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Hello Asia! Live Review: BIGBANG MADE World Tour - Allphones Arena, Sydney (17.10.15)

It finally happened! South Korean superstars BIGBANG finally set foot on the land down under - and they've definitely left their mark! VIPs were left exhausted by the end of the night from all the jumping, dancing and singing along to a setlist of classics. Plus, if you've been following our BIGBANG concert livetweeting session on Twitter, you may have noticed that over the course of the two hours I may or may not have developed a teeny-tiny crush on Daesung. How did that happen, you ask? Let me start from the beginning...

Hello Asia! Album Review: Yen-J -"Thanksgiving" (Taiwan, 2015)

Yen-J’s fifth album Thanksgiving is exactly what its been packaged to be. Although reminiscent of his past albums, there’s something different about this one. Wrapped in a simple package designed with a bottle of water on the front and first aid symbols, band aids and the like adorning it, this album is everything its cut up to be (pun intended)-a first aid kit for emotional boo-boos. Returning from a two year long hiatus, Yen-J is back and ready to share what he’s learned in the past two years both emotionally and artistically with listeners everywhere.

Hello Asia! Film Review: Lost in Hong Kong (China, 2015)

Best described as a Chinese crossover between the Hangover series and Due Date, Lost in Hong Kong is the sequel to director Xu Zheng’s blockbuster hit Lost in Thailand. Starring Xu Zheng, Zhao Wei, Bao Bei’er and Du Juan, the action-comedy follows painter-turned-brassiere designer Xu Lai as he embarks on a 12-hour adventure through the streets of Hong Kong unwillingly accompanied by a Zach Galifianakis-esque sidekick/brother-in-law Cai Lala.

Hello Asia! Album Review: Leehom Wang - "Your Love 你的愛" (Taiwan, 2015)

In 2008 Taiwanese superstar Leehom Wang released his album Heartbeat 心跳 and labelled it an album that he dedicated especially to the guitar. Since then I've been wondering when he would dedicate an album to the piano, and he finally has. Although it's not a widely marketed point of this album, it's clear that in Leehom's long-awaited 2015 album Your Love 你的愛, Leehom's supporting instrument of choice was most definitely his beloved piano. Mainly classified by Leehom as an EDM-based album, the musical maestro has seamlessly blended this lesser-known genre in with elements of Chinese mainstream pop to create a completely different listening experience for all listeners. I believe that Leehom's signature sound is not overly apparent to fans given the long time he's spent in the industry. But it is nevertheless always present in his music. And this signature sound of his always aims for the same thing-the element of surprise.

Hello Asia! Theatre Review: Hong Kong Dance Company’s The Legend of Mulan - The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood (17.09.15)

The Legend of Mulan is a familiar tale, either to those who know its original origin adapted from the epic poem The Ballad of Mulan or to those a little more familiar to the Disney classic. Nonetheless it is a story that is much beloved, with its courageous figurehead an inspiration for all- courage, determination and love both filial and feminine. In this inspired dance adaption by the Hong Kong Dance Company these qualities are shown through stunning choreography and dreamlike finesse.

Hello Asia! Live Review: YouTube FanFest Sydney – Qantas Credit Union, Sydney (11.09.15)

The screams started at 4:30pm for the red carpet and didn’t stop until the end of the two and a half hour 2015 YouTube FanFest, as (mostly pre-teen) fans clamoured for their favourite YouTubers. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you translate Internet personalities, whose domain is usually the computer screen, into real life, the result is an engaging, interactive experience that is good-natured fun for everybody.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: My Dictator (나의 독재자) (South Korea, 2014)

Awarded and nominated for various awards worldwide, My Dictator is an inspiring, eye-opening and commendable piece of art by Director Lee Haejun. Exploring the bond and emotions of a father and son, My Dictator is a beautifully heartbreaking representation of family, love and dreams.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: Cart (South Korea, 2014)

Everyone loves a story where the little guy takes on the bigwigs, but it's especially poignant in the case of 2014 Korean film Cart - with feminist themes, it's great to see a huge thumbs up for equality so prominent in Korean media, packaged as a drama-film-turned-social critique.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review - The Face Reader (South Korea, 2013)

Korean historical dramas are one of my favourite genres - their insight into Korean history, royal hierarchies and language are boundless, and they provide a visually rich and compelling landscape for stories much more relatable to a western audience than you'd expect. The Face Reader is no exception - enthralling, intriguing and most certainly entertaining. I've since found myself trying to read the faces of my housemates, clients and even my cat, but I've yet to have any luck.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: The Divine Move (South Korea, 2014)

Ever heard of the game "Go"? It's a board game that originated in China and was popularised in the west in the late 19th century, played with black and white stones, strategic like chess and with the ultimate goal of surrounding your opponent. They call it "baduk" in Korea, and I'd never heard of it until KOFFIA put this film on my radar. It looks innocent enough, until you've seen The Divine Move. Now I will forever associate this innocuous game with violence, bloodshed and revenge.

Hello Asia! Film Review: Attack on Titan (Japan, 2015)

There has been much anticipation surrounding the release of Madman's latest Japanese blockbuster, the first installment of the live action adaptation of cult hit manga and anime series Attack on Titan. Having screened around the country over the weekend, hundreds of anime fans flocked to theaters, many in cosplay - but while the avid lovers will avidly love, the film also left many disappointed, confused and underwhelmed.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: A Matter of Interpretation (꿈보다 해몽) (South Korea, 2014)

Dreams are as mysterious and whimsical as life can be. Through A Matter of Interpretation (Hangul: 꿈보다 해몽), director, writer, and producer Lee Kwang-Kuk attempts to take the audience through a whimsical journey to explore the concept of dreams. The movie is made to be quite lighthearted and yet still intriguing. It offers a great cinematography that was a feast for the eyes, and full of symbolism that is quite a challenge to interpret, but of course that is only a part of the journey.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: How To Steal A Dog (South Korea, 2014)

It’s KOFFIA time in Brisbane again, and the festivities kicked off last night – if not with a bang, then certainly with a pop. And maybe a dog whistle. While the festival’s film lineup is always exceptionally curated, traditionally KOFFIA’s opening and closing nights feature films that are particularly exceptional. This year the trend continues with 2014’s How to Steal a Dog.

Hello Asia! KOFFIA 2015 Film Review: Clearer Than You Think (생각보다 맑은) (South Korea, 2015)

The struggles that come hand in hand with the road to fulfilling one's dreams are explored in the most clever, humorous and bittersweet ways through this omnibus animation by director Han Ji-Won.

Hello Asia! New Music Video Review: CL Feat Diplo, RiFF RAFF & OG Maco "Doctor Pepper " (South Korea, 2015)

We've always known CL of 2NE1 would one day expand her kingdom to America and fearlessly rule the world with her raps. Now she's swept clean Korean pop charts and awards, that day has finally come. The biggest, baddest K-Pop heroine showed the world what she's made of with her first full English rap track titled "Doctor Pepper".