A New Hope for Fall 2016
Secondary students at Hope International School (HIS) will be returning this fall not just to a new school year, but to a brand new building. The 1700 sqm development is next to the main campus on Crab Island, Chaoyang, and includes a new gym, new classrooms, a cafeteria, and a new library.
Pianist Yuja Wang has returned to her hometown for a residency at the National Center for the Performing Arts. Wang, born in Beijing in 1987, started playing piano at six, and studied at the city’s Central Conservatory of Music. At the age of 20 her big break came when she replaced the legendary Martha Argerich at short notice for a series of concerts, and wowed the audience with her performances. Wang is now one of the world’s leading classical musicians, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “quite simply, the most dazzlingly, uncannily gifted pianist in the concert world today”. She will be performing a series of concerts and recitals at the “Egg” throughout the 2016/7 season.
Up for the Cup
Seen those red circles on the skin of athletes at the Rio Olympics? They’re caused by “cupping”, an ancient Chinese therapy enjoying a new surge in popularity thanks to Michael Phelps and others. A glass cup is placed on the skin, and a vacuum created, either by the traditional method of heating and cooling the air, or simply with a vacuum pump. This draws the skin into the cup, causing the characteristic red marks. Supporters of the practice claim that it draws out toxins and improves the flow of qi. Others though are more skeptical. Critics point to the limited scientific evidence for its effectiveness, and the risks if carried out by untrained practitioners. In June a Chengdu man was left with festering holes on his back after cupping therapy went horribly wrong. As always, we advise that you talk to a qualified medical professional before undergoing any sort of treatment.
A Wish for the City
In August, author Hao Jingfang’s story “Folding Beijing” won the 2016 Hugo Award for best novelette. The Hugos have been described as “the Oscars of science fiction”, and Hao is only the second Chinese writer to win one since the awards began in 1953. “Folding Beijing” takes place in the near future, and satirizes the city’s inequalities by showing residents being sedated and their homes folded away due to overcrowding. Hao, who was born in Tianjin in 1984 but now lives in Beijing, said on receiving the award, “I hope the real future will be brighter than my story.”
China won 70 medals at the Rio Olympics, and every award ceremony showcased the work of young Beijing-born fashion designer Masha Ma. Ma designed the Chinese team’s “champion outfit”, the special tracksuit worn by athletes while receiving their medals. “It is a long process of bargaining with the team to decide which is the most functional, stylish and suitable,” Ma said of her creation. “The colors obviously come from the national flag and it had to be that way. I hope that the new design enables versatility of the champion outfit so that it can