Featured articles
Gu Jiang
Episode 4/5: Gu Jiang

A well-known expert on automobile sales, Mr. Gu Jiang is an executive vice president of the New Trend Integrated Group. He is also a watch enthusiast and a collector. Read Article

Episode 3/5: Wang Xiaoshuai

Wang Xiaoshuai is an independent Chinese film director who graduated from the Faculty of Directing at the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. As a member of the Sixth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, he principally directs art films. Read Article

Alex Wong
Episode 2/5: Alex Wong

Alex Wong is the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Parkview Group Limited and the General Project Manager of Beijing’s Parkview Green, which opened for business in September 2012. Read Article

Wang Luyan
Episode 1/5: Wang Luyan

Mr. Wang Luyan joined the contemporary art scene in the late 1970s. Known as a “project artist,” he was one of the earliest proponents of conceptual art in China. Read Article

Globetrotter Beijing

Episode 5/5: Alec Su

Singer and Actor

Text — Alec Su Date — 26 March, 2013

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Alec Su
Alec Su
—Alec Su

Alec Su is a Taiwanese singer and actor. At the age of 15 he joined the Little Tigers (Xiao hu dui), which soon became one of the most popular boy bands in China and Taiwan. After the Little Tigers disbanded, he launched a career in acting. In late 2008, he was selected as the lead actor of a movie. His performance in The Message (Feng sheng), released in October 2009, earned him the award for best supporting male actor at the 30th annual People’s Hundred Flowers Awards in October 2010. In December, he garnered the best male actor award at the second annual Macau International Movie Festival. For his outstanding film work of the past few years, he received the Special Jury Award at the 13th annual China Film Performance Art Academy’s Golden Phoenix Awards in August 2011. He is a well-rounded artist with much success in television, movies and music.

Alec's Picks

Houhai

Houhai

Houhai is the waterside district bordering a lake created more than 700 years ago when Beijing was the Yuan capital. Today, it is one of Beijing’s most well-to-do and well-known entertainment districts. I have always had a deep interest in the spirit of old Beijing, and Houhai is unequaled when it comes to places where that spirit is most palpable.

People of all races, the small hutong alleyways, the bars and clubs lining the streets, the traditional Beijing cheap eats and the rickshaw fleets – all of this is redolent of the cosmopolitan splendor of the old imperial capital city. The street scenery of the neighborhood is unparalleled. One can wander at ease here, sampling traditional Beijing fare and shopping for furnishings and ceramics that are the essence of old Beijing. It is a place where I can wholeheartedly relax.

In Houhai, I can see both water and mountains and stroll beneath weeping willows along the banks of the lake. The former imperial quarters and the residences of famous individuals in the district contribute to Houhai’s historical character and the spirit of old Beijing in inestimable ways. In the present-day architecture of the neighborhood, I perceive echoes of the siheyuan houses of old Beijing and the splendor of the imperial past. At the same time, the district is a hub for bars, clubs and a vibrant street culture and has been the stomping grounds for many notable bar singers and artistic communities. This is a place where you can take a leisurely stroll and escape from the pandemonium of the city at large, and slowly take in the everyday treasures that remain hidden in the ancient city.

Houhai Map

—Houhai

Map

Salitun Village

Sanlitun Village

As a thriving international metropolis, Beijing has many fashionable places where the trendsetters can congregate. I cite Sanlitun Village as the foremost of such places. It is an open-air shopping district offering everything from international high-end luxury brands to popular everyday brands to alternative boutique brands. Besides shopping, you can enjoy fine dining from a variety of world cuisines, settle back in a café or a candy shop, watch one of the latest movies, or just wander around, taking in the unique charm of the district. Note that sometimes you may be the one setting the latest trend.

In Sanlitun Village, art is present and ever evolving in the streets and the alleyways. You will happen upon it in the most unexpected corners. As you stroll through a hutong alley, you may come across a sculptor gracefully at work with his chisel. Or an artist at the corner may beckon you with a smile, inviting you to look at his drawing board. At the skating rink and at the whimsical outdoor water fountains, laughing children at play chase each other. Passing by you in the square are men and women with the hippest new hairstyles in Beijing. Strolling slowly through all of this is the most relaxing and the most aesthetic way to take it all in.

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Sanlitun Village

—Sanlitun Village

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Prince Gong's Mansion

The Prince Gong Mansion

Beijing is an ancient city steeped in the past and is host to an abundance of monuments and buildings of historical significance. Because of my acting career, sometimes I have to do research on the architecture of the Qing dynasty and visit palaces from that era. One of my favorites is the Prince Gong Mansion.

There are still many imperial residences in Beijing that date from the Qing dynasty. The Prince Gong Mansion is the grandest of them all and the most well preserved. It was host to seven generations of Qing emperors. During the reign of the Qianlong emperor, it even served as the residence of Heshen, a notoriously corrupt official. Mystery pervades the Mansion, whose every corner is replete with historical detail. It is no wonder that it has been said that the Prince Gong Mansion is half a volume of the complete history of the Qing dynasty writ large. Behind the mansion, there is a pavilion and a well-proportioned garden where more than twenty distinct landscapes can be enjoyed. Standing in the grounds, you feel the overwhelming grandeur of the imperial past and an awe-inspiring elegance that combine to forge an ambience that is like heaven on earth.

Aside from an abundance of architectural highlights characteristic of the Qing dynasty, the Prince Gong Mansion also features an exhibition of Qing era costumes and other priceless cultural artifacts and documents. When I see these reminders of the past, I sense a diminishment in the distance separating me from that bygone era. I can almost see, touch, hear and smell the people and the places of the Qing China of two centuries ago.

The Prince Gong Mansion

—The Prince Gong Mansion

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National Centre for Performing Arts

National Centre for the Performing Arts

If you are a fan of the arts, you should pay a visit to the National Centre for the Performing Arts located on the western side of Tiananmen Square and take in a performance. You will definitely come away with good memories.

A massive dome surrounded by a man-made lake, the Centre is most definitely as breathtaking as a pearl in water when seen at night. Whether it is Beijing opera, Western opera, musicals, plays or concerts, you will only experience the very best of the arts at the Centre. It can be said that this is the premier performance space for any artist. The Centre’s state-of-the-art facilities and the ingenuity of its design truly bring together the most skilled in the acoustic and architectural arts. Any performance you come to see at this venue will be to your visual and auditory delight. This place exists to the good fortune of arts patrons everywhere and is definitely an experience not to be missed.

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National Centre for Performing Arts

—National Centre for Performing Arts

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Featured articles
Gu Jiang
Episode 4/5: Gu Jiang

A well-known expert on automobile sales, Mr. Gu Jiang is an executive vice president of the New Trend Integrated Group. He is also a watch enthusiast and a collector. Read Article

Episode 3/5: Wang Xiaoshuai

Wang Xiaoshuai is an independent Chinese film director who graduated from the Faculty of Directing at the Beijing Film Academy in 1989. As a member of the Sixth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, he principally directs art films. Read Article

Alex Wong
Episode 2/5: Alex Wong

Alex Wong is the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Parkview Group Limited and the General Project Manager of Beijing’s Parkview Green, which opened for business in September 2012. Read Article

Wang Luyan
Episode 1/5: Wang Luyan

Mr. Wang Luyan joined the contemporary art scene in the late 1970s. Known as a “project artist,” he was one of the earliest proponents of conceptual art in China. Read Article