China advisory panel: Insider guides
This month's big, red, Made in China issue was put together with a little help from our friends - six creative trailblazers who are remaking Modern China.
To accompany the issue's profiles of these six leading Chinese creatives that made up our advisory board, wallpaper.com is, over the course of the month, going to be talking to each of them to get an insider guide on the country they call home.
Last week we kicked off our series talking to Creative Director, Richard Hsu
Read our insider quide with Richard Hsu
This week it's the turn of Yue-Sai Kan
Bigger than Oprah, Yue-Sai Kan is a household name across China - with viewing figures that regularly hit the 300 million mark, Kan has been the perfectly preened face of Chinese televisual entertainment for the last 3 decades. On top of her staggering media empire, Kan is also the brains behind the house of Yue-Sai, a globalised interior decoration boutique.
Whereabouts-in China are you originally from and where do you live now? How have theses places changed during your lifetime?
I was born in Guilin in North Eastern China, but I now divide my time between Shanghai and New York City. New York is a city of sophistication and culture, whereas Shanghai went from having nothing, to being truly vibrant.
What do you find most inspiring about living in China?
It’s like living in the Wild West in a way - people visit out of curiosity and then stay to try and make their fortune. Everything is possible and there are great stories abound.
Where is the most up and coming area of China, and why?
Shanghai, particularly along the bund area. The west Bund and the area where the Expo 2010 will be hosted - all these incredible buildings are just shooting up out of nowhere! In terms of the rest of China, honestly, everywhere - If you know how to capitalize on the upward surge of the Chinese economy, every city provides amazing investment opportunities.
If you had one piece of advice for visitors to China, what would it be?
Try to meet someone who already lives in China, and let them introduce you to the locals. Acting like a tourist, and not communicating with anyone other than your tour guide is the perfect way to miss everything.
If you had a friend come to visit you for 24hours, where would you be sure to take him/her?
I would arrange a chiqong massage session for them followed by shopping in the silk market – in 24 hours you can get clothes copied in any fabric you choose…cashmere, silk etc. If there is time, the art gallery area makes for a fascinating afternoon; we would then go for a meal overlooking the iconic Huapu River.
What would you avoid?
I believe that everyone should try everything - what is there to avoid? Even bad experiences (if they actually exist) are still experiences.
Who in your opinion are the creatives in China we should be looking out for at the moment?
The Chinese contemporary art scene is definitely one to watch.
How did you find your experience as part of the Wallpaper* advisory panel?
It was great!