Shanghai Basketball is More Than Just Yao Ming

Posted by Kayo Homma-Komori & filed under Pop Culture.

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W+K Shanghai, a creative communications firm, recently brought together NeochaEDGE, a Shanghai-based creative agency, and Nike Sportswear to create content for Nike’s interactive e-magazine Main Court: Shanghai, a mag that celebrates basketball culture, Shanghai-style.

The project consists of illustrations, an original soundtrack, and an animated short, all displaying the diversity and richness of basketball culture in Shanghai, which is a fairly recent development. One can only imagine a young Yao Ming in the images, working his way through the Shanghai basketball ranks, from playing streetball in neighbourhood alleys, to organized 5-on-5’s on modern, paved courts, to living out the dream, playing in the NBA for the Houston Rockets. However, with Shanghai producing an e-mag like this, it proves that Yao Ming was not just a fluke, and that there’s much more where that towering 7’6″ centre came from.

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The project features some extremely talented EDGE Creative Collective artists, all based in Shanghai. Xiao Longhua, a comic book artist, created an illustrated piece titled “Shanghai Basketball: ’80’s to present” which portrays the history of basketball culture in the city. From Longhua’s illustration, Ding Ding, a motion graphics designer, created a short animation which plays as the opening sequence for the e-magazine. The animation is set to a track titled “Right Now”, produced by another EDGE talent, Sunbiz aka Sonny Ho. Check out the incredible animation on the e-mag’s opening page.

Perhaps formerly unknown, but now coming to international recognition, Shanghai basketball, hip hop and urban culture is worth noting as a vibrant example of how one culture may take something from another, flip it, and make it its own.

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