Magazines

Graphology and Gong Li in Maxim

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Jia Yuwen analyzes handwriting.
This month's Maxim (风度) profiles Jia Yuwen, a forensic document analyst from Liaoning who was a key expert witness in the legal wrangling over the estate of Hong Kong tycoon Teddy Wang.

After Wang was kidnapped in 1990, his wife Nina (who died earlier this year) produced a will naming her as sole beneficiary. Lower courts ruled the will a forgery on the basis of chemical dating and style analysis. Jia was brought in for a final appeal in 2005, and he determined that a spot of pooled ink that other experts had pointed to as evidence of the heavy hand of a copyist was actually the result of a pause, completely consistent with Teddy Wang's handwriting. The court overturned the ruling and Nina got the estate.

In the image at left, Jia analyzes four superficially distinct renditions of Maxim's Chinese name. In red, he has marked off similarities they share; he determines in under ten minutes that they were written by the same hand.

The topic of graphology is no stranger to the pages of Chinese media, but most of the time handwriting analysis is presented as a sort of psychological test- contemporary calligraphers cite the works of ancient masters to judge the personality of public figures from their signatures. It's not often mentioned as a forensic discipline.

The title of the article is pretty clever: "An astonishing 'persecution for writing'" (拍案惊奇“文字狱”). "Persecution for writing" is usually used to refer to people who are imprisioned for the content of their writing - anti-government poems, for example. Here, it's applied to the written word itself.

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Gong Li on the cover of Maxim.
This issue comes with a supplement - the 100 hottest women in the world for 2007. It's done rather differently from the list in the English-language edition of Maxim. Aesthetic standards, for one thing: where the top three names on the original Maxim Hot 100 are Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, and Scarlett Johannson, the list in Fengdu starts off with Scarlett Johannson, Jessica Alba, and Lindsay Lohan.

For another thing, the Chinese Maxim Hot 100 is actually two Hot 50 lists: one for Hollywood stars and one for Asian stars (obviously, it would be completely unfair to judge them together).

This means that there are no ethnic Asians on the Hollywood list. The Asia list is basically a "greater China" list, populated almost exclusively by ethnic Chinese. Is Li Xiaolu (#17) really hotter than all the stars in Japan and Korea?

Finally, Gong Li, this month's cover model, is so far ahead of the pack that she's given a special designation as "Hot 100+1."

The Asian and Hollywood lists are here; Maxim's original Hot 100 is here.

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There are currently 5 Comments for Graphology and Gong Li in Maxim.

Comments on Graphology and Gong Li in Maxim

Why has Gong Li never been on the American Maxim top 100.? She should be close to the top.

Gong Li rules.

Yeah I agree totally! Scarlett Johansson followed by Jessica Alba!!! YES! I don't have a thing for Ms. Lohan anymore, maybe 2 years ago...

ON the Chinese side I got a major thing for Zhou Xun!!! She may not be the prettiest but I love her style and her acting. Just saw her in 射雕英雄(2003)man I love her as Huang Rong! She was excellent in Perhaps Love too. I didn't like Ming Ming that much but the Ming Ming character looked HOT (to me).

Sorry but Gong Li blows most of those Hollywood actresses away in looks!

Gong Li has something, her face flashing and shinning , she should be number 1 at the list.

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