Who Is Xu ChenChen

Xu ChenChen is a member of SNH48′s Team SII and has been a part of SNH48 since the first generation. She is currently the oldest member of SNH48 and turns 25 in a couple of month (06/20). You can find out more by reading her profile on the shanghai48 tumblr.

If you followed that link, you may have noticed that it lists “painting” and “graphic design” as her specialties. I’ve seen way too much of these profile specialties/hobbies things. They are so vague and repetitive that I just think, “yah, yah, sure you are.” In this case, it’s the truth. Thinking back to 2012, when I was just getting to know the members, I remember thinking that ChenChen should’ve pursued some sort of art school instead of auditioning to be an idol. It’s been a few months since she has posted any of her work on weibo, so here are the drawings that impressed me back then:

The best performance that I’ve seen her be a part of was her solo of “Nakinagara Hohoende” from Hongbai Gehui concert:

With wings like that, I can only think of Angel Melendez.

A few months back, ChenChen posted a cover of the Taiwanese band Mayday’s “Embrace.” Mayday has been around forever, so I feel really silly admitting this, but it wasn’t until ChenChen’s cover that I checked out the band a bit more.

Her cover.

The original.

I really only know anything about ChenChen through her weibo and short videos and covers, most of which she posts herself. With SNHello coming up, it’ll be easier to see more of her and the rest of the SNH members. But even then, any translations I get are from Jo, and she does more than enough as it is. She does 99% of the work for that tumblr – I’ve helped out with reposting stuff from Weibo and technical assistance. Either way, I’m not sure if I’d even fit in SNHello right now. I’ve been watching the Kevin Spacey Show and the NHL Playoffs, so fitting it might not be the best time to fit in a variety show.

Hopefully, she doesn’t graduate tomorrow now that I’ve posted this.


JYP Moment 2

I like SBS’s K-pop Star. I don’t watch every episode or follow it that closely until it gets closer to ending. But I like a number of acts that have come out of the show.

However, the true shining star of the show is JYP.

Watch the whole video. Everything about it builds up to JYP’s part of the performance, beginning at 5:26. The only issue I have is that he kept his shirt on.

Happy Together (1997)

First of all, I’m writing and posting this from my phone. The Future! But if there are any funny or weird typos, blame it on the autocorrect. Speaking of the future and my phone, I finally have my tv setup perfected. Well, I might change it up when I move, but I can stream youtube, music, netflix, etc. to my tv and control it via my phone. I can’t watch movies or long tv shows on my computer because there are too many distractions.

On the recommendation of Jo, I watched Happy Together. I haven’t watched a full length movie in a while and it’s been even longer since I’ve written or talked anything about one. This reminds me, I should pull out my shitty film class essays from school so wu can laugh at them.

Happy Together is really fantastic both in its story and technique.

When I was finished watching, I told Jo how much I enjoyed the film. She responded that she wondered whether I would, especially because of the complicated and abusive relationship between Po-wing and Yiu-fai. A lot of media seems to be focused on trying to present relatable characters. Characters that we root for and connect to because we see pieces of ourselves in them. The problem with a lot of these characters is that they only portray unrealistic and idealized parts of ourselves.

If you watch this film, it’s no secret that Po-wing treats Yiu-fai like shit. But he treats himself just as horribly. Yiu-fai also, at times, treats his partner as more of a burden than anything else. Perhaps Yiu-fai is justified in this, but it reinforced Po-wing’s dirt low self-esteem. The cynical nature of all of this is much more compelling and even realistic than two lovers putting the bad times behind and getting through it. And I don’t think anybody would want to be either person in this pair, we’d probably see parts of ourselves in it that aren’t easy to admit to.

Beyond the story, I was really taken by the different camera and editing techniques. A lot of scenes are cut in a way that gives the illusion of more time passed. I hate to ruin this review and entry with a terrible reference, but parts of the film were like a T-ara music video. I’m still not sure if the setting takes place over months or years but I may have missed something.

I loved the use of mirrors and that they seemed to be used particularly in times of reflection, anguish, or fighting. It wasn’t something that I picked up until I noticed a lack of mirrors during the happier points in Po-wing and Yiu-fai relationship. One particular scene stands out with the two fighting but the camera angle is through a mirror. In a film like this, I have to believe everything is done with a specific intent, so I have to think their fight was as much about their internal unhappiness as it was with each other. Yiu-fai later comparing himself to Po-wing (“I guess lonely people are all the same”) adds to this.

Finally, and this is another thing that I noticed gradually happening, the use of color matches Yiu-fai growth. Simply put, the world gets more colorful as he gains more and more happiness. It’s not just the shift from black and white, but the tones of all the colors become more vibrant along with Yiu-fai.

If there is one thing that I wish would have been more explored is Po-wing’s back story. We learn a lot about Yiu-fai, his history, and his family, which explains a lot about why he is the way he is. We even learn the these things about Chang. I suspect Po-wing suffered some abuse in his life before he met Yiu-fai, but it’s never something we explicitly see.

When Jo linked me this, I was going to “watch it later” as I plan with a lot of stuff – well intentioned and sincere but forgotten. I’m really glad that I was able to just put everything aside and watch it for 90 minutes. I’m hoping to do this again even if it is a SB recommended movie that I’d have little to talk about.