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Just for laughs

Updated: 2021-12-07 08:10 ( China Daily )
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Wang Zi combines mime, dance, hand gestures and clown performance in his shows.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A reality show, being streamed on Chinese platform iQiyi, focuses on comedy, Chen Nan reports.

Wu Liuqi doesn't need fancy sets to tell his tales. With a big red nose, a pair of round spectacles like Harry Potter, and his expressive body language, Wu, a 31-year-old mime artist, made his stage debut in the reality show Super Sketch Show, broadcast by streaming platform iQiyi, with a five-minute performance, titled Bob's Travels.

Playing the role of Bob, who finds a magic hat which turns him into the captain of a big boat, Wu takes audience along on his voyage into a fairy tale world, where he meets new friends and helps to find the grandmother of one of them. The actor's commitment to engage with the audience allows him to do a lot onstage.

"The audience love to see the actor use nothing but his skills to create a magical world," comments one viewer on Sina Weibo.

Actor Cao Muzhi, who also participated in the reality show, says he was "taken back" to his childhood while watching the one-man show. "I even felt a little bit lost after returning to reality."

Wu, a Beijing native, has been performing and touring as a mime artist for 10 years and has gained a faithful fan base in the country. This is the first time Wu has performed in a reality show which premiered on Oct 15 and is being streamed weekly on iQiyi.

The reality show invites five celebrity judges-actor-director Huang Bo, actor-director Xu Zheng, actor Yu Hewei, leading standup comedian Li Dan and well-known television personality Ma Dong-and audience members to vote for 25 groups of contestants. With many rounds of competition, comedians work as soloists or in groups to create original shows for the final win.

According to Ma, founder of Beijing-based media enterprise Mewe, which produced the reality show along with iQiyi, comedy is at the center of the show, which opens up various genres.

Comedy is not new to Chinese reality shows produced by TV stations and streaming platforms. For Ma, it's also a family tradition since his father, Ma Ji (1934-2006), was a xiangsheng (cross-talk) master.

"Comedy is hard. The judgement is made based on one rule-whether it makes you laugh or not," says Ma Dong.

"All comedy, at its core, is tragedy, if you look deep enough into it. That's why it is so hard."

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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