Wang Leehom (王力宏) had this photo taken when he was in Qingdao for the opening ceremony of the 2011 Qingdao International Beer Festival. The Chinese American movie and music superstar was in town to perform on August 12, 2011 at Tiantai Stadium.
The photo appeared on his Weibo feed the very next day, where he wrote “Drinking fresh draft beer is best out of the bag! Happy Qingdao Beer Festival!” (see a Google translation of the original Chinese). Leehom has over 7 million followers on Weibo, so that means a lot of people were introduced to the sight of Qingdao’s favorite draft beer in a bag.
Wonder what he’s doing?
He’s in Qingdao, that’s for certain, in his bathrobe, in his hotel room, holding up two bona fide Tsingtao Beer bags full of fresh beer. The draft beer (zha pi/扎啤) comes from kegs that are to be found all around Qingdao during the summer. Draft Tsingtao beer in a bag is sold by weight, usually measured out in jin on a small hand scale. Restaurants and small mom-pop shops have the kegs stacked up and ready to pull during the warm months, but unfortunately this all disappears once the weather changes. Check out a photo of the fresh beer kegs on Guizhou Lu.
In the photo that Leehom posted online, he’s proudly displaying his Tsingtao Pijiu (青岛啤酒) and seemingly quite amazed by the fact that so much fresh beer cost only 10 yuan (RMB). Check out his Weibo here.
Wonder who he is?
A major star in the Chinese mainstream entertainment universe, Wang Leehom is a music and film idol originally from the US. His music instructor says Leehom is a masterful jazz pianist and violinist, though he is famous for writing and singing pop songs. According to his official website, he was born in Rochester, New York in 1976. His family traces their ancestry to Yiwu in Zhejiang Province, though his folks moved from Taiwan to the US before he was born. Leehom was professionally trained at the Eastman School of Music and Berklee College of Music in the United States. He graduated with honors from the liberal arts school Williams College and is lauded as its most famous graduate. He counts Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Missy Elliott as his musical inspiration. Listen to some of Wang Leehom’s music on Xiami. Also, check out a video of his recent release called Open Fire (here on Youku), where he sings in English:
Of an Asian Invasion
Here they come a point’n fingers at me
Preyin’ on a mass emotion
Stirrin’ up a big commotion
Trying to assign responsibilities
Gonna stop this negativity
Turn it into positivity with integrity
Giving all of me
For all to see
This fight for equality
But even if they blame us
Try to frame us nobody can shame us
I’m a sing this next verse in Chinese
Wang Leehom was one of the first torch bearers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and wrote the theme song One World, One Dream (check out a version him singing the song on Youku). Leehom is also a famous actor, having appeared in Ang Lee’s film Lust, Caution alongside Tang Wei and Tony Leung. He plays the college student who talks Tang Wei’s character into sexually entrapping Tony Leung’s character. He also directed Liu Yifei and Joan Chen in a 2010 release called Love in Disguise.
Leehom plays violin, piano, and guitar in addition to singing. His career began in 1995 when he was visiting his grandparents in Taiwan and won a recording contract with BMG in a talent show. He rose to fame singing Mandarin pop music and even released a couple of records in Japanese and Cantonese as well.
If you’ve been in China, you’ve definitely seen his face on ads for McDonalds, Coke, and Sony Ericsson. Looks like Tsingtao Beer in the bag got some free PR here. If you’re in Qingdao anytime from May to October, have a bag or two of some of Tsingtao’s finest.