By random chance, I came across Jazz singer 胡琳 Bianca Wu (Facebook, nickname Bibi) in some RTHK promos (see below) of a RTHK program: 12音樂門‧逃 – 爵士貓 · 胡琳 about Bianca. (For English speakers, have a listen to Bianca’s renditions of “Fly Me to the Moon“, “Night and Day” in 《Bianca Live: with the New York Jazz Cats》.)
I ended up watching the 12音樂門‧逃 – 爵士貓 · 胡琳 (full 50+ minutes) last night and really enjoyed it. See below for the description from RTHK. And I left two public comments at Bianca’s Facebook page as my words of encouragement which I excerpted with edits here.
//胡琳 Bianca Wu, I just finished watching the RTHK program from Canada. I ended up listening to many songs from the fan club YouTube channel today and actually quite like a few of your songs. My wife (a classically trained soprano in her youth) and I both found your voice very beautiful. What a great example of talent, hard work and determination!
And from a business perspective, how lucky you met Patrick Chu in NYC and have Patrick as your long time music producer and agent! I wish the team a lot more success in the years to come.// [Few words from Patrick.]
//P.S. One more note Bibi. I am amazed how true to yourself you seemed in the RTHK program and that kind of “young at heart” is hard to fake. Bibi, I don’t know what is the story behind the lyrics of “被窩” but the song seems to touch you (and your fans) deeply. That is very cool. Keep up the good work and please stay true to yourself and that should serve you well.
P.P.S. I am no expert in music but I love some of Nina Simone songs. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend the 2015 Netflix documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)” [RT, Indiewire] First rate.
Finally, this picture and sequence of performance before it lead me to think that I should take some time to write you a brief note of encouragement. Good luck and I will keep watching!//
Artists like 胡琳 Bianca Wu who is true to her music and art are hard to find anywhere and especially in Hong Kong (a market now seems to be dominated by manufactured K-Pop stars with some serious downsides like harsh “slave contracts” as reported by BBC).
I don’t personally know Bianca’s music producer/manager/agent Patrick Chu who discovered Bibi originally in NYC in 2006. And I have no insight to the contractual terms between Bibi and Patrick but by the public accounts I’ve read in the media, it seems Patrick has treated Bianca in this music and business partnership well. Somehow Bibi and Patrick reminded me of two other pairs of collaborators. First pair is an obscure Indian mathematician discovered by an English mathematician (Ramanujan and Hardy). The second pair is an obscure Quebec French Canadian singer discovered by a singer/manager (Celine Dion and René Angélil). I think it is fair to say our world will be poorer if these three pairs of collaborators have not met.
Best of luck to Bibi in making more beautiful songs and arts (musical, films). And best of luck to Patrick in helping Bibi to create something fascinating and interesting.
RTHK 12音樂門‧逃 – 爵士貓 · 胡琳 description: //『不是為了取悅樂迷，而是想認真做自己喜歡的爵士樂！』
胡琳九年前加入香港樂壇，初期曾經嘗試過不同路線，後來出版了一張以爵士樂風格翻唱四大天王歌曲的大碟， Read the rest of this entry »
An Evening with Ai Weiwei (Sept 16, 2015, over an hour long, fascinating) (the discussion of the inspiration and use of 2008 Sichuan earthquake rebar at 32m40s)
Ai Weiwei: In Conversation (Tate – Published Dec 30, 2014)
In The Studio With Ai Weiwei (Feb 2014, “how the internet has profoundly impacted his artwork and led to international recognition”)
Jan 13, 2015 Update: BBC News (audio interview), “Lego changes bulk buy policy after Ai Weiwei backlash”
Lego Press Release, “ADJUSTED GUIDELINES FOR BULK SALES”
Dec 10, 2015 Update: Guardian report, “Ai Weiwei interview: ‘In human history, there’s never been a moment like this’”
(for the record. the begining) aiww In September Lego refused Ai Weiwei Studio’s request for a bulk order of Legos to create artwork to be shown at the National Gallery of Victoria as “they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works.” On Oct 21, a British firm formally announced that it will open a new Legoland in Shanghai as one of the many deals of the U.K.-China “Golden Era.”
In September Lego refused Ai Weiwei Studio's request for a bulk order of Legos to create artwork to be shown at the National Gallery of Victoria as "they cannot approve the use of Legos for political works." On Oct 21, a British firm formally announced that it will open a new Legoland in Shanghai as one of the many deals of the U.K.-China "Golden Era."
Quoting WSJ [emphasis added],
“Lego’s refusal to sell its iconic toy blocks in bulk to Ai Weiwei for an installation in Australia has raised the question of how the controversial Chinese artist managed to get his hands on 1.2 million Lego bricks last time around.
Mr. Ai used Legos last year to construct the portraits of 176 prisoners of conscience from China and around the world. The portraits were displayed on San Francisco Bay’s Alcatraz Island, the site of the former notorious prison.
The group that sponsored that project told China Real Time that it had obtained the blocks directly from Lego through bulk orders — the same method that Mr. Ai used in his latest request, which Lego turned down. Lego did not immediately reply Tuesday to a request for comment.”
Slate which makes a good observation,
“For Ai, Instagram isn’t just a venue for distributing his latest photographs; it’s a medium in its own right. Likewise, Twitter is a way of orchestrating his followers, not simply communicating with them. More than almost any other prominent artist, Ai takes social media as his basic form of expression. “The Internet is like my canvas,” he told the New York Times. Social media, by extension, would be his brush.
Perl points to Ai’s 2007 Fairytale, describing it as a “quintessential work of social engagement involved bringing to Kassel 1,001 Chinese citizens who under normal circumstances had little or no chance of ever leaving the country to spend some time in Germany.” Though it lacks a title, Ai’s Lego protest feels no less deliberate—and no less productively ambiguous. As with Fairytale, it’s not entirely clear what we’re supposed to take from this project, especially when he retweets messages of skeptical condescension side by side with those of uncritical support.
All of this suggests the troubling, and arguably charming, possibility that we’re already part of Ai’s work and world. Every tweet, every article—even this one, no doubt—is another brick, one more piece in a portrait still emerging.”
(video of Weiwei’s son) shh…… 不让卖….
aiww The Brooklyn Museum will be the collection point in New York for LEGO donations. Starting 10/29, drop-in deliveries will be accepted in a BMW vehicle located in front of the main entrance to the museum during open hours. Postal donations can be sent by mail to the museum at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238.
The Brooklyn Museum will be the collection point in New York for LEGO donations. Starting 10/29, drop-in deliveries will be accepted in a BMW vehicle located in front of the main entrance to the museum during open hours. Postal donations can be sent by mail to the museum at 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York 11238.
2015/10/28 Guardian, “Victorians turn out to back Ai Weiwei on free speech, one Lego brick at a time ‘He’s going to have to build something massive,’ says Wolfgang Maltby, seven, as he joins others at the National Gallery of Victoria to donate his toys to the artist who was refused a bulk order of Lego for a free-speech artwork”
2015/10/27 CNet, “Donate your Lego for art: Ai Weiwei fills cars with Lego bricks in protest Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has taken his battle with Lego to the next level, calling on people across the world to donate their unused Lego bricks in the name of “freedom of speech.””
2015/12/03 Update: Unrelated.
Mr. Uli Sigg is the donor of the awesome M+ Sigg Collection.
“A Swiss Champion for the Art of a Rapidly Changing China” By BARBARA POLLACKAUG. 15, 2005, NYT