MUST SEE: Chinese Artist Liu Bolin Disappears Into His Artwork

Over the years, you’ve probably seen Chinese artist Liu Bolin grow in popularity. Or rather, you probably haven’t seen Liu Bolin because his art pieces, which consist of him disappearing into intricate backgrounds, have given him the nickname “The Invisible Man.”

Liu Bolin’s style of artwork originally began as performance art from his solo shows in Beijing in 1998. By 2005, he began to work on his most famous series “Hiding in the City,” which addressed social problems due to China’s rapid economic development.

His art pieces, which are both amazing to look at and meaningful, have gained him international recognition and have been featured in a number of major contemporary photography festivals.

This month, Liu Bolin  has blended himself into shelved lined with comic books as part of a series of performances in Caracas, on November 2013.

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Check out his other amazing pieces below:
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Marvel’s New Pakistani Superhero

Lets face it– the presence of Asians in American media is not as prominent as we’d like. In fact, this number gets even smaller when we look at specific categories like the comicbook world. Luckily, this seems to be slowly, but surely changing.

We had put together a list of Asians in Comics to celebrate the Asian creators and characters who are making strides in the comicbook world and it looks like we have another big addition to make on this list.

Recently, Marvel Comics has revealed their reimagined version of the character, Ms. Marvel. Much to our delight, this hero’s alter ego is not a white, male millionaire. The new Ms. Marvel is 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager.

Comics writer G. Willow Wilson says that Kahn “struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like.”

Creators say they will stray away from the “token minority” character and instead deal with some very deep personal struggles.

Of course, creators recognize the risks that accompany Khan’s character. Will others be against her ethnic background and religious beliefs? Will Pakistani or Muslim individuals feel a misrepresentation with this character?

The comic’s editor Sana Amanat admits, “I do expect some negativity, not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”

But creators have decided to be brave and go through with the character. In fact, they claim they will address the various labels that society places on Kahn and show how such labels affect her sense of self.

Kahn is the first Muslim character to headline a book at Marvel. Ms. Marvel will launch in February 2014 and we simply cannot wait.

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Flashback Friday: ASIANS IN COMICS

I was asked which character I would cosplay as if I were given the opportunity to do so and I found myself hesitating. While I can acknowledge that the Asian presence in the American comic book industry has been making quite some progress, the list of Asian comic book characters that I could choose from still felt slim. To prove my point, my friends laughed while suggesting the only mainstream Asian woman character they could think of off the top of their head: X-Men‘s Jubilee (or apparently if I wanted to be daring, I could also be The Walking Dead‘s Glenn).

Now one could argue that I don’t have to choose an Asian character just because I’m Asian, but quite frankly thats not the point. There’s a reason why we get so excited when we see even one Asian character pop up in a series. You have to give us a break here- it doesn’t happen all too often.

With that said, the Asian presence is slowly, but surely, increasing in numbers. Writers, artists, and even Asian characters have been popping up everywhere and upon closer examination, I realized that the list of characters to choose from was more than I had originally presumed. Much to my delight, it became clear that there are a number of notable Asian figures making strides in the comic book industry. There are people who are working so that in time, I will have more characters suggested to me aside from Jubliee and Glenn (Don’t get me wrong, of course. I’m sure I’d make a lovely Glenn).

It only feels right that we take some time to showcase and appreciate some of these notable Asian comic book characters and the Asian artists behind these works. Lucky for us, this list seems to be growing more everyday.

 

CHARACTERS:

(Women)
cass cain

Cassandra Cain- A Eurasian fictional character in DC Comics who serves as one of many Batgirls (part of the Batman franchise). A gifted warrior, Cassandra Cain was born and trained from birth to be the ultimate assassin. Cassandra was deprived of speech and human contact. Instead, she was taught to read the physical movements of humans in order to determine their next move. Cassandra is the first Batgirl to get her own Batgirl comicbook series.
jubilee

Jubliee-A Chinese American mutant within Marvel’s X-Men franchise. Known for having the superhuman ability to create “sparkles” from her hands. Although the youngest member of X-Men for quite some time, she was also a prominent figure during the 90′s era. More recently, Jubilee had lost her mutant powers, but was infected with a vampiric virus and currently has the abilities of a vampire.

 

psylocke
Psylocke- A fictional character in Marvel Comics most known for her appearances in the X-Men franchise. Psylocke made her first appearance in UK Comic book Captain Britain which stars her twin brother. Psylocke’s mutant powers begin as telepathy and she eventually acquires telekinesis.

lady Shiva
Lady Shiva- Mother to Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, Lady Shiva is also a character from DC Comics. She is an assassin known for killing her targets with her bare hands. Her popularity increased when she became more involved with the Batman franchise characters including the famous fights with her own daughter, Cassandra.

deathstrike
Lady Deathstrike- A Japanese Marvel Supervillain. Lady Deathstrike’s father was Lord Dark Wind himself who created the adamantium-bonding process (This is the indestructible metal alloy used on Wolverine’s skeleton and claws).Lady Deathstrike had adamantium bonded to her own skeleton. After her fathers dramatic end, Lady Deathstrike focused on seeking vengeance for his death. She is a foe of the X-Men and aims to kill Wolverine in particular.

karma
Karma- A Vietnamese mutant part of Marvel’s X-Men franchise. Karma was among the “boat people” fleeing Vietnam during the war. Her mutant power is the ability to control the mind of others. She is one of the five founding members of the New Mutants (a group of teenage mutant superheros-in-training) and she is one of the first lesbian characters in such a well-known comic-book franchise.

(Men)

atom
Ryan Choi (Atom) - A DC Comics fictional super hero. Born in Hong Kong, Choi was a protege of Ray Palmer. Palmer had a sudden disapperance and Choi moved to Ivy Town to take over his Palmer’s position as a professor at Ivy University. What he didn’t expect was to find Palmer’s “bio-belt” which can control the size and density of its wearer. Under Palmer’s blessing, Ryan becomes the new Atom.

captain steel
Captain Steel- Although this DC Character was not originally Asian, in DC‘s “New 52″ reboot which featured a parallel world, it was revealed that Captain Steel was Pilipino. Although DC had Pilipino characters prior to this, Captain Steel was the first Pilipino superhero. Suffering from a congenital defect causing brittle bones, his scientist father created a metal substance to replace his bones and unknowingly gave him super human strength.

tony chu
Tony Chu- A Chinese character from Image Comics, Tony Chu is one of few Asian American characters who is the lead of his own book, Chew. Chu is a police detective who is a “Cibopath” – he can take a bite out of anything and get a psychic read of what happened to them/it. It is in this manner that he solves his crimes.

glenn twd
Glenn (The Walking Dead)- A young member of the original Atlanta survivor group- a group of random strangers who must work together to survive an undead apocalypse. He is described as a selfless character who takes dangerous risks for the benefit of the group and thus becomes a vital member for their survival. His character increased in popularity due to the hit horror television series based on the comic book of the same name. His character is played by Korean American actor, Steven Yeun.

 

CREATORS:

jim lee 2
Jim Lee- Arguably the most known and decorated Asian-American comicbook artist, Korean-American Jim Lee began his career as an artist for Marvel Comics and he became a household name with his work for the X-Men franchise. In 1992, Lee joined forces with serval other artists to create Image Comics where he worked on WildCats. Adding on to his impressive resume, in 2010 Lee was announced as Co-publisher of DC Comics. He has worked on popular franchises such as X-Men, Batman, and Superman.

Leinil Yu
Leinil Yu- A Pilipino comic book artist who currently serves as one of Marvel’s major Asian-American artists. He began his career at Marvel by working on Wolverine. Pleased with his work, he was then asked to create art for Fantastic Four, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, and New Avengers. Yu has also done some work with DC such as Superman:Birthright with prominent writer Mark Waid. Additionally, he was the conceptional artist for the 2005 film Serenity (written and directed by Joss Whedon)

wilce
Whilce Portacio- Pilipino comicbook artist who was discovered in a San Diego Comic-con by a Marvel Comics editor. He was offered a position at Marvel to ink artwork and as a penciller. He is one of the seven co-founders of Image Comics and has also worked with DC Comics. While working on Uncanny X-Men became co-creator of the character Bishop. He has worked on many big titles including Punisher, Batman/Superman, Stormwatch, X-Force, Hulk, Iron Man, X-Factor, Alpha Flight, Batman, The Darkness and he is the creator of the series Wetworks.

Marjorie_Liu
Marjorie Liu- A novelist and comic writer most known for her work with Marvel Comics. She has written for the X-Men/Wolverine franchises with works such as NYX, X-23, Dark Wolverine, and Astonishing X-Men. She is also known for writing the first ever gay wedding in comics.

jo chen
Jo Chen- A comicbook artist and writer most known for her painted comicbook covers. She worked professionally in the Asian comic book industry before beginning her career with DC Comics in 2000. Within DC, she has worked on major titles such as Thor and the Batman & Robin Franchise. She is most known for her work as a cover artist for Runaways (A Marvel comic book series) and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In addition to comics, she has done artwork for videogames such as Fable and Final Fantasy, and has created a manga series.

dustin nguyen
Dustin Nguyen- A Vietnamese-American comic book artist who has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Wildstorm. He has worked on popular Batman titles such as Batman, Detective Comics and Batman: Streets of Gotham. His cover art includes other major DC titles such as Batman Beyond and JL: Generation Lost. In addition, he has worked on projects such as Batgirl, Justice League Beyond, and a new digital series titled Batman: Li’l Gotham. When he’s not working on comics, Nguyen is also a conceptional artists for toys, games, and animation.

Analyzing Rape Culture: Is Anti-Rape Underwear The Right Answer?

A New York company called AR Wear hopes to bring confidence and protection to women everywhere. How does one do such a thing? With anti-rape underwear, of course.

Now the harder question is how does one create such a product? AR Wear wanted to make a line of anti-rape underwear that would be comfortable, but protective at the same time. They describe their creation below:

The waist, thighs, and central panels are protected with specially designed, cut resistant straps and webbing. Once the waist girth has been adjusted and secured with its unique locking device, the garment cannot be pulled down. Since a female’s waist measurement is generally less than that of her pelvic area, the waist strap can be locked at a comfortable position and still prevent unwanted removal of the garment. The thigh straps, after an initial adjustment by the wearer, prevent the leg openings from being lifted or shifted to the sides by someone else. The center panels are connected to both the waist and thigh straps to create a unified protective skeletal structure.

 

The product will come in various styles and is even available as running shorts, traveling shorts, etc.

Its clear to see that the company means well and has the best of intentions, but their product has already gathered quite a lot of negative criticism.

AR Wear specifies that “The only one responsible for a rape is the rapist and AR Wear will not solve the fundamental problem that rape exists in our world. Only by raising awareness and education, as well as bringing rapists to justice, can we all hope to eventually accomplish the goal of eliminating rape as a threat to both women and men.” They even point out that their product aims for girls to have “more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault.”

Some say that this still misses the point. Those who disagree with AR Wear claim that the product reinforces the idea that women are still ultimately responsible for rape. Instead of creating a product which stops men from raping women, we’ve created a  product which may or may not make rape a little bit more difficult for a man.

Others claim that AR Wear is flawed in its marketing and choice of words. Thinkprogress.org points out the underwear is marketed with the line “for when things go wrong.” They argue that such a tagline suggests rape is an accident.

AR Wear claims, “A woman or girl who is wearing one of our garments will be sending a clear message to her would-be assailant that she is NOT consenting. We believe that this undeniable message can help to prevent a significant number of rapes.” However, Thinkprogress.org argues that most people who commit rape are not innocently confused about their actions. They are aware of what they are doing despite any clear messages.

We can’t help but think of a similar tactic from a product in China.

hair-stockings1

These hairy stockings were created to try and prevent rape as well. The theory behind this is that men would be so disgusted by the appearance of the users legs that they wouldn’t want to continue with the rape.

Admittedly, we were appalled by these. Doesn’t this product simply encourage the idea that rape is dependent on how a woman dresses and looks? Doesn’t this suggest that women should not dress in what makes them feel good or powerful and should instead be mindful or else rape is their fault?

If anti-rape underwear is so similar to these appalling stockings, is it the wrong answer as well? Tell us what you think.

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Fans Claim Taeyang Copied EXO in “Ringa Linga” Music Video

Big Bang’s Taeyang is back and is catching all eyes with the release of his dance performance music video.

To kick off his solo comeback, Taeyang has released the audio and dance performance of his new song “Ringa Linga.” Although the video was only released earlier today, it has already gathered an impressive 260,000 views. It clearly proves that Taeyang is a force to be reckoned with.

This solo comeback is exciting fans worldwide, but it seems that the members themselves are even more excited. Taeyang’s instagram shows all the members dancing along to the “Ringla Linga” dance to celebrate the release of the video. Check out the adorable instagram video here and watch the much anticipated dance performance below.

Unfortunately, there seems to be signs of drama amidst all this excitement.

EXO fans, otherwise known as EXOTICS, are claiming that the “Ringa Linga” dance performance copies EXO’s very popular dance performance music video to their song “Growl.”

The Korean-Chinese boyband consists of twelve members separated into two subgroups, Exo-K and Exo-M. They shot into popularity with the release of their dance video to “Growl.” Currently, the video has over 18,000,000 views, has set the number one record on The Music Trend charts, has reached number one on all four of Korea’s major music programs, won ten trophies in three consecutive weeks and the album  XOXO has collectively sold over 910,000 copies.

Now, fans are claiming that Taeyang’s video is a direct copy of “Growl.” The main argument is the way in which both dance videos were shot. One of the selling points for “Growl” was its tactic of using a single shot for the entire video. The camera simply swiveled back and forth to capture all the dancers. This same method is used in Taeyang’s “Ringa Linga” video. Some fans have even gone so far as to say the dance moves are very similar. This heated debate has caused quite some tension between VIP (Big Bang fans) and EXOTICS.

Luckily, even more fans are coming to the defense of both Taeyang and EXO. The majority of youtube comments say that the two videos should not be compared and both have done a spectacular job. Others point out that exotics merely think the method of a no-cut video is similar, but acknowledge that the videos are obviously different. In fact, youtube commenters seem even more upset at those who claim Taeyang’s video was a copy.

 

Whats your verdict?

Angelica Galindez Wins Miss Philippines Beauty Pageant Without Her Wig

Right before 19-year-old Angelica Galindez competed in the Miss Philippines Earth USA beauty pageant, she simply had one question: “Can I not wear my wig?”

At the age of 12, Galindez, raised in San Francisco, was diagnosed with alopecia. The disease occurs when one’s immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles and results in hair loss. Those affected with alopecia typically regrow their hair by the following year. Galindez categorizes with the rare 10% of people who never regrow their hair after being diagnosed with this condition.

Galindez faced a challenging time because of her condition. She admits to getting picked on at school and suffered a number of self-esteem issues.

“The hard part was just looking at myself in the mirror,” Galindez tells KUTV. “It was very challenging, I cried a lot, I slept a lot, just to sleep away the pain.”

Thankfully, the beautiful Galindez learned to overcome her self-esteem issue. She bravely decided to embrace her looks and even works as a hair beautician.

Although Galindez was accepted into the pageant based on a picture where she is wearing a wig, she decided to leave the wig behind while competing. She says that although she entered the pageant to boost her self-esteem, her decision to ditch the wig was an effort to inspire young girls, especially those with alopecia.

She took home one of the six pageant crowns move on to the pageant’s national-level competition in April.

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Chinese Theater Accidentally Uses Fan-Made THOR Poster

A movie theater in China may have just made the best mistake ever.

The theater put up a poster of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his villainous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to promote the new Marvel film Thor: The Dark World. The mistake? Last we checked, we’ve never seen the brothers embrace like that.

Much to the delight of fans (many of whom had hoped for something like this) the Chinese theater had accidentally used a photoshopped image made by a fan. The original poster is one showing Thor clutching his girlfriend Jane who is played by Natalie Portman. We simply can’t decide which one we like better.

On the bright side, the mistake has gone viral and has done quite a spectacular job marketing the film. Be sure to catch the midnight premiere of this much anticipated film tonight!

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orig poster

 

Facebook Depresses Japan, Loses Popularity

Here at Audrey, we’ve known the dangers of facebook and social media for quite some time now. In our Fall 2013 issue, we pointed out that a 2013 study conducted by two German universities showed one in three people felt worse and more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook.

Users felt envy, loneliness and isolation, with the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemming from others’ vacation photos. The second most common cause of envy was social interaction — feeling a “lack of attention” from having fewer birthday greetings, comments and “likes” compared to friends.

 

And it wasn’t just college students. The study found people in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness, while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness. After all, what is Facebook but an online brag book for all to see? A 20-something colleague recently summed it up when asked why she posted so much food porn on Facebook: “To make people jealous.”

 

The term “facebook depression” began in 2011 after the study Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking was published by sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge. The study showed that those who spent less time on facebook seemed to live happier lives.

Of course, the repercussions of facebook depression is not simply confined to the US. In particular, Japan seems to have finally become overwhelmed by facebook depression.

In 2008, facebook launched in Japan and seemed to head towards instant success. At the end of 2012, the Japanese facebook site had over 17 million users. However, five months later, the amount of users became 13 million.

So what could be the cause of this very sudden and large drop? According to RocketNews24, Japanese Psychologist Kouji Yamada claims Japanese facebook users are “developing an inferiority complex about their lonely, boring and unsatisfying lives.”

Apparently, we’re not just too sensitive over here. The facebook depression syndrome may actually be a global issue.

(Photo Source)

Michelle Phan’s Helpuful Trick: Using Ice to Stretch Out Shoes

Yesterday, popular makeup guru Michelle Phan tweeted an intriguing comment:

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If you’ve been following Phan since 2009, then you may automatically know the answer to this. If not, we’re here to show off her incredible trick.

Have you ever gone home and realized that the pair of shoes you bought were too small, but it was too late to return them? Or maybe your favorite pair of heels were on sale, but only available in a size too small? Well Phan has just the trick for that.

The ziplock bags of water in her shoes are there to stretch it out. She explains that after popping the shoes (and water bags) into the freezer and allowing the ice to stretch it out, you can increase the shoe size.

Check it out for yourself!

Pollution in China Causes An 8-Year-Old To Get Lung Cancer

It’s no secret that China is currently facing a very serious air pollution problem. Last month, the northern city of Harbin was forced to cancel classes, shut down the airport and close down bus routes. At the time, the air pollution was 40 times higher than the international safety standard set by the World Health Organization.

The density of fine particulate matter is used to determine air quality. According to the World Health Organization, anything below 25 micrograms per cubic meter is safe. Harbin was well above 600 micrograms per cubic meter and some areas went as high as 1000.

Wu Kai, a citizen of Harbin told Huffington Post “I couldn’t see anything outside the window of my apartment, and I thought it was snowing, then I realized it wasn’t snow. I have not seen the sun for a long time.”

Now, China is dealing with its youngest lung cancer case- an 8-year-old girl. Doctors state that this is a direct consequence of the air pollution while living near a major road in the eastern province of Jiangsu. According to the American Cancer Society, the average age for lung cancer diagnosis is 70.

In the past 30 years in China, lung cancer deaths have multiplied profusely and cancer is currently the leading cause of death.

Designer Chiu Chih explored the idea of what could potentially be the future of China if the air pollution continues to harm its inhabitants. This included oxygen masks which would have to be worn in the smog-ridden area. Unfortunately, this may turn into a reality.

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