Family Polaroid GIFspiration

Artist and illustrator Cari Vander Yacht is slicing up your grandparents. Or at least their photos. Going one step beyond artists like Martin Parr who simply collect old family photo albums from attics and flea markets, the Amsterdam-based Vander Yacht is making her vintage finds into delightfully irreverent GIFs. Several of her best mini-animations seem to be from China in the 1980s, adding an extra layer of humor for those of us on this side of the Great Firewall. See a selection below, and more at her Tumblr.

A video montage collecting her GIF series:

Real GIF Reel from Cari on Vimeo.

1401471488yachtgif19

1401471488yachtgif20

1401471488yachtgif22

1401471488yachtgif24

P.I.G. Screening Series: Die Hard at the Grumpy Pig

On December 10, P.I.G. launches its Shanghai screening series with a special collaboration with our friends at The Grumpy Pig. And what better way to ring in the season than with a Hollywood holiday classic: “Die Hard” (1988). We’ll be screening the film and serving a special, Die Hard-themed menu – reserve now to make sure you don’t miss it!

The Grumpy Pig x P.I.G. China
“Movie & Grub”: Christmas Edition
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 8pm @ The Grumpy Pig, Shanghai
Space Limited. Reservations: 6217-3355

GrumpyGrub1

Did you forget that “Die Hard” is an amazing Christmas movie? Watch the trailer again to refresh your memory…

Debut Feature “Bends” Opens in Hong Kong

After premiering at Cannes in May and touring the international festival circuit to much acclaim, “Bends” (過界), the debut feature of Hong Kong director Flora Lau, finally opened in Hong Kong in late November. Produced by P.I.G.’s own Melissa Lee, the film has attracted much media attention for its sensitive portrayal of the meta-relationship between Hong Kong and Shenzhen through two complex characters, portrayed by icon Carina Lau and young star Chen Kun. If you’re anywhere near Hong Kong, try to catch it in cinemas, or else wait for other territory release dates coming up.

Read the in-depth New York Times profile here, as well as coverage from the SCMP, the WSJ, and an interview with Flora Lau from Indiewire.

Also it’s worth exploring the beautiful Bends website, created by HK design star Rex Koo, which features behind-the-scenes extras and making-of videos.

Trailer below:

First of 3 making-of clips:

BENDS_MAKING_OF – The_Story from Flora Lau on Vimeo.

November Roundup: News on Film, Digital and Beyond

(Real Chinese astronauts from Shenzhou-9 launch)
GRAVITY
(Sandra Bullock in current blockbuster “Gravity”)

Selected readings, links, and other buzzworthy items:

Gravity’s Big Impact: Gravity is breaking box office records in China, soaring past other current releases; while Gravity’s director Alfonso Cuaron wants China to take him to space, for real (reports Xinhua):
“I know that I will never do another space movie. It took too long. But I would go to space as soon as I was invited,” Cuaron told Xinhua in an exclusive interview given while he was in Beijing promoting “Gravity,” which debuted on the Chinese mainland on Tuesday. “So I’ll keep on pleading. Maybe then Chinese authorities will want to send me to space. I would be very happy to accept the invitation, very honored,” he said.

China’s Micro-Movie Zeitgeist: BBC piece on how micro-movies evade Chinese censorship; even Chinese airlines are using micro-movies in in-flight entertainment systems.

Hollywood x China: “Hollywood and China: in Figures” by Jonathan Landreth offers a useful look at the relationship by the numbers; LAT piece “Hollywood meets a sleeping powerhouse” is a good basic primer on current dynamics; NPR showcases “Hollywood’s New Strategy: Supporting Chinese-Made Blockbusters” and the flipside where “China Pits Hollywood Blockbusters Against Each Other
“; The Hollywood Reporter examines the Chinese presence at AFM earlier this month; The Guardian on what it gleaned from US/China Film Summit at AFM; Variety on how marketing platform FansTang Plans to Deliver Hollywood Content in China;

Festival Circuit: The Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival kicks off; as well as one part of the beleaguered China Independent Film Festival in Nanjing; the ASEAN Festival launches in Singapore; Asia-Pacific Film Festival runs in Macau mid-December; Beijing recently hosted the Chinese Folk Women Festival; Shanghai’s expat-geared “Meiwenti Film Contest” still seeking short film submissions until November 30 for its Dec 14 event; and an interesting UK academic research group exploring the phenomenon of film festivals in China.

Other: A report on Ang Lee at the Art of Transnational Cinema event at Harvard University; and the frankly disgusting teaser poster for upcoming TIny Times 3 (reported to start production soon in Rome).

Super Cool Party: Interview with Designer Francis Lam (aka db-db)

SuperCool1

Last week saw the launch of “Super Cool Party”, a new iOS app from Francis Lam (aka db-db), which has quickly taken over the Instagram and WeChat moments feeds of Shanghai creatives. It’s a “super pixelicious fashion simulation game” with db-db’s trademark style seen in Tofu Go and Nudemen – a combination of funky 8bit graphics, catchy tunes, and cheeky gameplay (which here involves “undressing” characters to unlock their clothing for fun mix-and-match). In the future, it may feature packs of branded fashion content and beyond. Francis’ expansive practice also encompasses his long-time work as Creative Technologist at Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, and founder of hand-crafted wooden furniture brand OWW. To kick off POV’s new interview series with diverse creatives, Francis graciously agreed to answer our questions.

POV INTERVIEW: FRANCIS LAM, AKA DB-DB

Q: In a nutshell, how would you describe “Super Cool Party”? What’s its connection to shopping and fashion?

A: It’s a fashion-themed 8-bit casual game + social camera app. But what I also want to experiment is to create a new platform for advertising and mobile gaming. In-game advertising has always been a big turn-off for gamers, I really want to build something that can make both marketers and gamers happy.

Q: What inspired the game, especially its visual style, music, and beach setting/”party” concept?

A: Happy, fun and 8bit are always the main themes and styles of my work. It also vaguely linked to my Nudemen Series by the way.


User images from Instagram – add your own with the #supercoolparty and #supercoolstyle tags!

Q: This is your first app since Tofu Go – what have you learned since then, and what different techniques of design, programming, marketing, and distribution were you looking to try in Super Cool Party?

A: I think all my other mobile apps and games are experiments or extensions of my other work. Most of them were finished in a weekend or so. Super Cool Party is a more well-thought and produced project which leverages different digital and social channels. It’s also the first product launched by my new entity db+DB.

dcf880d2569111e3a9810ebdd4ba5cf5_6
Instagram from @bbfish

Q: Since you left Wieden+Kennedy to work on independent projects, you mentioned that you’re pursuing an interesting workflow of experimenting with various new projects on quick-iteration time-schedule. Can you describe this new project structure you’re exploring?

A: Sure. db+DB is a small team aiming for making tiny digitally-driven products in fast iterations. We have three criteria for our products: 1. It has to be launched in less than 2-3 months. 2. It has to be commercially viable. 3. It has to have a big idea which potentially change the world and make our lives better – maybe for just a little bit.

Q: What do you think is the future of mobile advertising, and how do you think games are important in this space? Many people have talked about the death of Weibo and the rise of Weixin as a space for brands – how are you hoping that an app/game like Super Cool Party can pioneer new directions on those platforms?

A: I think games are one of the biggest digital communities yet to have a working advertising ecosystem. Super Cool Party is an experimental project to try answer the issue.

Q: What inspires you the most right now?

A: Currently, definitely my newborn daughter.

Download Super Cool Party here and check it out!

“On Fear” Zine and GIFs by Inkee Wang

Inkee Wang (Wang Yingqi) is currently a student at London’s Royal College of Art, and has been attracting attention for her delightfully skewed illustrations for some time. Now they leap off the page/screen in her project “On Fear”, which takes the form of a specialized Tumblr, a series of animated GIFs, and a limited-edition zine. The experimental visual essay explores the nature of fear that all humans share – and even digs deep into history for parallels to our modern condition.

See more at the project site, and some of our favorite selections below. GIFs of the day(/week/month)!

tumblr_ml7p22D9J51s3b6d0o1_500

tumblr_mldhfcWL631s3b6d0o1_400

s-copy_1500

tumblr_mjf3smxAK21s3b6d0o1_500

tumblr_mjf32hUTbg1s3b6d0o1_500

tumblr_mjes6kgGDp1s3b6d0o1_500

64a33c4fgw1e3yqci8ji6j20dw2kogwk

Meet Mr. Cao, Skateboarding Hutong Bathroom Attendant

A very cool short video from our friends at Tranquil Tuesdays (artisanal tea brand based in Beijing):

Skateboarding Hutong Bathroom Attendant Mr. Cao

Working in Beijing’s historical hutong neighborhoods, life is never dull in Tranquil Tuesdays’ office and showroom on Fangjia Hutong. These past two weeks in the heat of the Beijing summer, we thought we saw an improbable mirage: a skateboarding hutong bathroom attendant skating by our doors. After days of stunned excitement watching Mr. Cao whiz by Tranquil Tuesdays hutong office and showroom in Beijing, we finally caught up with him (I literally ran out of our office to catch him before he crossed the street) to express our admiration and ask him if we could film him skating down our hutong: Fangjia Hutong. Mr. Cao is from Hebei province and lives on Fangjia Hutong. He skateboards to work at a public bathroom 3 km away, and says he has been skateboarding for a few months.

Via Tranquil Tuesdays Blog

So Fresh and So Clean: Beautiful Vintage Soap Packaging from China

Feast your eyes on this collection of vintage soap packaging from China – assembled by the retro aficionado U-Book on Douban. U-Book also has some amazing galleries of mid-century Chinese clothing catalogues and a particularly lovely vintage Seagull camera.

As some have remarked on Weibo, they look good enough to eat!
(“很小的时候,总会觉得香皂是蛋糕那样能吃的东西,,看这个设计和颜色,,太有爱了”)

View the full set here.
(Via one of our favorite artists Yan Cong)

As Time Goes By in Shanghai – New Documentary

Premiering this week at “Hot Docs” is “As Time Goes By in Shanghai”, a new documentary on Shanghai’s own Peace Hotel band – the oldest jazz band in the world. Directed by Uli Gaulke, the film looks like a charming portrait of some old guys who still have a trick or two up their sleeves.

From the film’s description:
The oldest band of the world has been playing every evening at the Peace Hotel in Shanghai for more than thirty years. Most members of the band, all Jazz musicians of the first rank, are older than 80 years.

AS TIME GOES BY IN SHANGHAI accompanies the oldest band in the world on their greatest adventure yet: their appearance at the North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam, the most important festival of its kind.

In the final weeks before their appearance, this musical film will immerse itself in a world of unparalleled change. Jazz stands for improvisation, individualism, freedom and creativity. Against the backdrop of great jazz hymns, the film will chart the fascinating life stories of these seven exceptional musicians: from the Japanese occupation to the Cultural Revolution right up to today’s turbo planned economy. With humour, wisdom and a tale or two being spun on the way, the men in black suits will lead us on a tour of their everyday lives in one of the world’s most modern cities and show us how good old jazz has given them the strength to weather the storms of time.

Check out the trailer on Youtube or below, and a Tumblr with great behind-the-scenes photos.

Make it Pop! Chinese model Xiao Wen Ju for Kenzo

Xiao Wen Ju, one of our favorite Chinese models currently blowing up the fashion world, stars in this new winter accessories campaign for Kenzo, shot by Frederik Heyman. Check out the eye-popping colors and cool set design by David White, as Xi’an-born Xiao poses alongside by Simon Sabbah. This has been a big year for Kenzo, as the legendary brand was revived by Opening Ceremony‘s Carol Lim & Humberto Leon. The new Xiao Wen Ju-starring campaign follows on the heels of the cheeky video clip “Watermarked“, a collaboration with digi-experimental art collective DIS Magazine, which showcased Kenzo’s Fall/Winter 2012 Men’s collection and was called “the best fashion film in years” by many. Can’t wait for more Kenzo (and Xiao Wen Ju) in 2013!

POVXiaoWenJu

Watch below: The fashion film “Watermarked” directed by Marco Rosso of DIS Magazine.