Secret Stories Behind Chinese Stuff Revealed in This Photobook

By That's, May 8, 2019

0 0

Why are thermoses so popular in China? Why does your neighbor’s son wear that red necktie to school every day? And what’s the deal with all the red lanterns, anyway? If you ever find yourself asking questions like these, keep reading. 

China, like any other nation, has a unique material culture of its own. You can find historical symbols of national significance displayed in museums throughout the country, but everyday items have important cultural meaning, too. Visit any Chinese supermarket, pharmacy or home, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by more than just “stuff.” Things on shelves and tables have stories of their own, and learning their significance is an easy way to connect with Chinese society. 

Essentially Chinese: Chinese Stuff, published by Popcorn Idea Factory and translated by Liu Jun, is a collection of short stories behind — you guessed it — Chinese stuff. It is a beautiful photobook that will teach you, page by page, the importance of little things, covering roughly 160 iconic items. Divided into seven sections (office and classroom, food and drink, home, leisure, drugs and cosmetics, attire and decoration), this book takes you on a comprehensive tour of China’s material culture, which lays hidden in train tickets, moon cakes and iron pans. And each item has its own page, where clean photography and succinct writing come together to provide an insightful introduction.

Secret Stories Behind Chinese Stuff Revealed in This Photobook

You may already recognize many of these items from your time in China, but you may not know the real reason for their popularity. This book promises to give you a deeper understanding of the Middle Kingdom’s unique commodity culture, and it’s the ideal gift for friends and family who want to learn more about your daily life in China.   

This super popular book is available for pre-sale right now on thMart. Orders placed now will be delivered by the end of this month.

Click here to see more books from China Intercontinental Press.

About thMart

thMart is a new one-stop online shopping site that lets customers buy a range of products seamlessly, from anywhere, on the go, with shipping available across China. Compatible on both desktop and mobile, customers can login through WeChat, with their mobile number or by registering directly on the platform. For business opportunities, please email us at

Click here to browse through thMart's catalogue of products. Extract the QR code below to follow thMart on WeChat:

thMart on WeChat

All images via thMart

more news

Book Review: Yu Hua - The Seventh Day

A look at award-winning author Yu Hua's newest existential novel, 'The Seventh Day'.

Chinese online shopping spending could be worth more than Switzerland's GDP

Alibaba's recent IPO filing saw the company project that China's e-commerce market, already one of the world's largest, will double in size by 2016.

A nation wired: Online shopping explodes records

By 2015, it’s been forecast that half of China will shop online. That’s over 675 million people. No surprise, then, that last year, and for the first time ever, China spent more money online than the US, making it the global king of e-commerce.

Woman buys 100 pairs of shoes from store after boyfriend 'bans' her from shopping online

One young man may be regretting banning his girlfriend from shopping online on Singles Day after she bought 100 pairs of shoes in an act of revenge. The woman from Chengdu, Sichuan province spent 20,000 yuan ($3,280) on 100 pairs of shoes at a local shopping mall.

Yao Ming Reflects on China's Basketball Past, Present & Future

We caught up with Yao Ming to discuss the growth of the game in China and its future in the country.

This Day in History: The Marco Polo Bridge Incident

On July 7, 1937, the cataclysmic event that led to the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Explainer: How China Got its Flag

How China got its stars - and almost its stripes.

PHOTOS: Take a Look at the Real Santa's Workshop

How your Christmas decorations are made.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives