Alexandra A. Seno

When Chinese Realism Met European Abstraction

Long tear-shaped white forms—representing bitter gourds commonly used in Chinese cuisine—stand out against a background of impassioned dark-green brushstrokes. The late Chinese artist Wu Guanzhong called his 1998 work "Bitter Melon Homestead," and wrote: "This is blood. This is destiny … Bitter melons are not so bitter, since … I have fully tasted the bitterest of the bitterest."

The Rise of China's Own Spielberg

As a director, Feng has become a strong draw on his own—an anomaly in Chinese entertainment, where movie stars usually make or break a film. Since his 1994 debut film, "Gone Forever With My Love", he has made a dozen movies, each one shattering a record in China.

A Rare Look at 'China's Mona Lisa'

Even among the stuffy bureaucrats in Beijing, the Song dynasty ink-on-silk painting "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" has an affectionate nickname: "China's Mona Lisa." Though it's a landscape, not a portrait, "Qingming" has a mysterious allure that has captivated the popular imagination and spawned debate about its hidden meaning, much like da Vinci's fabled work.

The Maestro of Mood

William Chang Suk-ping is a man of few words. The Hong Kong film-industry icon rarely gives interviews and is not keen on talking theory. But his images say plenty.

Picture Change

For some creative minds, climate change represents not impending gloom but opportunity—a chance to imagine a world reshaped by warming, to rethink the way they work by using green methods and materials.


This winter the region around Yanji, on the Chinese border with North Korea, had a predictable ebb and flow: desperate North Korean refugees escaped into China; cash-flush Chinese crossed into North Korea to gamble.