Category Archives: Culture

Words of a cosplayer

In the millennial era, with a radical modernization of almost every industry. The entertainment industry has seen amass different categories of hobbies, jobs and interests.

Cosplaying is a fairly old practice starting from 1984, but with the help of social media applications like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Cosplaying is a hobby in which a person may recreate physical and verbal elements of a character in a movie, TV show or game.

There are now so many new cosplayers more than ever that, countries around the world are emerging in support of this new trend by hosting events and it has become a very lucrative industry.

Nothing lasts forever

By Haisten Willis

As demotivating as “nothing lasts forever” may sound, it is a pretty important life lesson that Buddhist monks learn to incorporate in the teachings of their life.

Buddhist monks have followed the practice of creating intricate mandalas with colored sand that take over several days to successfully complete. The mandala is made by monks that are trained for around 3 years or more at a monastery. The mandala itself is made by a pair or a trio of monks over a long period of time, they use colored sand to make the mandala and a metal tube that releases the sand onto a desired place. It is created by dropping each particle of sand into an intricate design. It seems as a painstaking process but to the monks it is a form of meditation.

Mandalas were first created in one of the world’s great religions, Buddhism. The mandala is quite a popular cultural and iconic integrated art-form which originates from deep parts of East-Asia and South-Asia. Mandala is a word with origins from ‘Sanskrit’. They emerged from countries like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet and Nepal. By the description of deep rooted Hindu and Buddhist monks and their sacred texts, the Mandala is essentially a spiritual and ritual symbol that depicts the whole universe and its profuse and countless parts of existence. It represents the circle of life and how everything and everyone within an infinite lifetime and limitless universe, are interconnected.

But Why Destroy it?

Although it is an eye-sore to see such a beautiful, complex piece of art to be destroyed. It has very important and deep meaning. They destroy it completely by mixing all the colors with a hand brush, while a monk chants. Then eventually once the ceremony is over the sand is poured into an urn and then released into flowing water. This may sound absurd to the general public, but to the monks it has a deeper spiritual and rooted philosophical reasoning which should be much more important to us as humanity.

The destruction of the Mandala denotes the profound spiritual impermanence of life, and how all things come to an end. It also means how we should learn to let past factors of our life such negative relationships, material objects and possessions let go. The pouring of sand into flowing water from an urn indicates giving energy (a gift) to Mother Earth and passing on enriching energy to the universe and Earth to re-energize our nature.

By mymodrenmet

The destruction of the mandala is definitely one of a positive nature. It establishes the normal conformed meaning of order according to Buddhism. Reconstructing the meaning of reality and perspectives on society. The Buddhist monks gave their own spiritual interpretation on the subject of humanity. As different art-forms and religious practices this too has its own meaning. This concept of art-style is not as common, but Mandalas are. Therefore they are not that prevalent. This should be extremely relevant to us but not widely popularized as most of our society are caught up in a worldly despair in the need of material possessions.

By asia society
By pixshark
By Alan Peto

Books for vaccines charity campaign begins

Thriller writer and editorial director at HarpersCollins, Phoebe Morgan, has set up a charity auction called “Books for Vaccines”. The writer is trying to accrue financial donations and prizes for the charity, and she has organised 50 prizes so far.

According to Morgan, “auction lots can be signed books, book bundles, 1-2-1s from literary agents for aspiring writers, Zoom mentoring sessions or phone calls from anyone in the industry who has time to spare to help someone trying to get a foot in the door, particularly tricky at the moment and basically anything of value that is book related.”

The auction will raise money for the global charity Care International which works with 104 countries. The money raised will go to places like India where the pandemic crisis is raining tragically in full swing.

This page is a simple guide to help you get involved.

The auction goes live today and will run until the 21st of May.

Art exhibition to support struggling musicians

Helium London and Pavement Licker are hosting a charity exhibition and auction for the next three weeks in London.

‘Pressing Matters’ will showcase contemporary artwork created using test pressing vinyl. The exhibition will run until May 29 with free admission at the Matches Fashion store:

Over 20 musicians have donated rare pieces for the occasion. The line-up includes contributions from the likes of Bicep, Charlie XCX, The Rolling Stones and more.

There will also be a panel discussion in line with Mental Health Awareness Week. The artists and musicians will take part in a number of talks from May 10 to 16 at the same location.

The artwork will be auctioned on Helium London’s website from May 24 to 29.

Music Support is an organisation that helps people in the UK music industry who are struggling with mental health and addiction. The charity offers helplines, training and safe hubs at festivals.

The live music industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. With concert and club venues shut for over a year, it has cost over 170,000 jobs, according to The Guardian. 

CEO and founder of Helium London, Jennifer McCormick says: “[The exhibition] has brought together phenomenal talent without prejudice and forged new creative relationships, all united in breaking down barriers surrounding addiction and mental health.”

If you are struggling with mental health, call Music Support’s helpline on 0800 030 6789 or email  

Guangzhou: the disappearing old city

The game between commerce, history and culture

#1,A place in Liwan District, Guangzhou. On the right is the new building, and on the left is the old building in Guangzhou.

Nowadays, photos, videos and recordings allow people to keep their memories, but they do nothing but help them to make memories.
The world is developing so fast that more and more tall buildings are being built and replaced by the old buildings that people used to live in, which are not only a symbol of the end of the era, but also a reminder of that time. Today, more and more old houses are disappearing all over the world….

Recently, with the consent of the municipal government, Guangzhou Development and Reform Commission and the people’s Government of Liwan district jointly issued the development plan of baiyetan district (2020-2035).

#2,Outline of urban renewal special plan of Baiyun District, Guangzhou City.
Photo source (authorized) 广州市白云区城市更新专项规划大纲 (2020-2035年) (

The planning scheme of the project covers an area of 381.2 hectares, the regulatory detailed planning adjustment part covers an area of 213 hectares, and the updated implementation scheme covers an area of 84.8 hectares. Its main purpose is to demolish the old houses and build new high-rise buildings, office buildings, schools, squares and other public facilities.

#3These photos show pictures of a village in the city of Guangzhou (authorized) by Hunk

Why does the government want to change the city?

On January 27, 2021, the Guangzhou Municipal People’s government first proposed the requirements of introducing industry, education and medical treatment into urban village reconstruction enterprises. Its main aim is to improve people’s living conditions.

According to the previous renovation plan, it can bring a lot of benefits to the residents:

(1) Change of environment: planning and construction of urban villages with high starting point and high standard to realize the compatibility of residence and commercial office
(2) Changes in housing conditions: the old house is replaced by a new house with sufficient lighting, good ventilation, reasonable structure, complete water, electricity, gas, heating, cable TV and other living facilities.
(3) The change of real estate value: the residential houses are transformed into commercial houses with complete certificates. These properties can be self occupied, leased or sold to increase economic income.

Where is Guangzhou ?

Guangzhou is located in the north of the Pearl River Delta, adjacent to the South China Sea. It is one of the first batch of famous historical and cultural cities in China and the birthplace of Guangfu culture. It is rated as the world’s first tier city by GaWC, a global authority.


Despite the rapid development of society, new things emerge one after another. The history of Guangzhou, which has been cherished by the older generation for a long time, is fading away. The emotion endowed by time is so complex and extensive. Nostalgia always affects the souls of millions of people inexplicably. However, in the era of mechanization, especially in today’s digital era, with the continuous improvement of the quality of life, they can not escape the fate of extinction.

Different voices appear: “I don’t want them to disappear, they have the meaning of their existence… Records of people’s memory, youth”

巫小寒(Xiaohan Wu) is a photographer and grew up near the Redtory art design factory.

It used to be a cannery in Guangzhou. It had come to an end ten years ago, but later it transformed into a creative park through artistic transformation. The booming machines in the past have become an ornamental. The rusty walls of the old factory buildings have attracted many people to take photos.

#4. These are photos taken by Wu Xiaohan in redory art design factory (authorized)

However, it did not escape the fate of being torn down
Our city is getting bigger and bigger, but there is no real land left for artists.

#4,But in the end, it was demolished
Video source(Authorized):再见了,红砖厂!这一次真的要拆了…_广州 (

At the same time,Some buildings have disappeared in London

#5,Image by Secret London, under creative commons licence.

The much loved nightclub on Charing Cross Road closed forever in 2009. It was demolished soon after, the most high profile casualty of the Crossrail construction works.

Many local people in London miss the demolition of London Astoria

Architecture is the most unique part of each country’s culture, and it is the symbol and symbol of national culture. But with the development of the times, although people’s buildings are more and more close to the direction of modernisation, in the process of development, they gradually lose their own unique architectural culture, and those large residential buildings that use stone to varying degrees are gradually disappearing. These historic buildings, stone blocks and beams, seem to tell moving stories of the nation and family.

The game between commerce and history and culture continues to grow, which one do you think is most important?


The art students across the UK have shown their concern over the Government’s plan to halve the funding for the “less-prioritized” Art courses in Universities i.e. from almost £36m to £19m. Sources also suggest that this is being done to make way for apparently “more-prioritized” courses ranging from medicine to IT.

Source: University of the Arts, London

Despite the fact that the number of students entering undergraduate courses in art and design keeps rising each year with the arts and culture industry growing by £390million in a year (as of April 2019) and contributing almost £209 billion a year to the UK economy, the Government has made this decision which is considered “destructive” and “short-sighted” by university heads speaking to Design Week. UK’s plan to “Build Back Better” to support economic growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation not only contradicts with this bold step, but also completely rules out the industry that already contributes to UK designs being exported outside. Successful UK businesses and iconic brands such as Virgin, Jaguar Land Rover, O2, Dyson and Diageo all regard design as essential to innovation and market expansion. Considering the value of the design industry in some of the largest multi-national companies, it is almost extremely sad to come across this news.

Source: University of Bristol

In order to understand what it is like to come across such news whilst being an Arts student here in the UK, I conducted a small focus group wherein Arts students from University of Westminster came forward and spoke about it. Anjali Dalal, an MA Multimedia Journalism student who runs an Instagram Page to showcase some of her phenomenal street photography series ( says that 50% is too much of an amount to deduct and that stealing from ART is not a good move considering the struggles of the art students and artists who are already seen commonly starting random fundraisers to complete their projects. Marie, a first year Contemporary Media Practices student ( feels it’s extremely wrong of the Government to make these plans and ruin people’s dreams and passions. The agitation that these art students have shown sure calls for an increasing concern over this matter.

“I already feel that I don’t get the quality of the hands-on experience I applied for, and they want to reduce the support even more.”

Anna Miram Halasz, final year BA Film Student

Thisisintern on Instagram is already taking an initiative in raising its voice by stating “This is an attack on the future of UK arts, the creative potential of the next generation, and the people who deliver our world-leading arts courses.”. They have also recently started a petition for the same: and expects people to take a stand for the potential artists.

I think it’s time for the art students to come together and save a profession that has given them a chance to be who they are and embrace their livelihood. SAVE THE ART!

Fun things to do in London this weekend

With at least one sunny day coming up this weekend, it’s time to go out and celebrate our new freedom from certain lockdown restrictions.

Whether you’re a fan of thrifting in vintage markets or are looking to find some of the most peaceful parks to escape into, our interactive map should be your go-to guide.

As of April 12, pub gardens, outdoor attractions and gyms are now open, and London has some of the best to offer. Here are some of the highlights…

Greenwich Market

Fancy a bite to eat? Greenwich Market has loads of tasty options: from pizza to sushi, everyone’s tastes are met. Check out what this TikTok user got up to…


FOLLOW IG: @theres_rice_at_home for the specific food reviews 💛 #foryou #foryoupage #fyp #food #london #greenwich #greenwichmarket

♬ Food – Densky9

Hyde Park

What’s better than chilling with friends in a park now that the rule of six is back? When there’s parakeets! Who knew these birds would eat straight out of your hand! Check out Ariane Hine’s TikTok below…

Check out our interactive map below

From outdoor swimming to drive-in cinemas, you won’t run out of things to do

Now you know what’s in store for this weekend, we want to hear what you’re most excited for. Let us know by voting in the poll below…

Featured image credit to Lucas Peng on Unsplash

An educator —brought “foreign” musicals to China


As a British Chinese actor / Director / lyricist, he immigrated to the UK in 1999. He has successively completed his master’s degree in creative media industry and master’s degree in musical performance from the University of Warwick and the Montessori Academy of stage and performing arts. After graduation, he has been active in the UK’s stage and film performance circles. Founder of TNS future stage drama.

1,Why did you give up high paying jobs in the UK and choose drama instead?

Jeremy said:I chose to major in foreign trade because at that time, everyone thought this major had a good job and a bright future. But this is not what I like, but when I was working in the UK, an accident started. A drama troupe came to the UK to perform. When I saw the big friends and children releasing their dancing positions on the stage, I thought that was what I wanted, so I resigned that day and went to study in Montessori Academy of Arts Stage, I was the oldest when I entered school, even the teacher was younger than me, and I was still an Asian at that time. After graduation, I became an actor. I think that’s what I want.

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

After graduating, Jeremy Xie settled down in the performing arts circle for a while, and then resolutely chose to establish TNS (the next stage UK). From 2011, she took Chinese children abroad, looked at the world, felt the leading global drama education, so as to open up self-confidence and express themselves freely and happily.

2,Why do you choose to be an educator from an actor and still bring “foreign” musicals to the Chinese people?

When I was an actor, I found that there were very few Asian actors, and the types were limited. So I thought of education. At the beginning, I was teaching drama in Britain, and I only let Chinese teenagers or children participate in summer camps to experience drama culture in Britain. Later, those Chinese children were very fond of it. They hoped that I could come to China to teach. There was hardly any foreign drama (singing and dancing) taught in China like us. So I went back to China to teach. I just didn’t expect that Chinese parents and children were so enthusiastic. Ten years later, I still remember a girl from the first summer camp. Now she has a family.

3,What do you think is the difference between Chinese and “foreigners” learning musical? I mean, what’s the difference in the way they learn?

Jeremy Xie said:”Foreigners” tend to be more “open” in class. They will interact with you and be more confident. Although Chinese people tend to be shy and dare not sing boldly at the beginning of their study, they usually practice singing and dancing for a week after they go home, but they really love drama class and stage, so that their efficiency will be higher than that of foreign students.

What drama brings to people is the enjoyment of art. It has never been “unattainable”, but a literary and artistic process of experiencing characters and stories. In the face of the public stage, no longer shy and timid, confident and bold to show themselves is a breakthrough.

4,Because of the coronavirus, you and your team can only teach Chinese children online. What do you think is the impact of the current situation on you

Jeremy said:Yes, covid-19 has a great impact on us, because musicals are often used as a form of stage performance combining singing, dancing, performance and dialogue, with the most emphasis on face-to-face communication. Although only across the computer screen, but still can not stop the enthusiasm of students, they will also be very active in online classes. In addition, I hope people can overcome the epidemic.

Click here to see the rehearsal of Chinese children:【TNS】”星”梦奇缘精英A班_哔哩哔哩 (゜-゜)つロ 干杯~-bilibili


“Tattoo changed my initial perception.”

Lin Tanbin

This video is an interview with Lin Tan bin, a tattoo artist. He is 36 years old, with a junior high school diploma. He has worked in many jobs, such as delivery clerk, driver, etc. At the beginning of entering the tattoo industry, he was not approved by his family. With the lapse of time, his family is also attracted by the tattoo culture, tattoo from his hobbies into his career. This year is his third year in the tattoo industry. The video talks about the influence of tattoos on his life and his views on tattoos.

Art comes from life, but is higher than life.

The charm of art is that it takes us far away, but makes us feel at home.—Excellent sheep
Alex and his symphony orchestra are on a show

Canon in D (Pachelbel’s Canon) , a cello song. Melodious, low, like an old man’s leisurely chat, narrates the ordinary story of her life.
It circulates. My mind drifted back to the old houses and streets of the village more than 20 years ago. The foundation is made of green brick, which is higher than half of the ground. The soil is mixed with straw. The old street is a dirt road, which is well built. Every morning, clean up and sprinkle some water. In the evening, move a small table, small stool, a family around, while enjoying the cool, while eating. After dinner, lie on a bamboo recliner. The children are running and playing. Adults take off the tiredness of the day and chat…

Alex is a Chinese cello student. He has been practicing Cello for 12 years, among which he has participated in many symphony orchestras and played many pieces. In the following video, we will interview him with the cello story.
With the continuous development of Chinese art, Chinese education began to focus on the art examination (special art college entrance examination), and he also successfully gained an advantage in the art examination. However, in the face of today’s parents forcing their children to learn art in order to take the examination, he thinks that this is not desirable. Art comes from life and is higher than life. “We should enjoy art, not let it go Art has become a tool for us to make profits (mainly) “. The most important thing in learning everything is not only interest but also persistence.

Interview with Alex

Reference[1]任海琨. 大提琴的艺术魅力[J]. 文艺生活·文艺理论, 2016, 000(011):88.

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