Nini Sum

All posts tagged Nini Sum


Published April 18, 2013 by subcultureshanghai


shackleton poster by Zeke Clough

Shackleton (2010) – designed by Zeke Clough

Back in April 2010, Sub-Culture brought Shackleton to China for the first time. This was a big deal for us, we had wanted to book him since the early days of Shelter but as he rarely travels outside of Europe it wasn’t possible until he decided to do his first world tour in 2010. Understandably excited about the event, we wanted to make a special poster for the occasion and so contacted Skull Disco artist Zeke Clough to see if he would be interested in doing the design. To our delight he agreed and the result (above) totally blew us away. It was by far the best poster we had done for any of our events up until then and we felt that simply printing regular posters wasn’t enough. Around the time we had received the poster from Zeke Split Work’s Jue festival was in full swing and one of the events included a workshop from a new screen-printing studio called Idle Beats. I have been a collector of screen-prints for many years and so was excited to have finally found someone doing it in Shanghai and so contacted Nini Sum to see if she would be interested in collaborating and producing a print of Zeke’s poster. Nini was up for it and so for the event we produced a short run of hand-pulled posters.

Clouds and Desto Subculture

Clouds and Desto (2010) – designed by Gregor Koerting

We really enjoyed working together and so decided to do it again the following month when we hosted Clouds and Desto from Finland. Gregor Koerting had just joined Idle Beats and had an idea for a poster and so he designed our second screen print. Again, the project was a success and Gregor’s poster sold out pretty fast. And so we did it again the month after. And the month after that. And the month after that. We have now been working together for just over 3 years and have produced over 40 screen-prints designed by artists from all over the world.


designed by HR-FM

Scratcha DVA (2012) designed by HR-FM

This Sunday at On Stage sees the first time we have exhibited all the posters together. All available posters will be for sale at a special price just for the event, and Idle Beats have put together 20 mystery tubes for only 50rmb, containing a random poster from our collection! Get down early and grab a great piece of art for your wall!

2562 by Nini Sum and Gregor Koerting

2562 (2012) – designed by Nini Sum and Gregor Koerting


Sunday 21st April – Sub-Culture + Idle Beats present: SVBKVLT Launch + Poster Exhibition

@ On Stage – A2, Lane 570, Huaihai Xi Lu, near Hongqiao Lu

2pm – Late ** Free Entry

Tes La Rok (2012) - designed by Lilly Xiao

Tes La Rok (2012) – designed by Lilly Xiao


Red-I & Soul Flower (2011) – designed by TwoQee

Dubway Vs Sub-Cutlure (2010) - designed by Thun Puchpen

Dubway Vs Sub-Cutlure (2010) – designed by Thun Puchpen

See,Saw – Nini Sum Solo Exhibition in Hong Kong

Published October 17, 2012 by subcultureshanghai

See, Saw By Nini Sum

Thursday, October 25 – Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fine artist, illustrator, toy sculptor, print maker and the founder of screen printing studio Idlebeats, Nini Sum is a lady with many hats, for whom any juggling act would prompt a seesaw sprouting into imagination. Lately, the little device is swinging a lot, throwing up a series of surreal and quietly subversive images linking what she saw and what she sees.

Combining figurative drawings, surrealism and abstract painting with her favorite personal symbology, Sum’s works represent a visual and tangible interplay between philosophy, fantasy and the world of dreams. Enter it and one will find a string of free associative ideas through to “the shadow side” – the collective unconscious where what we see is muddled by our tactile sensory and what is saw is blurred with perceived reality.

“Painting to me is an expression of images and scenes that consciousness brought in. The process of creation is filled up with struggle and lonesomeness, but that’s the rare path to inner peace and pure bliss if you are being truly honest with the flow of the sublime.”- Nini Sum

Born 1986 in Nanjing, the Shanghai-based artist is a Visual Communication graduate at Jiangnan University. Her recent show include Spot Light- China Youth Art Exhibition 2012.

Identity Art Gallery 53 Tung Street
Sheung Wan,
Hong Kong

Opening Hours

Tuesday – Saturday 11.00am to 7.00pm
For further information please contact the gallery at
+852 2540 5353 or visit:

AM444 – ‘Rooms’ Artwork by Nini Sum

Published October 11, 2012 by subcultureshanghai

Today we are very excited to unveil the beautiful new artwork for AM444’s upcoming album ‘Rooms’ by Nini Sum. Nini, who also designed AM444’s first release ‘Eye Wonder’, has spent the last month making something very special for this release, and we are stunned by the final results. The cover (above) is a large scale oil painting and will also be part of Nini’s first solo exhibition in HongKong at the Identity Art Gallery which opens on the 25th October.

This Saturday at the Sub-Culture event at The Shelter we will also have a special pre-listening session for ‘Rooms’. At 10pm we will be playing the whole album, in full, for the very first time. If you can’t wait to hear what Jay.Soul and ChaCha have been working so hard on these last 6 months, get down early to Shelter and be the first in town to hear it! More details on this coming very soon.

Thursday 10th May – Sub-Culture presents: 2562

Published April 25, 2012 by subcultureshanghai


Thursday 10th May – Sub-Culture presents: 2562 (When In Doubt/Tectonic)

Line Up: 2562, Drunk Monk, ChaCha, Didje, Ubec + guests TBC

Entrance: 40rmb

Mid-week Sub-Culture transmission!! 2562!!!!

Imagine a head-on collision between freestyle rhythms, soundsystem shaking bass, emotive chords and unusual sampling tactics… or just forget about it. The music of 2562 – aka Berlin-based Dutchman Dave Huismans, the number being his former zipcode in The Hague – keeps surprising anyone with a keen ear for new electronic music right because it escapes the usual categories.

Pacey and futuristic bass transmissions such as ‘Kameleon’, ‘Techno Dread’, ‘Flashback’ and ‘Dinosaur’, released on DJ Pinch’s highly respected Tectonic label, found their way onto the decks of everyone from Kode9, Benji B and Mary Anne Hobbs to house/techno veterans Anthony Shake Shakir, Francois K and Laurent Garnier.

Known for a true love of dj’ing, tight mixing skills and wide selection in an uptempo style, 2562 is not another producer-turned-dj, but a proper selector since years, who enjoys making a trip out of a set, mixing up brand new cuts fresh from the studio with unexpected house and techno gems. He plays regularly at high profile clubs such as Berghain/Panoramabar (Berlin), Fabric (London) and The Bunker (New York), as well as bass-strongholds Subloaded, FWD, Sub Dub and numerous festivals and underground nights all over the world – from Australia to Japan and from the USA to Russia.

With his new imprint, When In Doubt, 2562 is pushing his sound even further and making it even harder to categorize his unique take on electronic music. Sub-Culture have been waiting for this event for a long long time now, and we are sure it will not disappoint!

Faded Ghost – Ghost Ark EP

Published January 24, 2012 by subcultureshanghai

Faded Ghost – Ghost Ark EP – Artwork by Nini Sum

Since ChaCha attended Red Bull Music Academy back in November, her musical knowledge, style and skills have grown beyond what we ever could have imagined. ChaCha’s new solo project, Faded Ghost, is her latest experiments into sound and the results are fantastic. As a little taster she has posted up a free EP of fresh material, a gift for you all for Chinese New Year! Check it!!


Sub-Culture 4th Anniversary Pt. 1 – SHACKLETON – This Friday

Published November 21, 2011 by subcultureshanghai


Friday 25th November – Sub-Culture 4 Year Anniversary Pt 1 – Shackleton (live)

Line Up: Shackleton (live), Drunk Monk, dji, Steven Lorenz, Didje + guests

Entrance: 60rmb

For the last 4 years Sub-Culture has been bringing some of the most interesting and forward thinking acts that Shanghai has experienced. To celebrate our 4th year in Shanghai we are excited to bring 2 of our favorite artists back to Shanghai, one in November and one in December. For part one of the celebrations we are very excited to bring back one of the best acts ever to play at Sub-Culture – SHACKLETON!

Co-conspirator of the infamous Skull Disco, along-side Appleblim, Shackleton’s maverick take on big basslines and complex beats doesn’t fit easily in to any category. Thundering bass, tribal rhythms, snaking percussion, hypnotic melodies and dubwise sensibilities, his sound is like no other. Taking influences from the UK’s dubstep sound, Berlin’s techno expertise and drum and percussion rhythms from every corner of the globe, Shackleton produces a sound which is hard to describe but even harder to resist. Very rarely leaving Europe, this is a very special opportunity to experience one of Shackleton’s amazing live sets! If you saw him last time we know you will be here this time, and if you missed it make sure you don’t miss out twice!

*** Saturday 10th December – Sub-Culture 4 Year Anniversary Pt 2: KODE9 ***

AM444 – Eye Wonder Screenprint by Nini Sum

Published June 17, 2011 by subcultureshanghai


Our good friends at Idle Beats have recently released a beautiful screenprint version of the AM444 – Eye Wonder artwork designed by Nini Sum. It’s a four colour screenprint with one layer of matt gold on ivory white paper and measures 78cm x 40cm. There are only 66 of these beauties made and each one costs 300rmb. As a special offer for a limited time, if you quote ‘’ when you purchase one we will throw in a free copy of AM444’s debut release – Eye Wonder. Judging by sales so far these prints aren’t going to be around for long so act fast!! Click here to buy!



AM444 – Artwork and Track List Confirmed!!

Published March 7, 2011 by subcultureshanghai


Hot out of the lab, we are excited to announce the track list and cover art for AM444‘s debut release – Eye Wonder!!

AM444 is a collaboration between Shanghai’s ChaCha (Sub-Culture, Uprooted Sunshine) and Jay.Soul aka The Groove Architect. This jazzy, funked up, dubbed out sonic assault is some of the most exciting music to come out of Shanghai in some time, and has already seen radio play in London and LA, as well as around Asia!

The artwork,  pictured above, is by our favourite Shanghai artist – Idle Beat’s Nini Sum! We basically gave her full artistic freedom in the design, with only the music itself as inspiration, and we are stunned by the results! Just wait till you see the whole package, its beautiful!

‘Eye Wonder’ consists of 7 tracks, with the first press also including the bonus track ‘Eye Know’, as included on Time Out’s compilation earlier in the year. Here’s the final tracklist:


1      失忆 (Shi Yi)

2      你问我吧 (Ni Wen Wo Ba)

3      神仙药 (Shen Xian Yao)

4      去海边 (Qu Hai Bian)

5      Eye Wonder

6      寻找出口 (Xun Zhao Chu Kou)

7      神经末梢 (Shen Jing Mo Shao)

Bonus Track: Eye Know


‘Eye Wonder’ will be released on PAUSE:MUSIC on April 1st, with a special launch party at The Shelter including a whole host of local stars. Be there!!

The Making of ‘The Baby Snatchers’

Published February 28, 2011 by subcultureshanghai

The Twoqee Twins – Twoqee Guo and Twoqee Song


As most of you will know by now, each month Sub-Culture collaborates with Shanghai based printers ‘Idle Beats‘ to produce a limited run of screen printed posters, each month inviting a different artist to do the design. This month’s poster, which we have entitled ‘The Baby Snatchers’ was design by Twoqee from Beijing. Yesterday we went to the Idle Beats studio to meet up with Twoqee to ask him a few questions about the design and to see how the poster was made.


Cult Youth comic – ‘Zombie Pie’ by Chairman Ca


Twoqee Guo, from Beijing, is a comic illustrator and creative designer behind the “The Thing” clothing brand, and is also part of the infamous ‘Cult Youth’ comic artist collective (check out this great little video about Cult Youth here). XiaoLongHua (the artist who designed December’s Sub-Culture poster, and who is also a member of ‘Cult Youth’) explains that Cult Youth is a collective of comic illustrators based in Beijing who put out underground comic books, either collectively or individually. The latest ‘Cult Youth’ comic, Zombie Pie by Chairman Ca, was released last December and is available to buy here , but, as XiaoLongHua explained, they only produce around 1500 of each comic, and all the earlier releases are sold out, so id act quickly if you want to pick one up.


‘The Baby Snatchers’ by Twoqee Guo


When asked about his ideas behind the poster, Guo told us that when thinking about the design he heard a news story about the worryingly increasing number of children being kidnapped and sold in China, and so this is the main inspiration for the image (hence the creepy looking men sneaking around, and the guy walking away with a pram).  ‘The design took 3 weeks to develop and then 3 days to draw’ says Guo, who is very happy with its final outcome.

So now the design itself is done, the next step is to screen print it. Screen printing actually originated in China during the Song Dynasty (970 – 1279 AD), was introduced in the West during the 18th Century, and only really became popular due to Andy Warhol’s use of it in the 1960’s (thanks Wikipedia). I have been a collector of screen prints for a few years now, but have never really known about the whole process and so it was a pleasure and very interesting to see Twoqee and the Idle Beats crew at work.


Exposing the screen


First off, each colour of the image has to be separated and a screen has to be made for each layer (this design is 3 colours, so 3 layers). Each layer is first printed in black onto tracing paper, and then after the silk screen has been coated in light-sensitive emulsion, the tracing paper is placed underneath the screen in a large exposure machine and is exposed to light for roughly 80 seconds. The reason for this is that the light only shines through the parts of the tracing paper where there is no print, and then the emulsion on the silk screen which is exposed to the light becomes water proof. After the exposure, the remaining non-waterproof emulsion is washed off to leave a kind of stencil of that layer of colour. This is done for each layer, and so we are left with 3 screens.


Aligning the screen


Next is the printing. The first step is to print the main background colour (in this case, the kind of pink colour). The paper is laid down underneath the screen (which is attached to some kind of movable vice to keep it in the same position) and the screen is lowered on top of it. Ink is then poured on to one end of the screen and using a squeegee (a rubber blade) the ink is, quite quickly, drawn across the screen. The ink only goes through the screen where the emulsion was washed off, and so it creates a perfect copy of that layer of colour. Once the ink is dry, this is then repeated for each layer of colour. The tricky thing here is to get each screen exactly aligned before printing, and, as Gregor Koerting from Idle Beats explained, sometimes this can take hours to get it exactly right.


Pulling the ink across the screen


It was a really good experience to see how these posters were made, and it made me realise and appreciate the time and effort which goes in to each print. I didn’t arrive at the studio until around 5pm (due to a late night djing with Heatwolves, which was a lot of fun by the way) but these guys had been there since first thing in the morning, and when I left around 8pm they were still hard at it! As always, these posters, as well as past Sub-Culture posters, will be available to buy on Saturday night at Sub-Culture @ The Shelter, and also direct from Idle Beats. Idle Beats also run weekly screenprinting workshops, so if you fancy the idea of giving it a go yourself you can contact them here.


The finished print


Big up to Idle Beats, Twoqee and all the other artists that have been involved in the Sub-Culture posters so far! Next months poster will be designed by Tony Burhouse, check out his blog here.



Idle Beats Open Studio Day – This Saturday!!

Published January 13, 2011 by subcultureshanghai

Our very good friends, Idle Beats, are having an open-studio day this coming Saturday (15th Jan). Heres whats going on:

‘IdleBeats screen printing & design studio is hosting an Open Studio Day + Print Art Exhibition on the 15th(Sat) this month at our new studio. We will have an open door from 10AM to 10PM to welcome all the friends, at the same time exhibit 30+ nicely-framed gigposters, art prints and woodcuts originally designed by local & international artists and all hand-printed by IdleBeats. Free entrance, free drinks and all the prints are on sale with really affordable price!’

We went down this week to have a little preview and check out the studio and it looks great! So theres your plan for Saturday – Come down to Idle Beats, have a look at some great artwork, have a free drink or two and then buy a nice piece of art to hang on your wall at home!

IdleBeats Open Studio Day + SilkScreen Art Exhibition
Time: January 15th, 2011 Saturday 10AM-10PM
Address: Room 302, Building 2, No.962 Changle Rd (near Wulumuqi Rd) Shanghai
Free Entrance + Free Drinks + Prints Sale!

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