Forget everything you know about brewing Chinese tea as Goldthread has the inside scoop.
In their video, they look at the “right” way to brew Chinese tea, including the ceremonial process known as gongfu cha:
Gongfu means skill, and cha means tea. It’s a form of Chinese tea service that dates back to the 14th century in Fujian. It places emphasis on the tea’s taste, temperature, and quality.
The ceremony of gongfu cha is a far cry from the American TikToker who made tea in a microwave with a truckload of sugar and milk. If there was a spectrum of tea making, China and the US would be on either side.
What is 20 square metres? It’s 1/357th of a soccer pitch, about 1/267th of an American football field, and less than 1/10th of a tennis court. Now imagine a cafe of that size. And it’s in Shanghai. Then call it Fine.
What is Fine?
Located in the Huashan Lu neighbourhood is a pastry café called Fine 西洋果子店 (literally translated as Fine Western Fruit Shop in English). Despite the misleading name, Fine is part of an “eponymous hospitality chain which runs Japanese retro-style cafés and shops in the city” (thanks to Superfuture for the info).
Brutal wooden minimalism
The rustic style is thanks to local architects Atelier A with a unique concave triangle entrance, adorned with shabby chic painting and dark varnish.
The inside design is much the same, with behind the counter (and the counter itself) full of dark olive kernel wood panelling. For the customer side, it’s all exposed brick and flaking plaster, with suspended lights. It’s like weathered 19th-century apothecary meets brutalism but if someone hated it and went to town on the walls with a pneumatic drill.
Fine’s menu offers a variety of cakes and biscuits, soft drinks and a range of tea options.
Chinese culture site Goldthread made a video about Wong Ping, an animator from Hong Kong. He’s a 34.4-year-old and started out in broadcasting before founding Wong Ping Animation Lab in 2014.
According to Wong, he stumbled into animation “by chance” while retouching images in his old job. He began creating stories and animations in spurts of boredom and during his free time. He says works within the limitations of his skill and attributes his “lack of ambition” as the reason for short films.
But even if the images are ugly, I want to make sure it’s a beautiful kind of ugly.
But that hasn’t stopped his work from featuring in places such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, and the Arts Centre Melbourne. His work depicts the nature and behaviour of humanity in their “repressed obsessions and unfulfilled desires”. Wong’s animations are surreal in style and in the openness of the subject matter – it’s shock and flaw.
Wong says people think his cartoons are ugly because of their perception of animation. But hey, people think brutalism is ugly. He likens himself and his artistic expressionism to that of a comedian. His works are sketches in the comedic sense and finally asks “in the end, is it all just about being funny?”