At last! We’re beginning to roll out featurettes on AlternativeBeijing.com - three videos will be published today. We’ve got plenty up our sleeve and, though not everything is ready, we didn’t want the year to end without giving you a little something.
To kick things off, we sit down with two of the guys behind Black Eyeliner - Beijing’s premier dark music monthly - as they chat about Western misconceptions of China, the rise of Beijing music an the white savior complex. Click here to watch.
Next up, we have Birdhead - a photography duo whose mainly black-and-white snapshots of everyday Shanghai and its people skyrocketed them to unexpected art-stardom in the early 2000s. Commonly described as “stream of consciousness photography”, their work focuses on the unsung, ephemeral aspects of daily life. Birdhead’s prolific, compulsive documentation of their friends and surroundings has led them to exhibit internationally, including a part in a current show at MoMA NYC. We sat down with Song Tao and Ji Weiyu to talk about collaboration and priorities amidst the onset of fame. Watch here.
Our third release features Meng Jin Hui, head of Vice Beijing, who talked with us at his shiny new office (mmm, glass and steel!) to contextualize Beijing’s emerging youth culture. Watch his segment here.
If you’re just joining us, a bit about the Secret Guide. In August, a team of awesome people and I raised $12,000 for an ambitious project: The Secret Guide to Alternative Beijing – a video travel series and guide giving an insider’s view into the skyrocketing alternative art, fashion, music, and nightlife culture in Beijing. Within this project, I function as curator, co-director and co-host. To create the Guide, we spent one whirlwind month in China, filming as many as three stories daily, sleeping little, surviving on steamed buns, the occasional fried spider, and love. The result is a time capsule of short videos - dozens of features like the one above, and of blog posts, too. Our website is very young and we’re still in the process of editing all that footage, but there are several articles available for your perusal already. For more, take a look for yourself!