Time was when “China” stood for little more in the West than exotic artifacts of a little-understood culture – trinkets evoking the romance of a bygone colonial era. Today, China is turning such quaint notions on their head by projecting a vibrant new pop culture that may help revolutionize global trends.

As China’s Economy Improves, Self-expression Becomes an Industry

By Kat Fan
Mei-Li hair salon owner Cheng Qilai has opened five branches across Beijing since 1995.

As China steps further into the global spotlight, its
citizens are embracing an eclectic sense of fashion and style that has, in turn, led to a boom in the beauty industry.

Hip-Hop in Beijing


The Foot Style Rockers, a Beijing-based break dancing crew that participate in battles and jam sessions around the city that draw the best nearby talent. China’s growing hip-hop community is still small enough that a local break crew can organize events with some of the scene's top players.

Selling Out or Buying In?

China's urban scene today is a place where baggy jeans, sideways baseball caps and flashing neon lights increasingly advertise the word “hip-hop,” the popular American-born art that's taking on a Chinese identity.

Backstage at a Fujian Opera


Fujian opera is one of many forms of Chinese opera, a classic art form with codified and ritual postures, facial expressions, and makeup. I went backstage and stepped directly into the dramatic storm: last-minute preparations for an opera in honor of the Beijing 2008 Olympics.