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Artist Xu Bing's multi-media installation of a utopian world - inspired by an ancient Chinese fable - is on display for the first time in China. The circular installation, which was earlier exhibited in London's Victoria and Albert Museum and in Chatsworth House in England, comprises nine landscapes made up of stones, plants and ceramics. For instance, black stones and red plum flowers represent the northern part of China, while white stones, bamboo and pavilions represent South China's landscapes. The stones are from five provinces and the ceramics are from Jiangxi province's Jingdezhen, which is nicknamed China's "capital of ceramics".
The installation is inspired by the Chinese fable, Peach Blossom Spring, written by poet Tao Yuanming (AD 365-427), who depicts an ideal world where man and nature live in harmony. Xu Bing, 61, who acknowledges that the name of the work, The Dream of Traveling to The Wonderland Must Be Realized, is contradictory, justifies the title, saying: "The tension between nature and man is increasing.
In the fable, the fisherman who finds the wonderland by accident, can't go back to it again after he returns to his village.
Expanding on his work, Xu says: "Men seem to be on an endless pursuit of such a wonderland in their minds. The installation, which was created for the Victoria and Albert Museum's large-scale Chinese painting exhibition in 2013, gave Xu the chance to bring Chinese landscape paintings to life using stones and ceramics.
In 2014, the installation moved to Chatsworth Garden, a house built in the 15th century in Derbyshire in England.
Xu says he loves the contrast between his work and the environment where it was displayed in Britain. In the V&A Museum, while his wonderland was displayed inside, outside was the city of London. In Beijing, the pond in the circular installation is replaced with fields of vegetables, rice and corn.
Explaining the modification of his installation, Xu says he did this "because for thousands of years, China was an agrarian society.
Commenting on the work, Dong Yi, president of the Beautiful Asset Company, the organizer of the show, says: "That's my wonderland, a Chinese-style wonderland. Dong says she is a fan of Xu, whom she calls a master with a good understanding of the East and West, who knows how to express this through contemporary art. Xu, who was born in Chongqing, moved to New York in 1990, but has been in Beijing since 2007. The artist, who gained fame in the global in the 1990s art world with his printmaking and large installations of hand-carved characters, has had his works displayed at museums across the world, including MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum and the National Gallery of Canada. Artist Xu Bing displays in Beijing his multimedia installation featuring a utopian world inspired by the Chinese fable, Peach Blossom Spring.
Through his pictures, in which reality and dreamlike scenes mingle, Xu persuades people to always seek the warmth of life even when going through bad times. He stresses this in one of his recent poems, Warm Sun, in which he writes: "Doubts and anxieties of the past no longer exist. The poem is an introduction to Xu's ongoing Inner World exhibition in Beijing's Songzhuang art district.
On show are dozens of landscapes and paintings from his three series: Forbidden City, Countryside and Sketch Classes. In his works, he captures "inconspicuous corners that people simply overlook" or just have a quick look at for photos - red walls, yellow tiled roofs and corner towers.
Through the paintings, he gives a sense of serenity to the Forbidden City, which is typically filled with the noise of tourists. Further, he connects the grand architecture of the Forbidden City with China's modern history.
Xu's early exposure to painting came from his father, Xu Yong, a retired professor of Chinese painting at the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang.
During his childhood, he often traveled with his father who did a lot of sketching across the country. Xu was impressed by the intricately painted frescoes at the Yongle Temple in Shanxi province. He moved to the United States in 1996 where he was nurtured by Western art over a period of six years. Xu returned to Shenyang in 2002, believing that its "familiar soil" would let him devote himself to painting. In the series Countryside and Sketch Classes, he demonstrates what it means to be restless and hopeful at the same time. Commenting on his work, Zhang Hui, a professor of the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, says: "Xu's works show his power of observation when it comes to changing surroundings and people's struggles. He has written around 300 poems since 2006, when he produced his first work aboard a plane. A painting of the Forbidden City by Xu Shendong is part of one of the three series of his ongoing show. Fast-forward to last month, when two years of cosseting in six different French oak barrels was complete, and deft blending by in-house winemaker Fan Xi had produced the 2013 Chateau Changyu Moser XV.
By the time you read this, five different premium wines - 65,000 bottles - will be on their way to the finest restaurant tables in Europe. Changyu was founded in 1892 in Yantai, Shandong province, by a veteran Chinese diplomat named Zhang Bishi. Zhang, a vineyard enthusiast from his wide travels, had big ideas for what was a novelty business in China.
Despite a slump in 2014, China continues to be a fast-growing market for wine, with consumption per capita doubling between 1995 and 2010 to 1.2 liters.
For most of its short life, the Chinese wine market has grown faster than producers could keep up.
However, China's biggest companies took notice when boutique wineries sprang up in Ningxia and created what has become a Napa Valley wannabe, a wine zone that would feed a thirst for quality instead of quantity. Convincing French people to drink Chinese wine might sound like the punchline of a joke, Moser acknowledges with a smile. But in the 1960s, California wines were shrugged off as "mouthwash", until a pioneer named Robert Mondavi changed perceptions by developing Opus One and other vintages with some French collaboration. Li notes that there is a government push to integrate tourism into every level of its wine industry. Putting Changyu Moser XV on dining tables in the finest hotels in Europe will open a lot of eyes on both sides of the world. The chateau and its wines are named after the company's Austrian winemaking consultant Laurenz "Lenz" Moser and his family: the Moser lineage can be traced back 15 generations, but it was Lenz Moser's grandfather, Lenz Moser III, who became an icon in the industry for growing grapes horizontally on wires, producing a more uniform and quality harvest, instead of letting vines race for the sky.
Lenz Moser has been a consultant and winemaking adviser to Changyu since 2005, has been coming to China "in spurts" for most of that decade, but last fall - on his 28th trip to the country, he camped out in Ningxia for a solid three months.
The Chinese corporation unveiled Chateau Changyu Moser XV in Ningxia in 2013, a more than 500-million-yuan ($77-million) project that took two years to build. Today Moser is playing proud papa, alongside "my good friend Mr Fan", as the bottles bearing Moser's family name chug along an assembly line. But while savoring the winery's five current export offerings, ranging from the white Italian riesling (150 yuan or $23) to the top red - 2013 Chateau Changyu Moser XV (750 yuan) - he's already looking ahead.
His culinary chutzpah, and the long waiting list for a seat at one of his unorthodox dinners, earned him write ups in newspapers and magazines and even an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
But after graduating recently, the 22-year-old whiz chef from Newton, Massachusetts, is facing the same reality as a lot of other new college grads. Four months after leaving his dorm, Reider has been booted from the Columbia owned apartment where he hosted the latest incarnation of his supper club. His goal is to earn a living staging "wild, crazy events" for companies including, perhaps, fashion houses and hotels. Just a day before he graduated last month, the economics and sociology major cooked up his "experimental cuisine" for 90 guests who gathered at a Fifth Avenue mansion for an evening of music with Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr and the Metropolis Ensemble. He's also lined up to filman online series, appear at a Chicago cooking conference and prepare a series of meals at a Manhattan art gallery, with visitors helping to choose and mix ingredients amid artful ceramics and furniture. Reider's cooking career started when he and his friends at Newton South High School formed a grilling club. With a mere four seats around one table and reservations available only online, Pith had no choice but to start small. The Wall Street Journal reported that the school had started getting heat from the Health Department-something about how, apparently, dorm kitchens can't be used to conduct commercial restaurant activity.
As for what the future holds, Reider says has no regrets about breaking from most of his Ivy League classmates and choosing an unconventional path. Jonah Reider prepares food during Brownstone, an experimental treasure-hunt of sound, taste, and color, in New York. Billed as Australia's finest dining, award-winning Wagyu by Mayura Station comes to China for two wine-pairing dinners hosted by Penfolds and Melbourne wine guru Kyla Kirkpatrick, also known as The Champagne Dame.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN relations, ASEAN-China Centre and Beijing Minzu Hotel are hosting the First ASEAN Food Festival - Splendid Indonesia Month through June 24. Celebrating the expansion of its phase 2 development to a whopping 1.1 million square meters, Galaxy Macao is hosting a month-long Best of Asian Dining event for June. Wherever Chinese ink painter Li Jin goes - be it a museum or an awards ceremony - he carries a basket with him that contains items of daily use and subjects that his art focuses on. The art professor at the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts also takes the basket to the market to buy meat, vegetables, fish and shrimp. But for his latest show, the colorful food inside Li's basket has become black-and-white on rice paper - the original colors of Chinese ink-and-water painting. Li has drawn cabbages, meat, fish, men and women, and self portraits in the traditional style.
He says he wants to open the next chapter of his career by going deep into his spiritual world after having lived and recorded a colorful life for years. In recent years, Li has formed the habit of spending a few days alone in the mountains, where he can escape city life and explore his "inner world".
Reflecting that change in his life, his paintings have moved from colored ink to monochromatic ink. Li sees the change both as a challenge and a new stage in his career since most masterpieces of Chinese painting often reflect the artists' spiritual worlds. Britta Erickson, curator of Li's show and his longtime friend, says having been a master of all things to do with color, the painter seems to be empowered to work with shades of ink. She says traditional Chinese painting masters often made big accomplishments on turning 50. Just like the show's name, Being, Li says he is following his heart to return to the point when he began painting in the Tibet autonomous region in the 1990s. After graduating from the Chinese painting department of the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 1984, he spent a year in Tibet.
Furniture, artwork, jewelry and collectible objects that once graced the Los Angeles home of former US President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, are headed for the auction block, Christie's said recently. The landmark sale, a series of live and online auctions scheduled for September, also encompasses decorative pieces of art, books, ephemera, sculpture, drawings and prints from the Reagans' home in the affluent Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Proceeds will benefit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, in line with the Reagans' wishes.
Reagan, a former Hollywood actor and California governor, was elected the 40th US president in 1980. The couple presided over a glamorous White House, where bold-faced names from the Reagans' years before the cameras as actors injected a glitzy element into Washington's traditionally staid social scene.
The auction house says the collection was noteworthy for reflecting the simple and elegant private life the Reagans enjoyed together in Bel Air, where they often entertained. The 2-meter-high piece, which together has 1,000 arms and eyes, was made using liuli, a kind of ancient glass.
The exquisite craft at the Festival Walk mall is the artistic interpretation of life and goodness, Yang says. Guanyin is also an inner strength that people can experience when faced with difficulties or while helping others in need, Yang says, describing the concept in Chinese culture.
She believes if everyone puts self-interest aside, people will become more generous and society will be more united. The whole creation process - from crafting the model, covering it with a silicon mold, filling a wax mold, releasing the wax, casting fire-resistant gypsum, baking it in the kiln, cooling and polishing - was full of challenges.
They chose the mall as the setting for the exhibition with the intention of exposing as many people as possible to the mindset that "doing somebody a favor with no conditions attached" is a good thing, as Buddhism teaches. The couple wanted the sculpture to be viewed widely by the public rather than restrict it to an exhibition for connoisseurs.
Yang discovered her bond with Guanyin and Buddhism in 1996 when she embarked on a journey along the ancient Silk Road. Marveling at the exquisite portrayal while regretting the peeling paint that blurred the image of Guanyin over time, Yang resolved to re-create the painting in a three-dimensional form.
In May 2000, a 1.6-meter-tall sculpture of Guanyin was completed and transferred to the Dunhuang Research Academy.
Six years later, the 1-meter-tall liuli sculpture of Thousand Arms, Thousand Eyes, Possessing the Knowledge of Sorrow was completed, which marked the first liuli-made 3-D rendition of the Guanyin mural.
Yang's work has been collected by more than 20 internationally renowned museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Corning Museum of Glass in New York and Bower's Museum in California. A racially insensitive Chinese advertisement pokes open the gaping hole of ignorance and class-based bigotry, which is a growing challenge in our age of globalization.
The controversy surrounding an advertisement for a Chinese detergent is the latest in cultural mismatch in the progress for globalization. Qiaobi, the detergent brand, posted a video commercial that portrays a young black man being thrust into a washer. Suffice to say, this ad would never be able to pass the marketing department let alone the broadcast platform had it been in a Western country.
While the racial insensitivity was outrageous, the underlying forces for this advert could be much more complicated.
If you put yourself into the shoes of the Qiaobi advertiser, you would probably be bursting with pride when first hit by the concept. Most detergent commercials would show a piece of dirty laundry and how it turns clean after a spin in the washing machine. Sure, everyone could see the skin-whitening idea was an exaggeration, but wasn't it more fun - and effective in getting across the marketing message?
For good or bad, blacks as a race are used for dramatization when appearing in Chinese imagery.
Even today, in an age of fitness mania, the joke is still around when a young man in China has skin darker than the average.
I've seen healthily tanned Chinese-American girls who came back to China to find their Chinese relatives responding in horror.
Many Chinese have never come into contact with people of other races, especially blacks, and they may not know whether or how the issue of skin color could be addressed properly. That said, I would not justify the simmering racial discrimination that exists among some of my compatriots. Years ago, I heard a story of a Chinese language school that refused to hire English teachers who are blacks.
The school authorities defended themselves by saying the parents insisted on a white-teachers-only policy. Whoever made the initial decision could be thinking that Chinese moviegoers would not be drawn by an unknown black man, to put it mildly.
That is why symbols like the first black American president and Hollywood luminaries like Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman are so important in shaping public perception. Although China is also an ethnically diverse country, most of our minorities do not have distinct facial features. I once debated the issue of "yellow-face" with a Chinese-American dramatist who is a kind of vigilante against the outmoded casting practice.

Just as early Hollywood portrayals of Asians tended to be caricatures, white or black characters on Chinese screens are rarely three-dimensional. Until you have mingled with a fair number of regular people of other races, you tend to form premature opinions that are basically prejudices and, if you're a filmmaker, you might reinforce it by presenting crude replicas on the screen.
In 2011, CNN posted on its website an article listing "the most revolting food" in the world.
After causing a controversy, it apologized "reservedly for any offense the article has inadvertently caused". Had it labeled the article "some of the revolting food in the eyes of most Westerners" and changed the tone from authoritative to humorous, it might have flown by without any controversy. But I guess the editors had forgotten that CNN is a global news operation rather than an Atlanta local paper. So, they should have vetted the ad concept with cross-cultural experts, or at least with a few blacks, since they are the subject of the misplaced humor here.
After experiments with mixing traditional music with rock since the early 1980s, he brought his music to the West in 1993, performing at various festivals and forums in Berlin and Potsdam. Kuvezin, 51, will come to Beijing to perform at the Ai World Music Festival, which will be held from July 9 to 11. Other headliners will include Moroccan-American musician Hatim Belyamani and Chinese guzheng player Chang Jing. Kuvezin will perform some Tuvan traditional songs with his own interpretation and some songs written by him. Kuvezin has earned praise as a master of khoomei, or the throat-singing technique, which allows a singer to produce multiple tones at once. Diverging from the traditional Tuvan khoomei, however, he has developed his own way, which he calls kanzat kargyraa.
His father plays button accordion and balalaika, and his mother plays seven-string guitar and mandolin.
As a boy, Kuvezin was dropped from the school choir because he really couldn't sing like the rest of the kids. He started to play in bands at school as a teenager by simply copying Russian and Western music.
After music studies at Kyzyl and in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Kuvezin played various instruments like guitar, bass, dopshuur, piano, jaw harp and balalaika.
His musical experiments started when he began working in a national ensemble with acclaimed singers of Tuvan traditional music. His taste for rock music has been shaped by his teenage discovery of records by Deep Purple and Joy Division.
A founding member of the traditional Tuvan group Huun-Huur-Tu in 1991, Kuvezin left a year later to create his own band, Yat-Kha, with the goal of combining traditional Tuvan throat singing with rock 'n' roll. With Yat-Kha, he has released dozens of albums, all of which contain different music styles, sounds and arrangements.
Since visiting China in 1998 to perform at a music festival in Hong Kong, Kuvezin has performed in the country several times as a solo artist and with Yat-Kha. Tuvan musician Albert Kuvezin (center) and his band, YatKha, have performed in China since the 1990s. Every time the Beijing resident uses the washroom on a plane, he cleans it if the previous user leaves a mess. Xu's sensitivity towards uncivil travel behavior had developed after his own encounters with those who behave badly. He was once at the receiving end of abusive words from jaywalking Chinese tourists when he politely suggested that they follow traffic rules in downtown Tokyo in 2007. When Xu said he came from Beijing, the guest replied that Beijing must be a very civilized city. The actor trained at the Central Academy of Drama hosts a TV travel program and has visited over 50 countries. His 2012 book Traveling Around the Earth revealed details of local people's lives in various countries, such as a Canadian cleaner's happy life and a European wedding ritual. In a supermarket in France's Nice in 2008, Xu saw four Chinese college students give a checkout clerk the cold shoulder after the worker greeted them warmly.
Xu confronted Chinese students, who spoke loudly on the phone at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His efforts have recently earned him the honor of being named a travel ambassador by the National Tourism Administration.
The civil-ambassador campaign seeks to ensure that every tourist speaks and acts in ways that reflect the country's image and civilization. He has initiated a "traceless" campaign after recently seeing his Chinese compatriots obliviously video-chatting in a train carriage in Japan. To put it simply, traceless travel means you tour a place but leave it like you've never been there, Xu explains. The first level involves following traffic rules and not spitting, littering or leaving graffit i- expectations Xu says most Chinese respect.
The second level is not making loud noises and not smoking in public indoor spaces, including museums, trains and restaurants. Xu has held sharing sessions at his coffeehouse, where people can exchange travel experiences.
The initial purpose was helping guests understand the culture of countries that they were planning to visit, but now he kicks off the sessions with a few dos and don'ts. One of his pen pals told Xu that he stopped piling food on his plate at buffets ever since he read on Xu's blog that food should be taken gracefully.
One time, he heard a young girl reminding her mother to keep a certain distance when the old lady followed closely behind Xu in a customs line. Xu Tieren, who has traveled to more than 50 countries, urges Chinese travelers to behave well. But Hawaii's Hanauma Bay, nestled inside a breeched volcanic cone on the southeastern shore of Oahu, has some of the state's calmest waters, most pristine beaches and world-renowned snorkeling over coral reefs that teem with colorful fish. For the second year in a row, a beach in Hawaii has been selected as the best beach in the United States by a Florida professor who has made a career ranking and studying beaches around the country. Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr Beach, uses about 50 criteria to assess and rank beaches across the country. Leatherman says Hanauma Bay was the first beach in the state to ban smoking because they found that fish were eating cigarette butts. Now all public beaches in Hawaii prohibit smoking, which helped give the edge to last year's winner, Waimanalo Bay Beach Park on Oahu. Now in his 25th year of ranking beaches, Leatherman has reset the list and allowed all beaches to be eligible for the top spot in 2016. Safety is an important factor in Leatherman's decision, noting that the water in Hanauma Bay is relatively shallow and calm and that you don't have to go very far offshore to see the marine life. The park also has lifeguards posted across the beach and many signs warning visitors of the dangers that do exist.
Only four of the 51 drowning victims at Hanauma Bay since 1995 were Hawaii residents; 28 were from other countries, and the remaining 19 were from out of state, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that inexperienced snorkelers often underestimate the dangers of swimming in the bay.
She says that there are some misconceptions that visitors have about snorkeling, especially that the activity is easy. Enright notes that, while the waves rarely get very big in the bay, certain areas have very strong currents that can suck you out to sea.
Yichuan Chiang, who has lived in Honolulu for about 45 years and comes to the park three times a week to swim laps in the "Keyhole" section of the bay, says the fish, scenery and warm water are the reasons he loves the beach so much. Hanauma Bay is closed to visitors on Tuesdays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day to allow the fish to feed without the stress of swimmers nearby. There are only about 300 parking spaces available so guests should plan to arrive early if they want to drive to the bay. Hawaii's Hanauma Bay has calm waters, pristine beaches and worldrenowned snorkeling over coral reefs that teem with colorful fish. There has never been a trio of sisters more famous in China than the Soongs, and their contributions to the country and the wartime efforts have now been commemorated in an exhibition, The Soong Sisters: Special Memories. An exhibition in Shanghai showcases rare photographs and artifacts used by the Soong sisters who are today still revered for their contributions to China's political scene and war-time efforts.
The 300 exhibits comprise original documents, photographs, video recordings, clothing, daily utensils and artwork, and were collected from both sides of the Taiwan Straits. The three women - Ai-ling (1888-1973), Ching-ling (1893-1981) and Mei-ling (1898-2003) - are well-known for their key roles in China's political scene throughout the 20th century. While Mei-ling and Ai-ling were ardent supporters of the Kuomintang, Ching-ling was steadfast in her Communist beliefs. In 1940, when the Japanese occupied the capital city of Nanjing, the three reunited in Chongqing and established the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives.
After the fall of the KMT in 1948, Mei-ling and Ai-ling moved to Taiwan with their families, while Ching-ling stayed in the Chinese mainland.
The Soong sisters were born to American-educated Methodist minister Charles Soong, and all three of them attended Wesleyan College in the US state of Georgia. Mei-ling left Wesleyan College and later graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. In the 1930s, she and her husband initiated the New Life Movement, combining Confucianism with Christianity, and encouraged self-cultivation among the Chinese people.
When World War II broke out, she initiated a welfare project to establish schools for orphans of Chinese soldiers and referred to these children as her "warphans".
Mei-ling also played an active role in the political scene and was the English translator, secretary and adviser to her husband Chiang. In 1943, Mei-ling became the first Chinese national and only the second woman to make a public address to both houses of the US Congress, speaking about the Chinese people's determination to fight against the Japanese.
In 1995, she made a rare public appearance when she attended a reception held on Capitol Hill in her honor as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. The original crimson dress and silk shawl that Mei-ling wore at this reception are among the rare exhibits, alongside historical photographs of her 1943 lectures in the US. Hau adds that he remembers Mei-ling as a "warm and friendly lady, who treated us like her own children" and notes that she would often crack jokes and evoke much laughter at banquets.
Another significant war-related artifact at the exhibition is the medal that Ching-ling received from the KMT government in recognition for her contributions during the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). Xiao adds that the Soong sisters are fine examples of the fusion of Chinese and Western cultures who have made a significant impact on generations after them. Neither Ching-ling nor Mei-ling had children, while Ai-ling was survived by two sons and two daughters. The finds cover a time span that ranges from the Paleolithic period to the First Sino-Japanese War in the 19th century.
Two archaeologists clean a bronze vessel unearthed from the excavation of the Marquis Haihun's tomb in Nanchang, Jiangxi province. The final list was picked from 25 candidates, and included finds such as a Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24) tomb identified as the burial site of dethroned emperor Liu He in Jiangxi province and a vessel identified as the famous warship Zhiyuan from the Beiyang Fleet, which sank in 1894 off the coast of Liaoning province.
Also recognized were the Liangzhu cultural sites in Zhejiang province, which were discovered in 1936. While finds from the Liangzhu sites have made the top 10 lists many times before, their latest claim to fame is the discovery of a hydraulic project.
The annual listing was launched in 1990 by Beijing-based newspaper China Cultural Relics News, and the jury is composed of archaeological authorities and scholars from leading museums and universities, such as the Palace Museum and Peking University, to make its final selection. An analysis of the 260 finds that have made the lists since they were launched in 1990 shows that finds from Henan, Jiangsu, Shandong and Shaanxi - all provinces boasting rich historical and cultural legacies - dominate the honor boards.
Interestingly, finds from the well-known Sanxingdui site in Sichuan province, which covers a period from the late Neolithic Age to the Bronze Age, have never made the list.
Among the finds that were in contention for this year's list were several building foundations and city walls, but they failed to make the cut. Gao Dalun, who heads the research institute that made the finds there, says he is not surprised that the site lost out, because in recent years there has been a big jump in major archaeological discoveries in the country, making the competition to make the list even fiercer.
The underwater archaeological excavation of the warship Zhiyuan was broadcast live on television.
The Capital Museum in Beijing is holding two exhibitions, dedicated to finds from the tomb of Marquis of Haihun Liu He and that of a queen who also was a general, Fu Hao of the Shang Dynasty (c. Speaking of what could appear on next year's list, Li Shuicheng, a professor of archaeology at Peking University, says it's difficult to predict what will happen next year because, besides ongoing excavations, accidental finds can always change the scene.
Every Chinese child knows the story of Qu Yuan, a patriot who threw himself into the river in despair after his country was obliterated by invaders.
It is rather a sad story, but it does add to the romance that surrounds an important Chinese festival - Duanwujie, better known as the Dragon Boat Festival. RICE DUMPLINGS evolved into regional specialties, mixed with different ingredients to make them more tasty.
Qu Yuan was a court official and adviser to the ruler of the state of Chu during that time in history in China known as the Warring States Period (475-221 BC). Political rivals made sure he was never invited back to court, and he spent the rest of his life writing tragic epic poems, some of which have become classics.
When the state of Chu was swallowed by its stronger neighbor, Qu committed suicide in the river.
In the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, the sun is at its strongest during this time and the occasion was observed with the burning of cleansing herbs such as mugwort and the drinking of realgar wine, a sort of oral antiseptic against prevalent plagues and pestilence. Realgar wine, or xionghuangjiu, has a mineral compound added to it that actually has a little arsenic. Despite his ingratitude, she goes on to offend the deities by stealing a magic herb to save him and ends up being captured and imprisoned under a pagoda on the banks of West Lake after giving birth to his child.
Duanwu only evolved into the Dragon Boat Festival, or simply the Rice Dumpling Festival, after Qu Yuan. Dragon boats commemorate the people's efforts to save the patriot-poet, and now the races are contested not only in China, but all over the world where Chinese have settled. The Chinese have always marked important occasions with special foods, and for Duanwu, it is always with rice dumplings. The first dumplings were probably made with plain rice, but these zongzi, as they are known in Chinese, soon developed into regional specialties. Millet, whole wheat grains, barley, red beans, mung beans or peanuts are also mixed into the rice to make it more tasty. In South China, glutinous rice is also soaked in an alkaline solution that turns the grains yellow, and the process creates a chewy texture. Apart from that, the folks in the southern coastal provinces prefer their rice dumplings savory rather than sweet, and the salted dumplings are filled with beans, pork and mushrooms. In Beijing and other northern provinces, the preference is for sweet dumplings, filled with sugary red-bean paste. Other ingredients may include fragrant osmanthus flowers, lotus seed paste, walnuts, jujubes, melon seeds or sesame. The simplest dumplings are triangular, made with a single large bamboo leaf and simply folded over. Savory rice dumplings are the order of the day, filled with lots of mung beans and a piece of pork fat that has been generously coated with Chinese five-spice powder.
The preference is for sweet dumplings, made with a mixture of red beans and rice, and often stuffed with a whole Chinese jujube, a fruit that is abundant in the region.
The Straits Chinese, or Peranakan, were the first Chinese to settle in Southeast Asia centuries ago. Peranakan cuisine is a mixture of Chinese cooking styles plus local ingredients, which often include tropical spices and herbs. The rice dumplings Peranakan chefs make use minced meat, mainly chicken, flavored by lemongrass and pounded, toasted coriander seeds.

Influenced by immigrants from the Chinese coastal provinces, Vietnamese rice dumplings are also mainly savory, filled with soy sauce, stewed belly pork and mushrooms.
When Will Yorke started making beer in an alley in Beijing four years ago, craft beers were virtually unknown in the capital. As the Briton set up his business in Dongcheng district, he confronted the normal uncertainties of any business pioneer, but of one thing he was sure: there was no meaningful competition, so he would have the field to himself. Yorke has expanded his operations recently, opening a taproom overlooking Liangmahe canal in the city's Chaoyang district. The two men's first brewing venture was making beer to go with homemade sausages - in an operation that made just 140 liters in a batch -at Stuff'd, the restaurant they jointly own, which opened in 2012.
Two years later, they gave their brewing operations the name Arrow Factory Brewing, after the street where they set up their operations, Jianchang (Arrow Factory) Hutong. We often complain about our lives in the modern world as well as the environment we inhabit. Hence the artist wanted to create a two-and-a-half dimensional effect to remind people that utopia does not exist. And in Chatsworth Garden, the Chinese painting-like wonderland was placed inside an ancient European house. The expressiveness of his oil and ink works remind one of such Western master artists as Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, whose styles influence the creations of the 44-year-old painter from Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province. But the longer I gazed at the palaces, the extensive walls and roofs, the more I felt that they were like solid barriers to keep the country from connecting with the world at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries," he says.
He was then impressed by the grandeur of the Helan Mountain in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
Barrel No 2 is more macho, the flavor long and spicy.]]> China's giant Changyu winery is ready to change the glo bal reputation of Chinese wines, making a big splash in Europe with vintages from its Ningxia chateau, Mike Peters reports.
One of Europe's top distributors has signed on after a barrel tasting, and hopes to make deals with two other Ningxia wineries. The company's name is formed from his surname Zhang (Chang) and the Chinese character that means prosperity. By 2011, Changyu Pioneer Wine Company was among the 10 largest wine companies in the world, producing more than 90,000 tons of wine that year.
That is still 40 times less than consumption in France, where wine drinking is actually declining, so the potential in China is huge. Commercial giants like Changyu had little need to produce vintages of superior quality when making wine fast and cheap generated quick sales.
When labels like Jia Bei Lan (made by Helan Qingxue) and Pretty Pony (Kanaan) started scooping up international awards and tributes, the value of that effort became plain. In an area still dominated by coal, Ningxia's 184 wineries now represent 20 billion yuan in annual revenue from plantings on 610,000 mu (40,666 hectares). In the cellar here in Ningxia, there is a barrel signed with the big black scrawl of Jasper Morris of Berry Bros & Rudd, a big buyer in Europe and holder of a royal warrant in Britain's capital.
The winemaking family has since also helped popularize aging in barrique, 225-liter barrels as opposed to commonly used barrels of 400- to 700-liter capacity.
It houses an 800-barrique cellar, a high-tech bottling line and a museum illustrating the history of the company and of winemaking in China. Besides export orders for major European distributors, made their way to the recent London Wine Week and the Vinexpo 2016 in Hong Kong.
His eviction comes amid pressure from the university and city health officials, who said he was operating a restaurant under the radar of food inspectors.
He had no formal training in cooking last September when he started his Columbia dorm supper club, which he called Pith, for the white outer part of an orange or lemon. But after one news outlet dubbed it "New York's hottest new restaurant", the waiting list quickly grew to thousands of wanna be guests. In addition to a special menu prepared by chefs from Indonesia, each week features different displays of fashion, tourism, music or art. More than 120 restaurants, including several Michelin-award winners in 2015, will allow guests to have a taste of 5,500 types of Asian dishes from 56 cuisines from 19 Chinese provinces and cities plus another 12 countries. Sourced from Moya Spring at Changbai Mountain in Jilin province, which is known for its unusually low-sodium light-mineral waters, both the still and sparkling water of the new Nongfu Spring Natural Mineral Water range feature a refreshing and "unaggressive" flavor, ideal for cleansing the palate between dishes.
Without it, I'm not Li Jin," says the 58-year-old at Beijing's Ink Studio, where his latest show, Being, is underway. He calls each day a "festival", full of friends, food, alcohol, laughter and conversations.
After years of experience, I reached a point where I had to be brave enough to look inside to find myself," Li says.
Now, it's perhaps time for him to go deeper instead of staying on the surface of "food and color". But estimates are based on the items' market value, and the possessions of celebrated figures offered at auction typically have soared to many times their estimates. Christie's says the collection includes American, English and Chinese furnishings, many evoking the "Hollywood Regency" style, and many personal objects. Yang picked up the skill in France before it dawned on her that the technique has its roots in China, dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). During her stay in Dunhuang, Yang was deeply touched by the murals - A Thousand Hands and A Thousand Eyes Bodhisattva (Guanyin) - in the Mogao Caves. Unfortunately, the disastrous earthquake in Taiwan in September that year turned her clay model into rubble. Yang and her husband, Chang Yi, are displaying a sculpture of the Guanyin bodhisattva in a shopping mall in Hong Kong. Out comes a fair-skinned Asian, the kind of androgynous pop idol that represents the trend for male beauty in China.
Leishang Cosmetics, the company that owns the brand, issued an apology to those who may have felt offended. They would rather get Russians who speak English with an accent than native English speakers who are more qualified in every other way. The lead actor, who is black, mysteriously disappeared from the group image until he was reinserted as a result of protests.
Instead, it could have been helpful by alerting some Chinese not to serve these local favorites to foreign guests. Its detergent may not be targeting Africans per se, but they are not selling to a landlocked market either. They all come from nature and originally they were imitations of natural sounds," he says, adding that the singing depends on mentality - connected more to meditation than to technique. His sister plays piano and his daughter is studying at the College of Arts in his hometown, Kyzyl, to be a choir conductor. First I was a rock musician and when I got interested in traditional music and throat singing, I tried to find an organic mixture of rock and traditional music," he adds. When he stuffed his cigarette butt into his portable ashtray at a Taipei restaurant, a surprised guest asked him if he came from Japan.
Some of that, he says, results from cultural differences and ignorance about subtle details. Travelers' conduct could affect the country's image, so I began to do it in my blog and my coffeehouse in Xidan and to people around me," he says.
Xu was one of 1,000 chosen to encourage more tourists to conduct themselves courteously during their travels. This year's top spot goes to Hanauma Bay, a picturesque nature reserve with gin-clear, turquoise water and abundant sea life. In recent years, he has given extra points to beaches that prohibit smoking, saying cigarette butts are not only environmentally damaging, but can ruin the experience for beach-goers. All first-time visitors who come to the popular snorkeling spot are required to watch an informational video that teaches them about preservation and conservation, as well as the safety rules for the bay.
Until now, any beach that won previously had been disqualified for another win, and Hanauma Bay won the honor about a decade ago, Leatherman says. Areas known as "Witch's Brew" and "Toilet Bowl" are both off limits because of the strong currents, she says. US President Barack Obama spent New Year's Day in 2015 snorkeling with his wife and daughters in the bay. It is presented by Xinmin Evening News and the municipal management council for the cultural relics of Sun Yat-sen and Soong Ching-ling. Two were once the first ladies of China - Ching-ling married Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), also known as the Father of Modern China while Mei-ling wedded Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975), the former leader of the Kuomintang government and president of the Republic of China. Despite their differences in ideology, the three sisters nonetheless joined hands to lend vital support to war relief efforts in the fight against Japanese invaders. The three sisters provided aid to numerous schools, hospitals, air raid shelters and war-torn communities. This is the first time the three of them are reunited since 1949, when they went their separate ways," says Chen Qiwei, chief editor of Xinmin Evening News. She spoke excellent English, and with a Georgia accent, which helped her to connect with American audiences, according to records from Wellesley College. To better provide for them, she established the Chinese Women's National War Relief Society.
Without the victory of the war against the Japanese invaders, there would not be today's China," says Hau Pei-tsun, a politician from Taiwan who was in the KMT army during the war. Ching-ling was also the person who had introduced Western authors and journalists to Mao Zedong, who was based in Yan'an in Shaanxi province. When you put together the stories of all the three sisters, you'll get a complete picture of the war," says Xiao Guiyu, chairman of the management council of Sun Yat-sen cultural relics in Shanghai. The latter's father is Chiang Ching-kuo, the son of Chiang Kai-shek and his first wife, Mao Fumei.
Part of the Chiang Kai-shek diaries is now open to the public at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Even though they were separated for decades far across the seas, the emotional connection between them never faded," Fang Chi-yi says. They asked about one another whenever there were visitors coming from the other side of the Straits. The annual list of the top 10 archaeological discoveries in China for 2015 was released in Beijing on May 16.
Excavations at the site have been continued since 1970, but last year archaeologists found a laborers' tomb cluster. Many remarkable artifacts unearthed there in 1986 surprised the world, and a museum has been built at the site. Food is the indestructible bond that holds the whole social fabric together and it is also one of the last strong visages of community and culture.
He appears in textbooks even to this day as a shining example of devotion to king and country. However, he was dismissed and sent home, mainly because he didn't always tell his emperor what he wanted to hear. They couldn't find his body, and legend has it that they then threw rice wrapped in bamboo leaves into the water so his body would not be eaten by the fish. In countries and regions like Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao, expatriate communities also take part in the races with great enthusiasm. The main ingredient is glutinous rice, which holds its shape after cooking and keeps well in the summer heat.
These are jianshui zongzi, which are always eaten dipped into old-fashioned granulated sugar. In Guangdong province, the dumplings get bigger and are shaped almost like miniature pillows, filled with five-spice coated fatty pork and plenty of mung beans cooked inside the rice.
One of the most popular versions is a red bean and rice dumpling, with or without its ball of bean paste filling. The Cantonese also like alkaline dumplings that are a clear crystalline amber, filled with a dollop of red bean paste. The glutinous rice is fried and flavored with soy sauce and sometimes garlic, and a balance of lean and fatty pork is added, together with dried Chinese mushrooms.
Some believe that they are the descendants of the first group of immigrants sent down by Admiral Zheng He, the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) navigator.
There, he and Thomas Gaestadius, a long-time friend and business partner from Sweden, are producing a beer brand called Arrow Factory. Meanwhile, thousands of carefully selected corks arrive from France, and an eager parade of glass bottles sails along a Changyu conveyor belt. Now a stock-listed corporate giant, the company has holdings in France and Spain, with eyes on other acquisitions. Graced with European-style chateaux, Changyu vineyards now sprawl across millions of hectares in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region (its biggest operation), Liaoning (where it makes a lauded ice wine) and Shaanxi (with what may be the largest wine cellar in Asia) provinces.
China's latest Five-Year Plan calls for growth to 300 wineries generating 50 billion yuan from 1 million mu planted. The relatively smaller barrels allow more of the wine to be in direct contact with the wood.
The event includes a lobster festival, featuring 37 lobster dishes prepared by both Cantonese chefs from restaurants like Lai Heen and Western chefs.
Yang, an award-winning Taiwan actress who founded Liuli Gongfang, a contemporary glass studio, along with her husband, Chang Yi, a former film director. You only need to do your bit within your ability to help anyone who is in trouble," says Yang. So, the more sun-tanned the skin, the less shelter and comfort one is presumed to have enjoyed.
It's against the law to mistreat any marine life in the bay, and visitors are not allowed to touch or walk on the coral reefs.
You've got to go take a boat ride somewhere," Leatherman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
There were about 650 rescues in 2015, ranging from people who were unresponsive in the water to those who simply needed some help getting back to shore. They spent more than four hours at the site, which was closed to the public during their visit. The eldest sibling, Ai-ling, was married to Kung Hsiang-hsi (1881-1967), the richest man in China in the early 1900s.
Ai-ling and Mei-ling later moved to New York, where they spent their last days, while Ching-ling died in Beijing.
It is believed that Mei-ling, who was later known as Madame Chiang, had contributed to the design. Their spirits in heaven must be consoled now, seeing this exhibition taking place," she adds. In the popular fairy tale of the Lady White Snake, a 1,000-year-old reptile takes on human form and falls in love with a poor but good-looking herbalist.
Even if you get the shape right, the challenge is in how to tie it properly so it does not disintegrate in the boiling pot during the long cooking period.
This bridal look, complete with a white headscarf fastened with a hair clasp, was widely copied at the time, as evidenced by vintage photographs showing a number of celebrities donning similar gowns. But instigated by an unbendingly righteous monk, he forces her to drink realgar wine on Duanwu and she reverts to her original form, thus scaring him to death.

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