Inside a Shanghai Pet Show, a Space for Memory and Connection


SHANGHAI — While walking through a busy pet show, Chen Xiaorong found solace and stillness in one particular stall: It was called “Memory.” The pavilion at The One Pet Show (TOPS), held over the weekend in Shanghai, was a homage to some beloved pets that had died. Inside a glass cabinet were toys, combs, and... Continue Reading →

In ‘Involuted’ China, Eating Disorders Are a Hidden


SHANGHAI — At the entrance to a packed gallery stands a female figure dressed in a pretty white dress. Her body is covered in abusive messages scrawled in red and black ink. “You’re ugly,” “Your waist is too big,” “You look like a pig,” the notes read. The artwork is part of a landmark exhibition... Continue Reading →

Can Anatomical Dolls Help Solve China’s Sex Ed Problem?


SHANGHAI — A crowd of curious adults watched as Chen Jing unzipped the pink cicatrix across the belly of a plush doll made to look like a girl. As she opened an abdominal compartment, a tuft of brown hair poked through. Chen carefully removed the “newborn” from the mother doll, its umbilical cord still attached.... Continue Reading →

After a Year of Loss, Chinese Find Solace in ‘Death Cafés’


SHANGHAI — In 2019, while Feng Qing was traveling abroad, her beloved grandmother unexpectedly died. Feng couldn’t forgive herself for missing the last opportunity to spend time with the woman who had raised her. “I was crying all day,” she says. But Feng had nowhere to turn with her grief. Her parents certainly didn’t want... Continue Reading →

For China’s Middle-Aged Women, Depression Is an ‘Invisible Killer’


SHANGHAI — It took less than two months for menopausal depression to push Xu to the brink of killing herself. The 55-year-old, a teacher from the southwestern Yunnan province, first began feeling unwell in May 2018. Initially, her only symptom was a loss of appetite, and she assumed she simply had a stomach problem. She... Continue Reading →

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