Culture

  1. US President Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, has written a book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. It is set to be published on July 14.Publisher Simon & Schuster said the book would be a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him”.Mary Trump is known to have been on bad terms with her uncle Donald for at least 20 years, ever since they were involved in a public legal battle against each other. She…
  2. K-pop girl group Blackpink have come under fire for using a statue of a Hindu deity as a prop in a recent record-breaking music video. The group’s highly anticipated comeback single, How You Like That, made YouTube history as the most-viewed music video premiere – taking over from BTS’ Boy With Luv. The Blackpink video, uploaded on June 26, hit 50 million views in just over 11 hours, and has so far received almost 230 million views. However, fans were quick to point out that a scene in the…
  3. For years Chinese actor Qin Hao has better known for being the young husband of Taiwanese singer Annie Yi Nengjing (who is 10 years his senior) than for his acting.That’s about to change. Thanks to the phenomenal success of recent Chinese TV drama The Bad Kids, in which Qin plays the male lead, the 41-year-old is emerging from Yi’s shadow.Broadcast on video platform iQiyi over 10 days in June, the 12-part series racked up more than 200 million views in China and attained a score of 9 out of 10…
  4. Seven passionate record collectors are helping to preserve long-forgotten Indonesian music of the 20th century with their archival project Irama Nusantara, Indonesian for “rhythm of the archipelago”.So far they have digitised more than 4,000 recordings, which are being streamed for free on their website for a new generation of fans.The project’s seven founders – Alvin Yunata, David Tarigan, Christoforus Priyonugroho, Toma Avianda, Norman Illyas, Mayumi Haryoto, and Dian “Onno” Wulandari – all…
  5. Tucked away in a quiet backstreet on Hong Kong Island, the Masjid Ammar and Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre is a world apart from the strip of bars not far away in Wan Chai district.On one side is a tall white tower with a pastel green spire, reminiscent of a minaret. At the entrance an attendant checks the temperature of everyone walking in, because of the coronavirus pandemic.In the foyer, imam Uthman Yang Xing Ben greets worshippers – mostly men and teenagers – in Arabic as they enter…
  6. Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark is well known for his bold visual style and free-ranging approach to storytelling. The wild and vivacious Swordsman III: The East Is Red, the final part of his highly successful Swordsman trilogy, takes both of these qualities to extremes.Visually, the 1993 film is an explosive assault of colour, noise, martial arts and action that mixes Spanish galleons and Japanese ninjas with more typical examples of Tsui’s “mythical China”. Imagination is not lacking, even if…
  7. Hong Kong libraries have taken at least nine titles written by localist or democracy advocates out of circulation pending a review of whether the books run afoul of the new national security law.Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes called the move alarming and said authorities needed to justify restricting the public’s right to seek information.The Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the city’s public libraries, confirmed it was scrutinising some books for compliance with…
  8. His birth name is Kim Jun-myeon, but the world knows him by his stage name, Suho, which has a special meaning in Korean. Taken from the Korean verb “to protect like a guardian”, Suho’s stage name as a member of Exo has come to mean more than he probably ever realised. We explain why the “guardian” role is a perfect fit for the leader of the history-making K-pop boy band. Suho’s early life Kim was born in Seoul’s wealthy Apgujeong neighbourhood in May 1991. Young Kim was an exemplary pupil,…
  9. The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China by Jonathan Kaufman, Viking. 3.5/5 The Sassoons and the Kadoories were two Baghdadi Jewish families that followed the coattails of the British Empire from Iraq to India to Shanghai to Hong Kong, and they provide a great lesson in making smart decisions until the day that you don’t. Jonathan Kaufman’s The Last Kings of Shanghai is at its best when it explains those smart moves, and the occasion­al not-so…
  10. By Kim Jae-heunThe coronavirus pandemic could have been a disaster for South Korean entertainment companies, but instead, they used it as an opportunity to go online and stage concerts on virtual platforms.Revenue from concerts is a big deal for talent agencies such as Big Hit Entertainment, SM Entertainment and YG Entertainment. And when the coronavirus outbreak started, all three knew trouble was brewing when their K-pop groups’ concerts started getting cancelled.Last year, K-pop giants BTS…