs.  Stratford is a spot we frequent. Apart from shopping, we hit Dogs + Shakes for lunch. It is a food van located in Stratford Westfield. Besides hotdogs, we were also spoiled for milkshake choices. We went for a Ranch dog and a Nacho dog. Boyfriend was very skeptical about my Nacho dog at the beginning, He thought it was weird to have nachos in a hotdog. How wrong he was! The nachos added crunchiness, which complemented beautifully to other parts of the hog dog. The ranch dog has the classic sauerkraut. It reminded us of Germany. So here is what…
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Watching Jingju Behind the Stage Curtains

Watching Jingju Behind the Stage Curtains

Art, Live, London, Travel
I am huge fan of Jingju, commonly known as the Beijing Opera, a type of performance art combining singing, dancing, martial art, visual art and literature. It first originated from North of China, then became popular all over the country. My motherland Tianjin, is the hometown of this art. I grew up with Jingju theatre right next to my door step. Watching Jingju with my granddad was one of the most memorable events of my life. Jingju was everywhere during my childhood. People would sing Jingju to the music of an Erhu (Chinese zither) in parks. Everyone in Tianjin knew something of Jingju and almost everyone can hum a little tune. This year China National Jingju Company came to Peacock Theatre, bringing the well-known The White Snake and The General…
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The Peony Pavilion: love in life and death

The Peony Pavilion: love in life and death

Art, Live, London
"It's so beautiful, I am gonna cry." Quoting from my friend, whom I went with to Kunqu opera, the Peony Pavilion. What she said pretty much summed it up. It was simply stunning. This is the second time The Peony Pavilion-Young lover's edition took place in London, this time in the Troxy. It is an adaption of Tanxianzu's (a great Chinese playwright of the 16th century) opera, by the Taiwanese writer Bai Xianyong. 55 scenes  distilled into 9 hours, spreading over three nights. It was a modern take of the traditional opera, divided into three books: Love in Dream, Love in Death and Love on Earth. Synopsis: Du Liniang, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Nan'an governor was lured by the beautiful spring, so took a stroll in the garden with her…
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Kat Von D: a makeup brand with attitude

Kat Von D: a makeup brand with attitude

Art, Live, London
It would not be overrating to hail her as the Queen of Tattoo. As I write this post now, I hesitate whether to tagline the post as 'embrace your inner Goth', but then decided not to. If I only state Kat Von D as a iconic symbol of Goth, I couldn't be more wrong. She is more than that, her artistic endeavours showed attitude and determination. Katherine Von Drachenberg (Kat Von D) is one of the most famous tattoo artists in America, and left her marks on numerous celebrities such Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. Saying that she inked half of Hollywood wouldn't be an exaggeration. Going from tattoo to makeup artistry is an obvious route, as they share so many similarities artistically. After eight years, finally, Kat has launched her line of products in the UK,…
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