China Inaugurates Park Made Entirely Out of Clay

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A unique cultural park made entirely out of clay has recently been open to the public, in Tangshan City, China.

Featuring rows of houses, busy streets filled with vendors and their carts, high ranking officials and horse-pulled carriages, the park is a reproduction of Zhang Zerui famous scroll painting Riverside Scene during the Qingming Festival. The man behind this unique project is a local from the city’s Fengrun District, named Qin Shiping. Tangshan has along standing tradition in ceramics, and Qin worked as a sculptor and painter ever since he was a young boy. In 2005, he got the idea to offer a unique view on China, and since he had always been a fan of Zhang Zherui’s painting, he decided to recreate the images depicted in the artwork with clay sculptures.

Qin Shiping put his idea into practice in 2008. He hired two clay sculpture experts with plenty of experience behind them, and 100 more regular clay workers who got started on the project. Three years later, the Tangshan clay sculpture park has finally been completed and opened to the general public. It’s 300 meters long and 60 meters wide and has been built at 2/3 life-size scale. The exact cost of the park hasn’t yet made public, but back in 2009, Qin Shiping stated he had already invested over 10 million yuan ($1,545,000).

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Swarovski-Studded Cadillac CTS Coupe Unveiled in China

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A one-of-a-kind Cadillac CTS Coupe covered with 350,000 Swarovski crystals was unveiled last weekend, during the Qingdao International Auto Show.

I don’t know what it is about Swarovski bling and cars, but tuners and designers seems to think they make a good team. Just last week, I posted about an Audi A5 covered with 450,000 Swarovski crystals, presented at a Moscow exhibition, by Russian tuner Shampar, and now the Chinese show off their own blinged-out ride. Their Swarovski-studded Cadillac is 100,000 crystals short of the Russian A5, but it doesn’t look at all less glamorous.

A you can imagine, the so-called ‘Diamond Cadillac‘ stole the show in Qingdao, attracting the eyes of everyone attending and giving new meaning to the phrase ‘diamond finish’. According to brand representatives, this unique CTS Coupe took nine workers a whole week to finish, with each Swarovski crystal mounted to the body of the car with a special fixer. To whom it may concern, they added that the stones “are guaranteed to stay on even in a car wash”.

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Chinese Woman Performs Surgery on Herself

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Wu Yuanbi, a 53-year-old woman, from Chongqing, China, has recently performed surgery on herself, with a common kitchen knife.

Wu, who works as a migrant worker, has been suffering from a chronic condition known as Budd-Chiari syndrome, for the last 13 years. This causes her stomach to gradually fill up with large quantities of fluid, rendering her unable to work and making id difficult to perform even the most simple tasks. Back in 2002, Wu and her family used all their life savings to pay for a medical procedure in which doctors removed 25 liters of fluid from her belly. Unfortunately, a relapse of the condition followed, and the woman found herself in need of a second surgery. However, she and her family were too poor to pay the 50,000 yuan ($7,686) fee, so Wu Yuanbi was forced to do something truly shocking.

One day, after her husband, Cao Yunhui, left for work, the woman slit her stomach open with a kitchen knife, desperate to relieve the pressure that had built up inside. She had to endure excruciating pain for several hours, until her husband came home and found her lying in a pool of yellow fluid and intestines. She was immediately rushed to the hospital with a 10 cm-long cut across her stomach, and saved by the medical staff. Wu later said “If I had passed away, I would have at least spared my family the trouble of looking after me.”

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Car Lover Builds His Own Lamborghini Reventon

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A Chinese car enthusiast from Kunming has spent around $13,800 to turn his old Nissan A31 into the sports car of his dreams, a Lamborghini Reventon.

What’s a car lover to do when he likes a luxury car so much, but can’t afford to buy it? Build one of his own, of course, and that’s just what Asan, the owner of a hair salon in Kunming, China, decided to do after he fell in love with the Lamborghini Reventon. he has always been a fan of the Italian car manufacturer and dreamed of owning one of the petrol-powered road beasts one day, but when he saw the new Reventon costs around $2,3 million, he decided to take a different approach to realizing his dream.

The first thing he did was buy a Lamborghini he could actually afford – a miniature model of the Reventon, which served as inspiration for the three welders he hired to turn his 1995 Nissan A31 into one of the most exclusive cars on Earth. All the parts used were replicas or self-made, except for a genuine Lamborghini RB25 engine. His team of workers only needed 12 days to complete the body of this home-made Lamborghini Reventon, and Asan estimates the whole deal will only cost him around 90,000 yuan ($13,800). Not too bad, considering the price of the original alternative.

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China’s Incredible Fruit Pit Carving Art

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The miniature folk art of fruit pit carving has been practiced in China for centuries, and is still praised for turning useless fruit stones into valuable works of art.

Nut carving (Heidao), which refers to both fruit pit and walnut carving, became popular during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and by the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) it had become one of the most appreciated art forms in mainland China, with royalty and high-ranking officials considering it fashionable to wear carved fruit pit accessories. Even today, intricate nut sculptures like those made in Suzhou, Yangzhou, Weifang in Shandong and Guangdong Province are famous for their level of detail and unique characteristics.

Often referred to as “an uncanny work of art“, fruit pit carving requires a series of skills and tools in order to produce a fine piece of art. One needs exceptional three-dimensional carving skills, a great deal of patience and most importantly, he has to be familiar with the irregular texture of a fruit pit. Peach stones are the most commonly used material for nut carving, and despite its many bumps and holes, a seasoned fruit pit carved can immediately tell if a pit is right for the artwork he has in mind.

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Card-Throwing Master Slices through Cucumbers

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Bai Dengchun is a 23-year-old card-throwing artist whose lightning-fast plastic cards can slice through fruits, vegetables and eggs. The young master doesn’t look very strong, but then again, neither do most of the Chinese martial arts experts, yet they kick ass in every cheesy kung-fu movie I’ve ever seen. Okay, so that wasn’t the best comparison, but the point is despite his skinny appearance, Bai Dengchun is able to throw a plastic card through a cucumber from two meters away.

Bai has been practicing his throwing card technique since he was just six years old, constantly improving his skills, and he is now able to slice through cucumbers, watermelons and eggs. His unique talents earned him a spot on China’s Got Talent, and even though he didn’t win, he got some well-deserved exposure.

While some say a plastic playing card turns into a lethal weapon in the hands of a master like Bai Dengchun, I doubt even he could actually kill a person with it. Maybe it would pierce the skin, but the structure of the human body doesn’t exactly resemble  that of a cucumber.

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Disabled Artist Creates Detailed Artworks Using Only His Mouth and Right Foot

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41-year-old Huang Guofu, from Chongqing, China, has learned to master the paintbrush with his mouth and right foot, after he lost both his hands in a childhood accident.

Huang Guofu lost his arms in terrible electric shock accident, at the tender age of four, but that didn’t stop him from following his dreams, and at age 12 he began painting with his feet. The talented artist remembers that in the beginning, his artworks didn’t look at all like what he intended to paint, but as the years went by his skills improved considerably. Huang quit his studies when he was 18, as his father was very ill and he needed to make money for his treatments. He started travelling to other Chinese cities, creating beautiful paintings on the side of streets and selling them to passers-by.

It was during his art travels that he began using his mouth to paint, after hearing some comments that painting with one’s leg isn’t very elegant. He put a brush in his mouth and started painting. During a trip to a city in China’s Sichuan Province, Huang Guofu met Hu Guoui, a woman who quickly fell in love with his strong will and artistic talents, and the two got married in 2000. Since then, she has become his assistant, carrying his canvas and tools, whenever he needs to paint a scene on location.

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Chinese Pavilion Made Entirely from 668 Abacuses

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Showcased during an abacus-themed exhibition held in the Chinese city of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, this large pavilion model is made from 668 different-size abacuses. Used as a calculating tool centuries before the adoption of the written numeral system, the abacus is a big part of Asian culture, and is still widely use by merchants and clerks around Asia and Africa. Apart from the impressive abacus pavilion, visitors at the exhibition could admire over 100 abacuses, from the simplest to more complex versions.

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Chinese Beef Extract Turns Pork into Beef In Just 90 Minutes

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The Chinese department of industry and commerce has recently discovered a “beef extract” additive used by small restaurants around Hefei to turn pork into beef.

A lot of knock-offs have come out of China over the years, in fact they’ve probably made replicas of every successful product ever made. That’s not to say the Chinese don’t make original stuff as well, but their talent of replicating pretty much anything is legendary. That being said, I had never heard of Chinese food replicas until a few months ago, when I watched a news report about a guy making completely artificial eggs, using chemicals, right in his own home-made laboratory. Today, as I was surfing the interwebs, I came across and even stranger article about a “beef extract” additive that turns pork into beef, in just one and a half hours.

This “magical” product has apparently become very popular in small Chinese restaurants in Hefei, Fujian, Jianxi and other places around the country, especially since beef is twice as expensive as pork. A pound of beef is sold for around 20 yuan, whereas pork costs just 10 yuan, so some restaurant owners are inclined to buy a liter of beef extract for 45 yuan and use it to maximize profits.

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Crazy English – To Learn the Language by Shouting Out

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Crazy English is a non-traditional Chinese method of learning English, which encourages students to practice by shouting English words at organized rallies and even on top of buildings.

According to Li Yang, the creator of this unusual learning program, Crazy English can best be described with the quote “To shout out loud, you learn”. He claims the traditional way of learning English in China is ineffective, and that in order to overcome their shyness and master the language, people have to shout out the words in public. It’s no secret that his revolutionary technique has long been criticized by many traditional Chinese people, because it goes against the ancient Oriental virtues of restraint modesty and moderation, but Li stood by his unusual methods despite all the opposition, and has so far lectured to tens of millions of people.

As a child, Li was very shy and showed no aptitudes for foreign languages. He was so shy that he was afraid to talk to people, and wouldn’t even go to the cinema by himself. Once he was electrocuted during physical therapy, but was to shy to even mention it to anyone. The years went by, but Li’s sistuation didn’t change very much. He got into the Engineering Mechanics Department of Lanzhou University, but failed all of his 13 exams, including English. Determined to make a change, the young student began preparing for the College English Test level 4, a standardized English test for college students.

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Living Keychains Are the New Craze in China

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Live fish and small turtles sealed in plastic keychains have become increasingly popular items sold at subway entrances and train stations across China.

The living keychains containing  Brazilian turtles or king fish swimming in colored water are considered good-luck charms by many Chinese, but animal protection groups are outraged and call them a perfect example of “pure animal abuse”. Business is booming according to Chinese online newspaper Global Times, which reports one fish and nine turtle rings have been sold in just five minutes, on Tuesday, at the Sihui subway station, in Beijing.

According to vendors, the colored water in the 7-centimeter-long keychains contains nutrients that allow fish and turtles to live inside for months. While that may be true, Mary Peng, cofounder of the International Center for Veterinary Services, says they couldn’t survive in the sealed bag for very long, due to lack of oxygen.

While animal rights activists are protesting loudly against the sale of living keychains, there isn’t much else they can do, because China only has a Wild Animal Protection Law – if the animals are not wild animals they fall outside the law’s scope. Until the law changes to protect all kinds of animals, activists can only appeal to people not to buy them, and hope the market will die due to lack of customers.

Although some people buy these bizarre keychains to carry around for good-luck, there are those who buy them just to free the poor creatures from their tiny plastic cage.

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Man Uses Donkeys to Tow Faulty Luxury SUV Back to Dealership

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A Shenyang businessman made Chinese headlines the other day, after he used two donkeys two tow his faulty Range Rover back to the dealership, in protest.

Just two weeks after another dissatisfied car owner had his Lamborghini Gallardo smashed with jackhammers, in protest of poor quality vehicles that auto companies chose to sell in China, a similar incident took place in front of a Rover dealership. A man sick of having to repair his Range Rover every few months, rented two donkeys and had them tow his broken vehicle back to its manufacturer, and asked for a total refund.

The protester bought his luxury SUV in 2010, for 2 million yuan ($304,000), and it reportedly broke down six times before he eventually had to replace the entire engine. When the car died on him for the seventh time, the angry owner felt he had to do something to send a clear message to car makers about the shady quality of their products. So he rented the donkeys, glued a protest banner to the SUV and towed it back to the dealership.

Although his actions grabbed a lot of media attention, they weren’t enough to convince Rover to give him the total refund he asked for. They’ll probably just fix it for him, again.

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Chinese Animal Lover Adopts 140 Stray Dogs

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Li Zongwen, a former chef from Wuhan, has made online headlines after Chinese media discovered he has taken in 140 stray dogs from the outskirts of the city.

The 59-year-old man began adopting strays from the streets of Wuhan in 2009, and in just two years time he has taken-in an impressive 140 hungry dogs. He put a roof over their heads, but admits he couldn’t afford to feed all of them, without donations from other local animal lovers. Food and rent for Mr. Li and his big family of canines cost around 5,000 yuan ($760) which is way more than he could pay on his own.

Although sharing a home with 140 animals isn’t exactly an easy task, considering the noise he has to put up with at night, and the considerable mess he has to clean up after them, Li Zongwen doesn’t complain. On the contrary, he likes having them around as he prepares a big bowl of dog chow, using a garden shovel, and even eats his own meals in their company. Maybe he should get in touch with Ha Wenjin, the woman who looks after 1,500 stray dogs and 200 cats, I’m sure they have a lot to learn from each other.

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Chinese Transformers Fan Builds His Own Army of Robots

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All geeks love Transformers, but Yang Junlin of Huizhou, China, took his passion for the franchise to a whole other level when he opened the “Legend of Iron” factory and began producing his own robots.

Remebre that uber-cool Megatron Tank we featured a few weeks back? That was one of Yang Junlin’s iron masterpieces, but I had no idea he had created hundreds of other incredible metal sculptures. In 2006, after retiring from the army, Yang went to a concert where various steel sculptures were placed on display. Some of them were simple human figures created from twisted metal wire, but they made such an impression on him, that he decided to try and make his own steel works.

A year later, Yang Junlin opened his own factory, Legend of Iron, and hired over 10 workers to help him realize his dream of building cool robot sculptures. They use all kinds of scrap metal, from old car parts to simple sheets of steel andcreate some of the most amazing looking Transformers replicas I’ve ever seen. Although he admits his work is quite time-consuming, Yang has built over 1,000 iron sculptures since he opened Legend of Iron, five years ago, and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.

Check out more photos of the geek eye-candy Legend of Iron creates, after the break:

 

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Lamborghini Gallardo Owner Destroys His Own Car in Protest over Poor Service

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A Chinese Lamborghini Gallardo owner decided to have his supercar destroyed in public, to show his dissatisfaction with the car maker’s services.

The businessman from Qingdao, Shandong Province, says the engine of his luxury sports-car, a Lamborghini Gallardo L140, failed to start on November 29, 2010, just six months after he bought it. As any other car owner would do, he contacted the Lamborghini dealer in Qingdao, and the trailer of a maintenance service provider entrusted by the dealer was sent to carry the car to a designated maintenance shop. When his Lamborghini was returned, the owner noticed the engine problem still hadn’t been fixed, and that the bumper and chassis had been damaged, probably during the towing.

When the owner pointed out the problems at the maintenance shop, they denied his claims and simply ignored his consumer rights, so the owner tried to work things out with Mr. Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini’s China division, with the auto-maker’s after-sales service manager for Asia-Pacific region, and even with brand owner Volkswagen Group, but no one took responsibility for what had happened. Under the circumstances, the outraged car owner felt there was only one thing he could do.

He decided to hire a group of construction workers to publicly destroy his faulty Lamborghini Gallardo L140 on World Consumer Rights Day, to attract attention to the consumer rights problem in China. He stated that, in recent years,  the Chinese people have been more than capable of consuming luxury goods, but international brands seek only to exploit the Chinese market and ignore the interests and rights of consumers. He feels that, in his case, Lamborghini failed to bring their famous high quality service to China, and this was the only way left he could protest.

In China, a Lamborghini Gallardo retails for between $529,000 and $757,000, depending on specifications.

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