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Beijing's LoReLi Magazine on the Spirit of Chaos

Dec 15, 2017 | 15:13 Fri
Five Questions: Because "interviews" just sounds so staid and formal! This is where we talk to interesting people about interesting things. "Five" is more of a guideline than an actual rule.
Beijing's most wonderful arts, music, and creative writing media platform LoReLi (short for "Look", "Read", "Listen") is hosting two nights of creative chaos in Shanghai on Friday and Saturday night, collaborating with a bunch of other Shanghai and Beijing arty types for a zine making party tonight at Do Art Space and hosting a big ole Beijing-plus-Shanghai rock show at Harley's on Saturday. You should go to both of those. They'll be good. SmartShanghai talked to LoReLi's Daniel Rothwell and Kerryn Leitch to find out more, more, more.


L to R: Boss Cuts' Michael Marshall, LoReLi's Kerryn Leitch and Daniel Rothwell

SmSh: So what's LoReLi and who's all involved?

Daniel Rothwell: It’s a place for us to write unacademically about things we care about. 

Kerryn Leitch: LoReLi is an arts/culture magazine, maybe not a magazine, a WeChat feed that will give you all you need of who is worth watching in China at the moment. The crew is a ragtag band of folk who will be found at music shows and art openings. We do nothing for profit at the moment so we are patrons as much as we are journalists.

SmSh: What are some of the fine things you guys get up to in Beijing?

Daniel Rothwell: Drinking a lot, and shows shows shows shows shows shows.

Kerryn Leitch: Well... personally, what goes on tour... for LoReLi we interview artists, writers and musicians plus put on shows and exhibitions and sometimes just parties where everything goes. Nothing too small apparently, I just woke up and Dan had filled my house with speakers playing loops of creepy music.

I don't know how to turn them off. I think I might lose my mind.

SmSh: What are some in-roads to getting into LoReLi? Which articles and stories have you guys published that  people should check out, that define the style of the magazine?

Daniel Rothwell: I think recently it's been a bit of everything really. Press "Play" on the listen posts, and check out some Beijing bands you've not heard. Or touring bands. Interviewing Die! Die! Die! was cool, they're wonderfully nice chaps. 

Kerryn Leitch: I think Dan’s interviews are usually anarchic fun but we have an amazing backlog that is well catalogued for anyone to find what floats their boat.

SmSh: How's Beiijing these days? Lots of art and writing coming out of the city? What should people in Shanghai be checking out, reading?

Daniel Rothwell:, Loreli, Down The Rabbit Hole, Catabolism, Hole In The Wall, fan字, Sponge Gourd Collective, Bury The Bone, Spittoon, Shaving In The Dark, Muse Mag, The Shanghai Literary Review.

Kerryn Leitch: Spittoon!!! Our brother/sister publication Spittoon has the cutting edge of every talented person with a pen or a... what do I say for slam poetry? An angry stance? An axe to grind? We cover writers but they do it comprehensively and we’ve been big supporters of each other from the start. 

As for art, nothing will keep Beijingers down. They may steal our art spaces and people find somewhere new to create. Artists that I particularly love are illustrator Li Zhao, street artist SHUO (whose zine we are bringing) and the amazing Chairman Ca.


SmSh: What’s the deal with the zine party? And who's all involved?  How do people get their stuff into it?

Daniel Rothwell: In the spirit of all things chaotic, we've set ourselves the rather ambitious mission of creating a zine for release... 24 hours after it's started. With a theme somewhere along the lines of "Murphy's Law", reminiscent of the last week or so organizing this event, we're looking for artistic involvement in any way, shape or form with putting this thing together. 

One particular idea that we'd love to explore is a comic strip documenting how the zine is actually made, to be put in the zine, addressing how the content is gathered, as the zine's content progresses. A zine, about the zine's creation. Meta. 

Got some drawings with no place to live? Give them a home. Got a sweet photo you want to see in print? Go for it. Got a poem, story, or even just an urge to get some words on a page? Why not. 

The whole point of this is to see if we can put together a collection of media in just a few hours, and get it into your hands the next day. It's a challenge, but it can definitely be done. 

We will be showcasing a slew of Beijing zines as well as some of your local fare, including: Down The Rabbit Hole, Catabolism, Hole In The Wall, fan字, Sponge Gourd Collective, Bury The Bone, Spittoon, Shaving In The Dark, Muse Mag, The Shanghai Literary Review

Contact Kerryn (pushkindemama) or Dan (danielrothwell) on WeChat to let us know if you want to be involved or just turn up on the night and hit us up. 

Involvement in this project can come in the form of providing illustrations of what's happening in the space, illustrations accompanying texts that have been collated, and anything that fits the theme of “Murphy's Law”. (If shit can happen, it'll probably happen. It's how we deal with it that's important.) There will also be chances for interviews with those that have provided their illustration, which will also make it to the online LoReLi page, and into the zine itself. There will be a lot of flux and change as the project goes on throughout the few precious hours of the night, however this organic process will produce something quite... unique. I realize this all sounds a bit vague, but hey – let's see what happens. We're making a zine, we have 24 hours to get it done (for release at a show at Harley's the next evening), and from 6/7-9/10 is our content collection period. 

Kerryn Leitch: I'll leave the description up to Dan because this is his crazy mayhem baby. To get involved, people just need to turn up. Bring their zines or just bring themselves and help us create a zine on the night. 

SmSh: Any thoughts on how to reconcile the competitive and sometimes frosty Shanghai-Beijing relationship?

Daniel Rothwell: Make more zines. 

Kerryn Leitch: Come sleep on my couch! There is an endless loop of creepy music playing that I can't shut off but it's otherwise cozy. Honestly, we need to share our love more often. The Shanghai friends who have been helping us with these events have been truly excellent and wonderful and everything else good. We need to be sharing our talent and reminding each other what we have to offer. You share your Ugly Girls and Dirty Fingers and we'll give you our Sino Hearts. 


LoReLi's zine party is tonight at Do Art space. The rock show is tomorrow night at Harley's.


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