Some years back, a group of artists were hounded out of Beijing by authorities. Some went to Songzhuang village, a farming town an hour away. Now, that village is a boomtown ?- based on the market for contemporary Chinese art. Communist officials drink beer with bohemians. Will the rising tide raise all the artists' boats ?- or capsize them? Jocelyn Ford goes to Songzhuang to find out.
Wylie Dufresne loves state-of-the-art equipment, but his favorite kitchen tool is modest: the whisk. We asked an expert, Gourmet Magazine's style director Corky Pollan, what makes a whisk really mix and beat.
Aokigahara is the forest at the foot of Mount Fuji. It's mythologized in Japanese literature as a sacred place for people to end their lives -? and every year close to a hundred suicides are committed there. Studio 360's Pejk Malinovski went there to uncover why it lingers in the Japanese psyche.
Guitarist Ghassan al Mosuli once played John Denver songs at the Saddam Hussein Cultural Center. Now he dreams of moving to the United States, to a rustic cabin in the mountains. But as an Iraqi refugee in Syria, he can't get a visa. As Theo Padnos discovered, the uncertainty and displacement of wartime hasn't curbed al Mosuli's passion for American folk music.
Since he burst onto the UK scene with his "punk-folk" in the 1980s, Billy Bragg has been known for his outspoken politics. Bragg is back with his first new album in six years: Mr. Love and Justice. Kurt spoke with Bragg in 2006.