Stories published in Quartz




Quartz is a fast-growing digital news platform formerly under The Atlantic Media in the US and was recently sold to Uzabase in Japan. Its sleek design and quirky take of news make this platform one of the most attractive and promising media portals in the digital age. The diversity and openness of the platform also allow me to write creatively — some of my pieces published in Quartz are among my favourites. Visit here for my author page. 

The Liu Xia/ Liu Xiaobo Berlin series 
Why Berlin is the favourite city of Chinese dissidents
The news of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's widow, being released from China after nearly eight years of house arrest and landing Berlin came as a surprise while I am in Berlin on IJP Premium Fellowship. I knew that the big news will no doubt attract the media from all over the world to cover this, tracing her movements around the Berlin. I'm not interested in that, however. I'm more interested in a bigger picture and the implications of this news event. Thus instead of talking about just Liu Xia's release, I tried to put it in the context of Berlin as a city for welcoming Chinese dissidents, many of whom happen to be artists. 

A Berlin gathering for China's Liu Xiaobo is a reminder of two very different 1989s
— Followed by the unexpected release of Liu Xia was a memorial of the first anniversary of Liu Xiaobo's death at the Gesthemane church in Berlin. Liu Xia's arrival in Berlin put this low-key event under the media spotlight, attracting media from all over the world. I attended the event, but rather than reporting what happened, I had a different take on that. This famous church has somehow connected two historical events in 1989. One happened in Beijing and one in Berlin. One ended up as people's victory but the other in bloodshed. I have always had the questions of why the Berlin Wall fell and the country could reunite, whereas in China, freedom and democracy are almost like an unattainable dream. 

Hong Kong's youth revolution inspired a movie about a rebel robot fighting an immortal elite
Hong Kong comic artist Kongkee's latest work, Dragon's Delusion, is a sci-fi animated feature-length film set in a parallel universe, where Emperor Qin, the first emperor of China and dictator, succeeded in his quest for eternal life and created a world inhabited by cyborgs and humans. But one of the robots decides to change this.

The white guy you know from decades of Hong Kong television is now a Canto-pop star 
— Gregory Charles Rivers, the best-known gweilo in Hong Kong and arguably the Chinese-speaking world thanks to his years' of acting at TVB, is finally having his dream come true, that is, to become a Canto-pop star

A sense of futility and fear of the future keep recurring in one Hong Kong artist's work 
— An analysis of the body of works by Hong Kong artist Morgan Wong 

Food is the new battlefield among museums, and Singapore has set the bar 
— Great art and great exhibitions are pivotal to the success of one institution, but the food is playing an increasingly important role, as institutions are literally rivalling against other leisure and lifestyle destinations. Here's my analysis inspired by my experience at National Gallery Singapore.

A spider-obsessed artist is collaborating with MIT to spin the architecture for climate change 
—My interview with Berlin-based artist Tomas Saraceno, who had a large-scale exhibition at Asia Culture Centre in Gwangju, South Korea that I visited. I also visited his studio in Berlin and met the hundreds of spiders he kept in his lab. 

Why is this Taiwanese man the dream husband of many women in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China
On June 31, 1997, Hong Kong had a taste of independence for just one day
The spirit of old Hong Kong lives on in these black and white images by master photographer Fan Ho
Tourists keep looking for Bruce Lee in one place that can't seem to remember him
A Chinese revolution in karaoke is making it much better for introverts

2017-04-11 "Ghost in the Shell" is a poem to Hong Kong as it faces the 20th anniversary of its handover to China -- Probably the best essay I have ever written 


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