Temper kindly requests your attention for the Top Ten 2020 tantrums — i.e. Close-Ups. No stereotypical copy-pasting puppets allowed; it’s a matter of puppet masters only. This one’s all about pride, hold the prejudice!
1. The Mask-Off
Well then… Speaking of unmasking our 2020 finest, how can we not but kick off with this one.
Pollution- (currently slash corona-) preventing face masks are a frequent sight in every large metropolis in China.
Time to take a moment to stop and think about masks throughout Chinese history and culture, it is.
Close-Up: Chinese Masks, A Tale Of Taoism, Opera And Fashion
2. The Ueber Consuemer
China’s artists: From one era of physical endurance communicating the hardships of a Cultural Revolutionary (1966-1976) past to physical exposure perhaps laying bare a sense of sheer boredom. Painted against the backdrop of the ultimate consumer-driven society, the question remains…
Do the “rebels” still have a cause?
In China’s Ueber-Consumer Society: Is There “Real” Art After Revolution?
3. The Snapshots
From beautifully artistic painting-like photo finishes to the more widely palatable medium of street photography, contemporary China offers a diverse array of talent to watch.
Temper says click!
Close-Up: Clickbait AKA Seven Contemporary Chinese Must-See Photographers
4. The Big Leap Forward
As the lines of gender blur and China becomes more culturally progressive, the idea of experimenting with style, image and art is symbolic of an open(ing) society. Whether it be through makeup, jewelry or the latest fashion fad, the notion of “masculinity,” too, is in the throws of this grand makeover.
Androchine, a Temper original, in the Roaring Twenties 2.0
Androchine 2.0: China’s Masculinity Through Fresh Meat and Musk Ming
5. The Millenia(l) Itch
Chinese period drama series “Story of Yanxi Palace” (2018) may have ended. Yet viewer fascination with the catty concubines’ claws lives on. The fragile, brittle keratin commands attention with nail guards – made of gold, silver, jade, hawksbill sea turtle shells, and more.
Vicky Huang pokes around the delicate matter of “nails” in Chinese history.
Close-Up: Nailing It — China’s 5,000-Year Saga of Adorning the Fingertip
6. The Rabbit
Q as in Cute. The word is universal. It’s a harmless, sweet word; until it is not. Eating disorders in the 21st century are a rampant universal disease. Yet they are anything other than cute.
From Sina Weibo “thin” support groups to vomit tubes sold on Taobao, Jessica Laiter writes about this R-Rated viral disease on the rise.
Q To The R, From Tùzi (兔子) To Tù (吐): Eating Disorders In Online China
7. The Writing’s on the SM Wall
Let’s talk revolution — and not the one you might be thinking of, insert [wink]. Sex sells, we can see that in advertising worldwide, from West to East, from the tame print ad to that, ehm, unabashed social media post. But in pre-Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) China, the same principle seemingly applied.
From 1930 to 2020, Temper dives into the archives and reports on the revolutions.
Cigarettes to Bralettes: China’s Sexual Revolution Through Advertising
8. The Twist
Have you ever noticed Tibetan women with microbraids? In fact, many of them sport the look. While it may seem like an exciting juxtaposition, they’re most likely not paying tribute to American hip hop. They’re doing it to respect Buddhist teachings.
But wait, why do monks shave their heads bald, then? Time to untangle the mess.
Close-Up: From Hair to Eternity, Tibetan Braids Rule the Waves
9. The New ChinAlpha Male
As the rigid reigns of gender seem to be loosening in China, male makeup on the face of things — hardy har har — appears to no longer that big a taboo. Jumping onto Taobao to order your monthly fix of BB cream or eyebrow pencil is swiftly becoming a regular occurrence for this millennial Chinese generation.
China’s New male Youth has embraced a new sense of experimentation, challenging the traditional views of what is “masculine.” Packing a powerfully contoured consumer punch as they go.
Blemish BB Gone: China’s Male Beauty Loosens the Rigid Reigns of Gender
10. The Eye Has to Travel
With the accessibility and convenience of mobile and social commerce, fashion has become pervasive across Chinese cities. We spy with the Temper eye a trending revision of style as dictated by the traditional print layout because today, clothes can be seen, shared, and shopped across social media. The question brews…
As we can Xi everything through fashion, Temper play on Vreeland quote, what does China’s lower tier style scene tell us, from trendy to socio-politico tranches?
Close-Up: Teetering in the Trenches of China’s Lower Tier Urbanity
As they say…
In hindsight, everything is 20/20.
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