ABANDONED & FORGOTTEN Photographer JAN STEL- The Chambre de Commerce alias Cdc is an absolutely fabulous Stock Exchange location, located in a busy city and surrounded by ugly concrete buildings. Only the four relative narrow passages are giving a small glimpse of what the inside of this beautiful queen has to shown. The current building is a reconstruction from 1872. The original building dates from 1531, this late Gothic styled stock market has been burned twice [1583 and 1858]. The CdC is built on top of an existing street intersection with originally no roof, only four covered streets, the still existing and impressive galleries. Around 1853 the square and galleries where covered with a dome modeled on the Crystal Palace in London. Today this beautiful trade building is in a dilapidated state!
[Trans] EXO LAY ZHANG YIXING Interview with Trends Health Magazine September Issue
This year in March, 25 year old Zhang Yixing established his own office, focusing on development of activities in China outside of EXO’s group activities. To outsiders, this may seem like a young calf who is unafraid of the tiger (TN: a Chinese idiom used to mean foolish youthful courage), but to Zhang Yixing, he has already made preparations for this.
At 6 years old he first encountered the big screen, at 14 years old he won third place in Hunan TV’s then hugely famous competition show, Star Academy, he who can be said to have debuted as a child star, and has always been known by all in Hunan. After his time of fame, Zhang Yixing felt a sense of danger. Those results that seemed infinitely bright, that adoration that came from all directions, were fleeting. Zhang Yixing realised, those fanciful displays on stage were insufficient to support his future path, so he started to dilligently work on music, practice dance, repeatedly listening to songs, researching each chord, pondering on why such a melody is pleasing to the ears, and rolls off the tongue with ease. This sort of hardwork that seems almost stubborn, earned him an opportunity to become a trainee under the SM entertainment’s label, and supported him to leave his hometown, fighting on his own for four years, finally becoming a LAY who was good at both singing and dancing, that everyone knows.
Zhang Yixing said, the issue about starting his office, was a decision nearly every one in the world didn’t support, but he was unafraid to try.
From 14 years old to 25 years old, he relied on his one track mind, stubbornly pushing on for ten years. From that young person with a babyish face, to the super popular idol ofo today, by continuing to fight forward like this, how bad can failure be?
Youth with a long reflex arc
(TN: They use the phrase “long reflex arc” a lot in this segment, they are essentially describing Yixing taking a long time to respond and react to things)
Many people who know Zhang Yixing outside of EXO’s fans all got to know him through the explosively popular reality show “Go Fighting”. The programme brought Zhang Yixing popularity, but also brought forth all sorts of criticisms. In front of Huang Lei, Huang Bo, Sun Hong Lei, these big brothers from the entertainment circle, Zhang Yixing became a little sheep. Some say his polite manners was a cover that hid calculative pretentiousness, others say he purposely acted cute and pretended to be blank, and others say he really is dumb. Zhang Yixing’s response is: If the second season continues to invite me, I will definitely participate again, I want them to see how the little sheep grows!
TH: In Go Fighting as the one responsible for being blankly cute is that in consideration of the overall effect for the show? Or are you really ordinarily cute and blank?
ZYX: I am like this, normally I have a bit of a long reflex arc, with a slow response time that I admit. Also, every person under different circumstances, will assume a different role, Go Fighting’s geges are really too incredible, they are all huge seniors. Many times I also want to interrupt, but I can’t get a word in edgewise! Just when I want to say something, they’ve already moved on to the next topic. I can just oh…… hehe…… ah…… this game doesn’t have a script either, the seniors really have experienced a hundred battles (TN: meaning to say that they are very experienced), I am a little lacking in experience, and to begin with I am also a beat slower, I need to slowly learn.
TH: What did you gain from Go Fighting?
ZYX: Sense of professional dedication. All the geges are very dedicated, responsible, professional, each and everyone will do everything to do the show well. And the staff members on the production team, after we finish recording we can still rest, after they finish recording they have to immediately go to the second city to set up, it is very hard work.
TH: In the show when you were lied to, did you really get angry?
ZYX: Of course it was real! Think about it, these big brothers, Sun Hong Lei — Yu Ze Cheng (TN: One of Sun Hong Lei’s most famous roles), such a majestic image; Huang Bo — King of the silver screen, such good acting skills; Huang Lei is teacher, mastermind; Wang Xun, even a screenwriter, how amazing is that; Xiao Zhu, dances so well, has always been my idol. I have a hundred percent trust in them, never thought that for a variety show, everyone would give their all. So Hong Lei-ge stealing my case in KFC during that episode, I was really a little angry. Actually that was the first episode we recorded, I was also too serious, and didn’t consider the entertainment effect of the variety show, and during the recording, I couldn’t see Hong Lei-ge’s thoughts and emotions like the audience could. Actually it’s just that I lack experience, there was no need to be so serious, that time I really got too into it. From that time on, Hong Lei-ge took special care of me, isn’t this called “a blessing in disguise”.
TH: Does having a long reflex arc bring you trouble in real life? Such as others thinking you’re pretending, or offending friends?
ZYX: Yes it does, all sorts of situations can happen. For example when other people ask something, I clearly heard it, but I will still ask “what did you say?” Maybe some people will feel like I’m not seriously listening to other people talk, but actually I just need more time to think, and collect my thoughts clearly.
TH: Is participating in a show more hard work than being a singer?
ZYX: Nothing is easy, they are all hard work, requiring serious hard work. But you can always find happiness in things that you enjoy doing.
TH: Compared to how you were when you were in your 10s, now your actions and works have all matured a lot, do you feel that you can be considered mature now?
ZYX: If 10 marks were full marks, I can only give myself 5 marks, there are still too many things I have to learn.
TH: Did you have a rebellious stage too?
ZYX: Of course I had, when boys are young they are always naughtier. I feel that the rebellious stage itself is a type of growth, for instance setting up an office now, isn’t that a rebellion too? You should say that I have always been rebelling I suppose.
Stubbornness Is something in my bones
(TN: This description refers to him describing his stubborness as being an intrinsic part of him that he was born with)
<Oh My God> is Zhang Yixing’s first movie, it is a collaboration between Zhang Zi Yi, Guo Jing Ming, Li Xiao Lu, these huge names in the movie world. Zhang Yixing wasn’t just worried that he didn’t have acting experience, but also about his accent, lines of the script, abilities etc. His solution was very simple, which was to repeatedly again and again, sparing no effort to rea the script, discussing with the staff, asking for advice from seniors, studying each line with a near stubbornness.
When it comes to compositions he is the same, often with a single tone that he is unsatisfied with, he will continuously change it, continuously correct it, until he has caused himself to nearly break down. Zhang Yixing says, this sort of stubborness grows in his bones, he was born with it. I am not a young genius, I just rely on this sort of obssessive energy to complete things.
TH: Why did you choose Oh My God as your first movie? Ordinarily we would have thought you would have shot a sort of youthful idol drama.
ZYX: In the movie my role “Le Yi” is an exceptionally sunny, carefree person, very similar to my personality. Actually I seem to have some destiny with this movie, once Wei Jia-ge introduced me to Chen Xue Dong, he had already showed me this script, saying do you want to give it a go? I saw the script and laughed loudly, feeling that this character was too similar to me, or should we say to the younger me: inattentive, no care to detail, optimistic. Acting in this role, there was the feeling of letting go, returning to the real me.
TH: After the experience do you feel that acting is fun?
ZYX: Rather I should say it is very meaningful, jumping out from my own life, entering to someone else’s world to go for a spin, so awesome! But it is also very hard, without acting experience, often I will act in too exaggerated a manner, or incorrectly, the lines and pronunciation are also hard points. I can only keep reading the script, try to be first to arrive every time during filming, asking more questions. Now I can’t talk about acting skills at all, and can only work hard to understand the script, do well in the areas that I am able to grasp.
TH: In the future will you put your efforts into the direction of TV and film?
ZYX: If others favour me, of course I hope to meet with the audience more on screen. Also I hope to try hosting too, hoping I can work hard to become an all-rounded celebrity.
TH: Do you focus more on the process or the result? Are you afraid of failure?
ZYX: Both the process and result are important, the process needs to be exciting, the result can’t be too poor either. I feel that with failure you can’t fail too badly either, when I do things I think quite simply, do the things you want to do, and don’t want to lose the chance to do things.
Growing crazily Before success happens in its own time
Before the interview, we saw news that during the filming of <Go Fighting> in Qingdao, Zhang Yixing still insisted on filming in the sea despite running a high fever and having been sent to the emergency department, even attending concerts in Beijing for two consecutive days after. When he first entered the dressing room to prepare for the interview, Zhang Yixing excitedly held up his phone and showed everyone when he participated in <Star Academy>, a photo of where he was sporting the “shamate” hairstyle, saying that this was when he was young. In that moment, suddenly felt a little heartache for this kid, it’s as though you could imagine the scene of a teen in his 10s, alone in Korea, practicing dance without care for his life, sweat dripping like rain, missing his mother in his heart. Some people strive for the money and power; some for their dreams; and others, just to become the person they want to be. Before the right time comes around and success is achieved, he is unable to stop growing.
Zhang Yixing’s attention towards health is rarely seen amongst young celebrities, when there are no schedules his only leisure activity is exercising, also insisting on brushing his teeth after a meal, much more healthier compared to brushing your teeth twice a day. Being the ambassador of “<Trends Health> love for teeth” for 2015, Zhang Yixing shares for the first time tips and good habits on maintaining a fresh oral cavity. Good habits and good visuals, all the wonderful things comes from day after day of perseverance.
TH: Setting up your personal work studio, is that for a more all-rounded development?
ZYX: Mainly it’s to be able to accept schedules in both China and Korea, while guaranteeing that EXO’s activities come first, handling the development of activities in China clearly. What I personally feel is that, from debut to now, the love that Chinese fans have given me is too much, but it is difficult for them to see me. I am Chinese, I want to return often to meet my fans, and let them see my growth.
TH: It seems the development is pretty smooth so far.
ZYX: The geges from “Go Fighting Gang” all help me a lot, getting to know so many seniors, it is indeed a bit more tiring but it’s very worth it.
TH: What do you do outside work hours?
ZYX: Composing, practicing, attending classes, exercising, that’s all. There is indeed no time for leisure, right now I have to work hard, in the future then can I talk about enjoying life.
TH: Won’t you overwork your body this way?
ZYX: I am indeed not the type that cherishes their body a lot, often I get tired to the extent of being dizzy. So my mother is always worried, she will make me eat nutritious foods, this and that. But I exercise everyday, and swim often, these help a lot with being healthy too.
TH: How do you deal with when you’re under huge stress?
ZYX: There isn’t really any method. Stress is just like that, it’s always there. When you think of a matter too much and it turns into stress, you can “jump out” and do something else. I will work out, dance, chat with my friends, compose, shift my focus onto somewhere else. But maybe sometimes I can stop thinking of it for an hour or two, after I sleep and wake up, I think of it again. So you can only wait till when you’ve let go of that matter can you completely release the stress, just let things happen naturally, confirm once slowly.
TH: Hearing the phrase “healthy heart”, do you think you are very far from that?
ZYX: I don’t think any disease is far from myself. So I will take care of my body more, to not worry my family.
TH: Share with us a few things on keeping our hearts healthy.
ZYX: Swimming is good for keeping our hearts and lungs fit, and allows our heart muscles to be stronger. When we swim our heart rate increases, size of blood vessels becomes thicker, flexibility increases, able to train our circulatory system. The friction that is produced with the waters when swimming can also shape our body healthily, it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
TH: Do you think a set of pretty teeth is included in the package of having high quality visuals?
ZYX: Definitely. I also want pretty teeth.
TH: Usually how do you maintain the cleanliness of your oral cavity?
ZYX: Brush my teeth seriously. I brush my teeth and rinse my mouth after every meal, and after brushing I rinse my mouth for double cleaning. I bring my toothbrush when I go out, actually it’s not troublesome at all. When brushing don’t brush too hard, but have to clean the places hidden behind the teeth, time length of brushing the teeth must be enough, cannot do it casually, must change the toothbrush regularly, about once a month. Lastly visit the dentist regularly, to check if there are any decayed tooth or potential ones.
so yes, i’ve been pretty lazy lately but i promise i have a good excuse. after working pretty much every day for the months of may and june while might i add taking a summer class (why on earth did i think that was a good idea again), i was preoccupied and in some serious need of a vacation. so here’s a quick run through of my life lately without giving all the boring details. thirty seconds on the clock…GO. stel’s closed, and we celebrated with lots of laughs and lots of bubbly, i scored a b+ in my summer course (the one i barely had time to take), my other half and soul sister came to finally visit (well after she forgot to tell me she was in boston and i stalked her phone and forced her to hang out with me), my mom and best friend since the braced acne years came to stay at my apartment (old and new) and i had my final weekend in the bean for what seems like a long time. now off the the cutlet for some serious r&r and please oh please lets get some color in this skin.