L’Uomo Vogue (n. 434)

Han Han Vogue IT

Han Han Vogue IT2


He’s the most popular blogger in the world, the only one among the Chinese government’s critics to have the support of millionaire sponsors; he is, as described by his fans, “a shot of adrenaline that awakens our apathy”, His name is Han Han, he recently turned 30, and he is a writer, racecar driver, singer (he recorded an album, R-18) and agitator of virtual masses.

I was expecting a man with a pop star attitude and instead I find a myself in front of a man with the face of a respectable boy, a black wisp of hair that falls on his eyes and glasses with a thin frame. “If you speak Chinese you know who I am”, he said at the beginning of a recent interview with a Chinese TV. I point out that even people that don’t speak Chinese know who he is. He smiles, almost embarrassed. His first novel, Triple Door (editor’s note: published in Italy by Metropoli d’Asia under the title Le Tre Porte), written at 16 after abandoning school, sold more than two million copies, becoming “the” bestseller of the past twenty years, his blog posts (on blog.sina.com.cn/twocold) are followed by 400 million readers, Time magazine in 2010 included him in the list of the 50 most influential people in the world.

We start from the end, from the most recent criticism: the government has defined him as “a slave of the West, a rebel without a cause”, some Chinese intellectuals have accused him of being on the government’s side. He stays calm and answers almost without thinking: “if I were a rebel, I wouldn’t drive an Audi or a BMW. When you write something that criticizes the government people think you’re taking money from Americans or some other foreign power. When you write something that does not criticize the central power, people think you are being payed by the government. In this country you always and only think of money, you can’t do anything without there being an economic interest behind it. I just try to tell people what I think and that’s it”.

But he does take money from sponsors. “Sure, but not regarding what I write: the sponsors are for the races”. Yes, races, because Han Han is also a famous rally pilot. Recently, Hublot produced a unique model that bears his name, with the inscription For Freedom, and it was auctioned off for charity. Johnnie Walker portrays him in a campaign with the slogan “dreaming means making every idea that comes to your head come true”, He shot a commercial for Nescafé. “Yes, I am a brand”, he admits, “sometimes they pay me for this: what’s wrong with that? I’d like to be something more, I’d like to become like the character of my latest novel, 1988 (also published by Metropoli d’Asia in italy, editor’s note)”. And that is? “A man that is not afraid of facing his responsibilities”.

I look at him with amazement, as some of his posts, such as “On Democracy” or “On Revolution”, have traveled around the world for the direct way in which he expresses his thoughts. An example: “I can’t write about the police, I can’t write about political leaders, I can’t write about the system, I can’t write about justice, I can’t write of the mass assemblies, I can’t write about many periods in history, I can’t write about Tibet, I can’t write about Xinjiang, I can’t write about events, I can’t write about pornography, I can’t write about censorship, I can’t write about art”. I remind him also that a group of intellectuals in Beijing, “Open Constitution Initiative,” which has been fighting for a legal reform, in 2008 gave him an award “for his exemplary contribution in protecting the rights of citizens”, he responds by drawing a comparison with another Chinese personality that paid with imprisonment his vocation for freedom of expression, Ai Weiwei. “Ai Weiwei is more direct and persistent, I write about a topic and they get angry, they ask me to stop and then I write about something else”.

Is it an attempt to make fun of censorship? “There are no real rules. In this country they censor you after, but first they let you write, if they don’t like it, they erase what you’ve written, it’s not like in the days of Mao, when the punishment was corporal. If you want we can call this “progress” but we have a long way to go. It’s difficult to draw the line. There are no rules, you’re really in the hands of those who are in the office that day, and depend on how they woke up that morning; if their lover has treated them well, if he has found a new girlfriend, he will not censor you, if he is unhappy, then he gets angry with you”.

He speaks little of his private life: he has a wife, who he met in high school, a daughter that is a little over a year old (“I have done my duty to the country”), and several girls of whom he prefers not to speak of. He does not smoke, nor drink, and he doesn’t go to clubs. “I did when I was twenty and I first moved to Beijing, now I no longer care for it”. Now, if he doesn’t have to prepare for a car race, he gets up in the afternoon and writes until dawn. Before leaving him I ask him if he thinks that in China there will be movements like in the Arab countries. “You mean if there will be a revolution?”, he answers by making me read one of his posts. “When Chinese drivers will have learned to turn off their high beams when encountering another vehicle, that day we can definitely start talking about revolution”.

I look at him, puzzled (in China, according to the rules of the road, when a car crosses another car on a stretch of a road that is not lit, you have to use the high beams); I keep reading “A country like ours does not need a revolution. When a civic way of thinking and the level of education of citizens will reach a certain standard, everything is bound to happen gradually. Perhaps we will live long enough to witness wonderful changes, perhaps when we’ll die China will still be the same. In any case, always remember to turn off the high beams when you cross another car”.

Text by Manuela Parrino

Fashion editor Tang Shuang

Photo By Leslie Hsu

寒是全世界知名的博客博主,也是唯一的批中国政府还拥助商支持的博主。于他的众多粉而言他就好像是:一管上腺激素,醒冷漠的我寒,30,作家,赛车手,潜在革鼓. 他的第一本著作是三重200万册,他的博客( HYPERLINK “http://blog.sina.com.cn/twocold” \o “http://blog.sina.com.cn/twocold” blog.sina.com.cn/twocold)有四亿者。他被认为被西方社会收,莫名的反叛。而同一些中国的知分子又指他偏袒政府. :”当你写一些关于政府的批判的候,者会认为你收了美国人或其他国家的 当你写一些不批判中央集西的候,者又会认为你被政府收了。在个国家人们总是想到,好像如果不是经济利益你什么事都不能做。我只是想表达我自己所想的,就这样但他确实拥助商,但不是因他写的文字,而是因是一名赛车手。 宇舶表有一款唯一的限量“For Freedom”是用他的名字命名的,品通方式支援慈善事 还为雀巢咖啡代言广告。 很好啊,我就是一个品牌,有什么不好?我希望我更有价,我希望我成我新1988》里的那个人,一个不害怕面对责任的男人。他在网上布的一些文章,比如《革命》,比如《民主》,已直接把他的思想达到了整个世界。他到艾未未,他是一个很直接、很固的人。我写一些材,如果他不允我停止,我就去写其他的。个国家你写完文章后他审查,他你先写如果不喜除。和以前比起来也算了,但要走的路他在中国从来不会出像阿拉伯国家那的运 当街上开的人都学会了关闭远光灯的候,我就可以谈论革命了。这样的一个国家也不需要革命了,当公民的素都到一定的准的候,一切都会自然的化。所以,无如何,在路上遇到另外的汽大灯吧。