Asia Street Style: Bomber Jackets

Some people love shoes while others love handbags. As for me, I have a terrible obsession with jackets and especially the diversity of bomber jackets.  This creation from aviation history has continually found itself revamped for mainstream pop culture.  New cuts are constantly gracing the runways of fashion week by couture and contemporary designers.  Southern California weather is not very conducive to this infatuation of mine, but it seems warm weather doesn’t stop Asia from skipping outerwear altogether.

Image Courtesy of www.streetper.co.kr

Image Courtesy of www.streetper.co.kr

There’s nothing like an awesome childhood throwback to get my attention.  I love Peanuts, so seeing a jacket with Snoopy splashed all over has me on Google trying to find who designed it. Prints are a great way to make your personality shine.  It’s human nature to express and some of us love to do so through what we wear.

Image Courtesy of www.streetper.co.kr

Image Courtesy of www.streetper.co.kr

Minimalist styles are always a smart option if you’re not into flamboyant prints.  Textures like quilting and woven jacquard can add some punch to an otherwise quiet design.  I appreciate the bright contrast of the collar on this jacket as a standout feature against muted blue.

 

Photo Courtesy of instagram.com/imtedlike

Photo Courtesy of instagram.com/imtedlike

Here’s a perfect example of a more contemporary approach, perhaps even a bit on the avant garde side.  While keeping the standard clean lines and solitary zip closure, this jacket forgoes the shorter length and elastic bottom hem.  The longer cut and flowing fabric is reminiscent to sporting a lightweight trench coat.  With this you get the best of both classics in one.

Photo Courtesy of Iamalexfinch.net

Photo Courtesy of Iamalexfinch.net

Finally, a superb way to combine my love for jackets with this SoCal summer heat is a completely sheer fabric bomber.  Not only does it provide a creative gateway to showcasing fun prints and colors underneath, a cool breeze can still be felt making this style of bomber jacket ideal for warm climates.

– STORY BY MIN A. LEE. 


Feature photo courtesy of anecdoche.com

10 Asian Celebrities Who Would Make Amazing Boyfriends

 

 

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1) CHOI SIWON
Where you’ve seen him: In the popular K-pop group Super Junior. Oh, and starring in your favorite dreams of course.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Korean artist, Choi Siwon is at the very top of this list for a reason. Not only is he talented (he’s an actor, model and singer), he doesn’t let fame get to his head. If you’re looking for a gentlemanly boyfriend, Choi Siwon is your man. Known for his strong faith, his heroic deeds (take a look at him rescuing a puppy) and his undeniable kindness. And let’s not forget the killer smile and chiseled abs. Don’t lie, you like them too.

 

 


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2) STEVEN YEUN

Where you’ve seen him: Taking down walkers as Glenn on The Walking Dead. Maggie, you lucky girl, you.
Why he’s boyfriend material: We’ve already given you 10 Reasons Glenn Would Make A Great Boyfriend, but as it turns out, the Korean American actor behind Glenn makes an even better boyfriend. For starters, the guy’s smart. He has a degree in psychology, but the daring man gave up that route to follow what he loves: acting. Clearly, you don’t have to worry about passion with Yeun as a boyfriend. He is the perfect example of “adorkable” and even when he describes his awkward kissing techniques, we can’t help but fall for him more.  If you’re looking for humor in your relationship, Yeun is your man.

 

 


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3) JEREMY LIN

Where you’ve seen him: Shooting baskets for The Houston Rockets The Los Angeles Lakers and on the big screen for Linsanity.
Why he’s boyfriend material: We’ve thought highly of him for so long that we even wrote a list of reasons Why Jeremy Lin Would Make a Great Boyfriend. This covers everything from his impressive height of 6’3″ as well as his alumni status at Harvard. The story points out that “he practices what he preaches, works hard, looks like he’s genuinely enjoying himself, and never gives us the impression that he feels entitled.”

 

 

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4) DANIEL HENNEY
Where you’ve seen him: Distracting you from paying attention to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Last Stand  and Seducing Mr. Perfect.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Aside from the fact that simply looking at Daniel Henney causes a strange desire to be in his arms, he’s also driven and ambitious. After achieving a huge fan base in Asia, he returned to the U.S. to pursue a career in Hollywood. In this interview, Henney points out that he’s willing to fight to get lead roles usually granted to Caucasians. If you’re into the ambitious type who is willing to fight for you, we’ve found your guy.

 

 

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5) BRUNO MARS

Where you’ve seen him: Winning countless awards for his music and, of course, winning our hearts in the process.
Why he’s boyfriend material: It doesn’t take much to figure out that this man has a beautiful heart. We saw this when he dedicated his Grammy to his late mother, when he gave an inspirational speech for aspiring musicians and when he personally serenaded an 11-year-old who was injured by a drunk driver. Men with big hearts make incredible boyfriends and Mars clearly has one of the biggest.

 

 


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6) DARREN CRISS 

Where you’ve seen him: Making you blush when he played a hot version of Harry Potter in “A Very Potter Musical” and as Blaine on Glee.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Humor, talent, stage presence, a big heart, a good sense of style and good looks? You’ve pretty much hit jackpot if you land Darren Criss as a boyfriend. Don’t believe me? Check out our list of the Top 5 Reason We Love Darren Criss which includes everything from his talent, his charity work, and (obviously) his good looks.

 

 


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7) SENDHIL RAMAMURTHY

Where you’ve seen him:  Being steamy in NBC’s Heroes and CW’s Beauty & The Beast.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Maybe you’re at a point in life where you’re looking for someone stable and serious (and sexy, let’s not forget that). If that’s the case then actor Sendhil Ramamurthy is perfect. He began his adulthood with the belief that he would be going into the med field. However, during an “Intro to Acting” class, Ramamurthy fell in love with the art of acting and never looked back. Of course, acting isn’t the only commitment he’s loyal to. Ramamurthy has proven to be both a good husband and father to his two children.

 

 

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8) HARRY SHUM JR.

Where you’ve seen him: In the city of rock-hard abs – I mean, on Glee as Mike Chang.
Why he’s boyfriend material: Unlike our previous pick, maybe you’re looking for a boyfriend who’s more upbeat and fun. Well Harry Shum Jr. can certainly help out in that department. In addition to his television role, he has taken on a number of passion projects such as his interpretive dance, “Painfully Shy,” and his video series “Parallels.” A man who can manage his time, has undeniable passion and is extremely good at moving? Yes, please.

 

 


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9) KEV JUMBA 

Where you’ve seen him: Cracking you up with his comedy YouTube channel. Laughter is the way into the heart, right?
Why he’s boyfriend material: Interested in men who are funny and sincerely generous? Look no further. Kevin Wu, better known as KevJumba, fits the part. His humor has given him over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, but there’s so much more to him. In 2009, he began his YouTube charity called JumbaFund and after raising over $50,000, he opened a High School in Lenana, Kenya. Now that’s a keeper.

 

 

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10) MARIO MAURER
Where you’ve seen him: In Thai films The Love of Siam and First Love (because even if you don’t understand Thai, you know what a talented and attractive actor looks like).
Why he’s boyfriend material: Not only is this Thai German actor (who is of Chinese German descent) absolutely gorgeous, he’s also a hard worker, polite and family-oriented. Maurer is known as the lead star of Thailand’s highest grossing film of all time, Pee Mak, but he didn’t originally plan on being an actor at all. In fact, he only took up acting because he wanted to help out his family with finances (cue the collective “aww’s”). Luckily for his fans, he fell in love with acting and continued.

 


Know more Asian celebs who would make amazing boyfriends? Let us know!

Check Out This Badass Wedding Shoot in China

 

Traditionally when a couple gets engaged, the following ensues: the bride and groom to-be typically jet off to some romantic destination with a scenic background of hilltops, mountains, or a field of blooming flowers to have their engagement photos taken.

But perhaps you choose a profession where you are on-call 24/7, like SWAT officer Hou Wei Lin, and you may not have the time to whisk off into the sunset with your fiancé.

Well Hou didn’t give up on his dreams of commemorating the special event. Instead, with the help of his fellow SWAT officer team members, he cleverly combined his workplace and his wedding shoot with fiancée Li Jinyang to produce the most badass, action-packed, yet adorable wedding shoot ever in China.

Check out the pictures below:

 

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Photos courtesy of EliteDaily

Joyce Meng and Jennifer Q. Chen Show Anyone Can Pay It Forward With Givology

 

The idea of Givology came to Joyce Meng in a dream in 2008, when she was still an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. A child of Taiwanese immigrants, Meng was always acutely aware of the value of education and humbled by the knowledge that millions of children around the world do not grow up with the opportunities she had because of their lack of access to education.

She wanted to create a nonprofit that would help link philanthropists to grassroots academic programs that were working effectively to make quality education accessible to children whose families may not otherwise be able to afford it. But more than that, she wanted to start a movement of giving that would inspire people like her to give back to communities in need around the world. A college student at the time, she understood that many people — youth, especially — may not have much money, but they have the desire to donate what little they can afford, the time to volunteer and the passion to be a part of a greater humanitarian cause.

“Philanthropy should be democratic,” says Meng, now 27. “Oftentimes, if you’re not a big [donor] with big dollars, non-profits don’t give you transparency, and you don’t know how your money is being used. But even if you just have $5 to give, you should have the same choice of where your money goes. Givology is based on the concept of making an organization fully transparent and to give everyone involved a voice.”

She immediately reached out to Jennifer Q. Chen, a fellow classmate in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business who was doing her thesis on rural education, and a partnership was born.

They drafted a nonprofit business plan for what they always envisioned to be a 100 percent volunteer organization in the Penn dorms and libraries. They did everything themselves, from building a website to passing out informational flyers, and launched Givology in less than a year, in December of 2008.

Looking back, Meng says it took a good two to three years for them to figure out what they were doing. But part of the reason they’ve been able to achieve so much in such a short period of time is their fearlessness and willingness to dive in full force. “You don’t know what’s going to happen until you do it,” says Meng. “It’s hard to pre-plan everything, but you can always adapt and change, figure out what works and learn from what doesn’t work.”

Meng and Chen have been very diligent about vetting various educational projects and choosing ones that they can confidently give their stamp of approval to, in terms of impact per dollar. “We want to work with truly innovative organizations who know their community better than anyone else and can therefore create targeted programs that address the heart of the problems,” says Meng. “Good intentions are not enough. We really care about the actual impact that they’re making and that there’s oversight and a good team behind them.”

These projects range from teacher training in Pakistan to student scholarships in rural China to programs for indigenous girls in Guatemala that pair them with mentors. Meng is also inspired by schools like Somaliland’s Abaarso School of Science and Technology, which has successfully placed top students from throughout Somalia with full scholarships into prestigious colleges like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Uganda’s Circle of Peace School, which she actually visited during the second year of Givology, where she learned that a mere $50 donation can send one kid to school.

 

Five years later, Meng and Chen’s work on Givology has earned them much respect and recognition. They had an early supporter in The New York Times international development and human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof, and in 2011, they were approached by the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation to launch a partnership between the two organizations. Meng and Chen even made Forbes’ 30 under 30 list this past January.

Today, Givology boasts about 200 volunteers and 23 chapters, and they’ve raised almost $400,000 for 50 grassroots partnerships in 28 different countries. Their team of “Givologists” help with everything from organizing fundraising events and launching new chapters to building their social media presence and writing newsletters — even translating letters from their much-championed pen pal program, which allows the donors to communicate directly with the students they sponsor, so that donors see where their money is going and students know that there’s someone out there rooting for them to succeed.

“There something very pure about being a 100 percent volunteer organization,” says Meng. “Everyone volunteers in high school and college, but then people drop off afterward. But it doesn’t matter if you have crazy workdays. Everyone has something to give, and we all strongly believe in the idea that small dollars and small hours can be aggregated into a powerful force of change.” (Most of the Givology team, including Meng and Chen, are juggling their Givology work on top of busy day jobs.)

Despite their success, the Givology team is always looking forward. Each year, they embark on a new project to get the word out about their organization. Last year marked the publication of their first book written and self-published collectively by Givology volunteers, #GiveInspiration: How to Give Effectively, which is both a handbook for effective giving and an overview of lessons they’ve learned over the years.

This year, they are launching a Givology product line. They’ve recruited artists passionate about their cause to contribute graphics that will be made into T-shirts, posters and other merchandise.

“Young people can do so many things, but often aren’t given the opportunity,” says Meng. “But everyone can give back, and we should make giving part of our daily lives.”

For more information on how to get involved, go to Givology.com.

STORY BY ADA TSENG

 

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here!

Calling All Foodies: Here’s Why You Need to Check Out MPK Night Market

 

If there’s anything Asians know how to do, it’s how to make some of the most mouth-watering, tasty dishes to satisfy our appetites. This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to experience different cuisines served by food truck vendors at yet another one of Los Angeles’s night markets in Monterey Park. Popular eateries among the 30 or so vendors that participated in event were the Ice Cream Lab, Fluff Ice, Tanota Takoyaki, Mighty Boba, and Swirls Potato & Lemonade. In addition to all the food, MPK also presented the city’s first beer and wine garden for residents to enjoy.

 

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Thai Ice Tea Shaved Ice with Lychee Jelly and Egg custard, from Fluff Ice Truck. Photo courtesy of LA Weekly

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Takoyaki Octupus Dumplings, from Tanota Booth Photo courtesy of LA Weekly

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Fluff Ice Food Truck

 

Food trucks have technically been around for decades now and in the past they were more commonly seen around college-towns, concerts, music festivals and other events. Now, with the rise of the industry, food trucks have been hitting the streets in some of US’s biggest cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

Daniel Duong, the owner of Rolling Burger Barnes who started his all-American food truck two years ago, decided to get into this particular business because he saw a bright future for the industry. “Right now, I don’t think there is a dominating player among all the food trucks, like how Coca-Cola is the king of the sodas,” he says, and is hopeful that Rolling Burger Barnes could perhaps be the dominating player in the next few years to come.

 

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Other popular vendors of the night included GP Bakery’s booth, a traditional Chinese bakery famous for their onion pancakes and chives turnovers. USC students Maggie Chen and Nancy Chiu, a pair of friends from Taiwan, stood in line at the bakery’s booth for quite awhile before receiving their orders of onion pancakes chives turnovers. “The line was so long, so we thought it must be really good!” Maggie told me. And the consensus? “It tastes just like the food at Taiwanese night markets back home — Totally worth the wait!” said Maggie.

 

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Nancy Chiu and Maggie Chen, rising seniors at USC

 

Jordan and Monet, a couple that drove to the venue all the way from North Hollywood where they live, also enjoyed the spicy glass noodles from GP Bakery.”We try to attend as many night market events like this as possible, because we love food! But we were surprised how much of a variety of food there was, and even more surprised about how many people showed up!” exclaimed Monet. “And these spicy glass noodles are definitely worth the long drive.”

 

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Spicy Glass Noodles. Photo courtesy of Kollaboration

 

While the food was definitely the highlight of the evening, it wasn’t the only main attraction of the night. The night market was also prepared with a variety of entertainment for all ages including a DJ, a face-painting booth, merchandise vendors and traditional carnival games.

 

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To conclude the night, the DJ began playing popular line dance songs such as The Wobble, the Macarena, and the Cha Cha Slide which really got the crowd up and going. Families, couples, and friends grabbed one another and danced the summer night away.

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Photo courtesy of Kollaboration

 

Feature photo courtesy of Kollaboration.

 

ASIA STREET STYLE: Street Smart Suits For Men!

Womenswear trends tend to be my go-to when sharing Asia’s street fashion, but I often find myself examining menswear distinctions between the United States and Korea. Suits are a timeless classic that I’ve grown accustomed to seeing the standard dark solids and ties being worn, but check out these diverse approaches to suiting found on streets of Seoul. I can’t help but appreciate the adventurous styling choices.

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When summer temperatures along with humidity are unbearable, consider going for shorts.  The thin, woven seersucker facilitates heat away allowing air circulation, and despite the fabric’s natural wrinkled appearance it still provides a polished, clean look.

 

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Well mixed prints always catches my attention, but in this case what drew me first to this street portrait was the lapel pin.  Sometimes simply using a small accessory can add prominence among the already bold motifs.

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Certain rules are meant to be broken.  Conservative suiting conventions call to cut the pant hem so it slightly skims the shoe and laces, but the higher cut hems on this suit give an ultramodern feel.  Opting for bright socks outside of the coordinating colors is daring and brilliant in this fashion forward style.

–STORY BY MIN A. LEE

Photos courtesy of www.streetper.co.kr

 

Nine Months and Fabulous: Glamorous Pregnancy Photos of Rihanna’s Stylist Nini Nguyen

“It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.”

That’s Nini Nguyen’s philosophy. With over ten years in the fashion industry, Nini Nguyen has made a name for herself as a model, a high-profile stylist and a designer, working as a fashion consultant for companies the likes of Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus, Oscar de la Renta and Barneys New York. Her on-point style even caught the eye of Queen Riri, who personally contacted Nguyen through Instagram over a year ago, and ever since then, the two have become a power couple in the fashion industry. Just look at them rock it.

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Now, several years down the road, Nguyen is still chanting that same mantra–but in a different context. About some nine months ago, the fashionista became pregnant with her first child, which she excitedly gushed about on her popular style blog. Ever since then, she’s been sharing beautiful photo after photo of her growing baby bump. Her new, updated motto (or so we’d like to think): “So what if I’m pregnant? I’m going to make it look fabulous!”

Here’s a chronicle of Nguyen’s glamorous, intimate, and inspiring pregnancy.

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Best wishes to Nini, her husband Loc, and their newborn baby Sage!

 

Photos courtesy of ninistyle.net and @ninistyle on Instagram

 

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Guru Ji Baek Is Enjoying the Good Life in Paris … Because She Can

 

There was a time when Ji Baek’s salon, Rescue Beauty Lounge, was the place you went to get your nails done in New York City. The commitment to hygiene was unparalleled, prices weren’t outrageous, and Baek, the petite, stylish woman behind the business, knew how to take care of her customers (W Magazine once described the clientele as a “continuous conga line of high-powered editors, well-heeled bankers, and Park Avenue wives”).

When she opened in 1998, Baek says there was nothing like Rescue out there. “Every entrepreneur looks to provide something or make something that doesn’t exist,” she explains. “Back then salons had, you know, the fluorescent lights. They were chop shops, basically. They were dirty. Everything seemed cross-contaminated.”

Baek, who worked in the restaurant business at the time, was on her feet, often in heels, for 15-hour shifts. She just wanted “an amazing pedicure” to help get her through, but the salons she visited fell short. Eventually, she had an epiphany. She would open one herself.

Her family was shocked by her decision to go to nail school. But Baek recognized the potential of the salon industry. She knew there was money to be made. “When I opened, people said, ‘Oh, you’re going to touch people’s feet? That’s so gross.’” Baek remembers. “And I said, ‘I’m going to do it like you’d do it in a doctor’s office.’ So I want to have an autoclave. I want all the girls to wear gloves. I don’t want to have a whirlpool. I want to have a cool setting, cool music. I wanted to defend the technicians because there are owners who won’t give them gloves, and they contract all these skin diseases from other people. I’m all for protecting the client and the technicians.”

Word traveled about Rescue’s methods, and business grew. One store became two. In 2008, they expanded to the Meatpacking District. “We were the first ones to open there, before Theory or any of those other stores came in,” she says.

 

But physically, it was becoming very demanding. So Baek and her husband, happily married for 18 years, reached a mutual decision. “We said, ‘You know what? We work so much. We really need the weekends off. We don’t need so much money,’” she says. “We had an offer to open another place that would have been this money-making machine.” They turned it down and soon after, closed their doors altogether. Some clients cried when they found out.

“I still get emails saying ‘I hate you. I’m sitting here, getting a manicure and my cuticle’s bleeding.’ And I’m like, ‘Thank you. Thank you for hating me,’” she says.

But Baek, who turned 44 in April, insists she’s happy with the decision. She’s since turned her attention fully to her product line, Rescue Beauty Lounge. Her nail polishes are long- wearing, free of toluene, formaldehyde, DBP and animal testing. It took her two years of hard work to get it exactly right, but she’s done it.

Today, Baek lives in Paris for half the year because — well, because she can.

There’s nothing tying her down anymore. “I can work anywhere in the world now,” she says. “It’s very freeing. In Paris, I see these bundled-up American tourists — they’re in their 70s, freezing in the rain — and I tell my husband, ‘How lucky that we’re doing this now!’ Why do this when you’re 70, when you can do it now?”

Baek’s own parents emigrated from South Korea when she was 12 years old. “In Korean families, the girls have to do music,” she says. So she learned to play the piano and viola. Music was her life until, junior year of college, Baek developed tendonitis. Her dream of being a musician quickly ended. “It was devastating in the sense that I had my whole career path laid out for me,” she remembers. “I was supposed to audition for the Philharmonic, and then all of a sudden, I couldn’t play.”

But looking back, she calls the change in trajectory a blessing in disguise. “After it happened, I saw my life open up in a way I couldn’t have imagined,” she says, insisting that everything happens for a reason. “And I’m so lucky. Every day, I just feel so blessed.”

Want the inside scoop on Ji’s picks from Rescue Beauty Lounge’s summer collection? Click here.

–STORY BY HILAL ISLER 

 

This story was originally published in our Summer 2014 issue. Get your copy here

 

 

How Technology Helped a Chinese Soldier Marry the Love of His Life

 

In this day and age, with the rapid development of technology, pretty much anything is possible. We’ve seen everything from hologram waiters to virtual girlfriends in Japan, and it seems like each latest device or invention is even more bizarre than the last.

But sometimes, technology can also be used to fulfill a man’s simple wish to get married to the love of his life when he can’t physically be there on his own wedding day. Now this we can definitely appreciate.

Xinjiang army soldier Liang Tao was set to marry his fiancée, surnamed Yang, on July 26. Sadly, though he was already on leave, Liang was called into a mission that required him to stay in Xinjiang, as he was the only leader available. Deciding to put his duties first, Tao and his fiancée called off the wedding — only to be surprised by the commissioner of the army, Zhang Jiang Guo.

 

 

Having heard of Tao’s plans to marry, Guo decided to throw the couple a surprise video wedding. Guo and Tao’s fellow army soldiers were able to connect Tao to his wedding via satellite, where he appeared on a screen at the wedding ceremony.

Though this was nowhere near ideal for the bride, Yang reportedly burst into tears as she saw her husband’s face on the screen. She expressed her gratitude to the Xinjiang army, saying, “Thank you for everything you prepared for me. Although my husband is not with me here right now, this is a more meaningful and unforgettable wedding than others.”

Check out the happy couple’s wedding pictures below:

 

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Photos courtesy of Shanghaiist

 

PARALLELS: Harry Shum, Jr. Explores the Similarities Between Dance and Sport

 

When dancer, actor and choreographer Harry Shum, Jr. saw a TV special from 1958 called Gene Kelly: Dancing – A Man’s Game, he was quickly captivated and inspired. During the special, Gene Kelly interpreted the moves of top athletes, such as Mickey Mantle and Sugar Ray Robinson, into a choreographed dance. Being both an avid dancer and athlete, it didn’t take long for Harry to begin exploring the similarities between dance and sport, despite the ongoing idea that the two are on very different spectrums.

Harry teamed up with filmmaker Cole Walliser, as well as leading contemporary dancers and athletes to create a new video series called “Parallels.” The series analyzes and compares the movements of dancers and athletes to emphasize the similarities between the two genres and what that parallel could mean.

“They serve two completely different purposes, but what makes sport and dance the same?” Harry asks. “Timing. Grace. Rhythm. Control. This is not a direct comparison, but an exploration of the tenacity, emotion and physical prowess that it takes to reach the highest level of athleticism. Is sport an art form? Is dance a sport?”

The series consists of four videos which juxtaposes the movement, athleticism and grace of Red Bull action sport athletes to various kinds of dancers. “Parallels” premieres today, July 30. Check them out for yourself below.