Friday, August 8, 2008

Things I Love About China - and its not the Olympics

While all eyes are on Beijing tonight, tuning in to visions of fireworks, spangles and awful team uniforms, I thought I'd bring you an alternative view. Not of anything even vaguely sport related, but all the wonderful, crazy and beautiful things that I love about China.

This is the idealised China that lives inside my mind; the images of Shanghai in the 1930's, the bright kitschy illustrations on products of all descriptions, the cigarette posters and silent film stars.

1. China Bowl Restaurant, 2. Graffiti in Williamsburg, 3. Chinese pincushion on fruit fabric, 4. Miso Pretty

But it isn't all dreamy beauty in there (my mind). I couldn't take a mental voyage to the orient without including these two chaps, both of whom had quite the impact on my formative years. I love me some crazy Kung Fu, floating on clouds and poor quality dubbing. Ahhh, bliss.

1. Bruce Lee 12" Action Figure, 2. DEMON!

Yes, China is also rich in natural wonders, the stunning mountains and amazing variety of fauna. But to be honest, one of the things I never get tired of, is the highly entertaining use of language that is Chinglish. Fair enough, if I were to try writing signs in Chinese, I would most likely achieve results just as hilarious.

Image credit - Beijing Olympics Fan

For more hilarity you can check out

So while the rest of the world tunes in to the Opening Ceremony on the aucspious 08.08.08, I'll be trying my luck with a bit of Jackie Chan and Couch Olympics. Now that's my kind of sport!


Anonymous said...

Oh I appreciate what China has to offer too. I have decorated my own boudoir in what I like to think of as 'chinese brothel' style. Lots of chinoiserie, carved glossy furniture and silks. Off to watch the opening ceremony now! (of the olympics, that is).

Francis Girard said...

i dont do sports either although the ice dancing in the winter can be quite nice. my aunt has an amazing chinese garden that you would love...its in the queensland hinter land, very traditional and very zen..... xf

Danielle said...

In the Mood for Love is my favorite movie of all time. And having China on the mind is a perfect time to watch it. If you haven't yet seen it - I highly recommend it for you, you'd LOVE the cheongsam dresses.

Kristen said...

Bruce Lee action figure?! Must. Have. Now.

WendyB said...

There's nothing like curled poo. Straight poo just isn't the same.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Cybill: That sounds divine. I love that Old Opium Den look.
Francis Girard: I hold a separate classification for the winter Olympics as they tend to be more visually arresting. Your aunts garden sounds amazing. I have plans here of building my own Japanese styled garden out from the house.
Danielle: I'll add it too the list. I actually have quite a collection of cheongsam styled items, so you are correct.
Kristen: He would fit in perfectly with my Wonder Woman and Dead or Alive action dolls.
Wendy B: A much superior category of effluent.

the likkle girl who wurves pwetty things said...

Hey Mama,
I thought the opening ceremony was going to be tacky cringe-ville but I was pleasantly surprised and glued to the couch from start to finish - the first time I've done that with any sporting event.

Then I found out, via the commentary, that Chinese film director Zhang Yimou is behind it. If you've not seen any of his films, do take out his early ones when you're getting "In The Mood For Love" at the video library. Zhang and Wong Kar Wai's ("In The...Love) works are very different but I think they will both appeal to your sense of aesthetics. Every frame is a work of art. x

Shady said...

If I have to deal with one more person trying to force me into watching the Olympics, I might scream.

This post was a very welcome non-Olympic Chinese distraction :D Love that artwork...

Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

the vintage artwork is darling. you found some great images!

Imelda Matt said...

Chinglish is the gift that keeps on giving!