Chinese actress Li Bing Bing unleashes her star power in auteur Wayne Wang’s latest film Snow Flower and the Secret Fan — a lush visual feast of celluloid based on Lisa See’s best-selling novel, revealing a secret language and a sacred bond of sisterhood that gave women a voice and freed their souls.
ISSUE: Summer 2011
DEPT: Cover Feature
Photographer Ken Pao
Wardrobe Anna Katsanis
Makeup & Hair Elle German
Photo Assistants Leo Salvaggio, Noah Ehlert
Story Teena Apeles
Lisa See‘s bestselling novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, explores the complex nuances of female friendship between childhood friends Snow Flower and Lily in 19th century China. They are laotongs, “old sames,” bound together in sisterhood as tight as their own painfully bound feet through their devotional love for one another and the suffering they endure together from the woes and demands of being married women in their time. Nushu, a secret language known only to women, further cements their bond as they write to each other on the folds of fans and exchange them furtively.
In the film adaptation of the novel, out in theaters now, Snow Flower and Lily face their personal challenges with quiet strength and sacrifice and treat each other with tenderness rarely seen in any kind of relationship today, a delicate emotional balance that Chinese actress Li Bing Bing and Korean actress Gianna Jun achieved with astonishing dignity.
Cast for their contrasting appearances, Li and Jun take on the role of Lily and Snow Flower in addition to Nina and Sofia, respectively, the latter a pair of modern day women in Shanghai, which director Wayne Wang felt was a necessary addition to the story line.
Wendi Deng Murdoch is burning up the web after her chivalrous bitch slap of the would-be pie thrower, in defense of her man, Rupert Murdoch. Tweets and Facebook groups are cropping up applauding the cat-like reflexes of the Chinese American producer and mother of two. We interviewed Deng Murdoch in our Summer issue, as a part of our cover story on Li Bing Bing and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. She’s the powerhouse behind the film, and apparently behind her man as well. Check out the video (courtesy of Metro) and just remember — never mess with an Asian woman!
With 2011 Cannes Film Festival still underway, stars have been popping up like tulips in glamorous red-carpet wear.
I’m happy to say that most are looking mighty fine and elegant. I mean, take Audrey‘s Summer 2011 cover girl, Li Bing Bing (above). How gorgeous (and prom queen-ready) does she look in this sky blue swan Georges Chakra couture?