|This just in: On October 22, Hua Chenyu Studio posted on Weibo that the 2019 Mars Concerts had been postponed due to force majeure. Efforts are being made to ensure that Martians (as Hua Chenyu fans are called) will still get to “come home (aka. attend the concerts)” this year. More information will be released within the next seven days.|
I was just about to post the following article when I got the news. But I don’t really know how to pivot from the shocking turn of events to normal everyday Martians news… and it’s way past my bed time and I’m too lazy to rewrite it, so I might as well post it as is…
Pop artists have been obsessed with planting wink-wink, nod-nod references and callbacks in their works for fans to find lately. From Taylor Swift’s months-long bread crumb trail of clues and cryptic foreshadowing prior to the release of her new single, to Vampire Weekend’s latest album sprinkled with all sorts of references and homage both obvious and obscure, not to mention the new releases of every Marvel and DC movie, plus video games like “Fortnite” and “Mortal Kombat”, it seems that Easter egg hunting might become the new favorite sport for pop culture fans.
Though on Mars this has always been the case, since its eccentric prince has a childlike fondness for puzzles and brain teasers, and forging interconnectivity among seemingly disparate events through the thread of a central theme. In as early as 2016, Hua Chenyu’s Mars Concert Tour, intriguingly taglined “Puzzle” that year, was preceded by a series of promo videos filled with riddles, and a “Finding Hua Chenyu” livestream reminiscent of a scavenger hunt that led a group of Martians down many a rabbit hole around Beijing. Hua is also prone to posting obscure clues to his upcoming works on Weibo, such as a blurry picture of a rose, intended as a reference to the French novella The Little Prince, to allude to his participation in SMG’s celebrity travel show Flowers on Trip, or a photo of his flute-playing self obscured by underbrush, cryptically announcing that he would play the flute in his 2017 Mars Concert, or a hotel selfie coupled with the seeming non sequitur “Spring had not ended; the moon was shining”, a hint at his then-new single “Heaven’s Equal”.
By either necessity or predilection, Martians have all become hardened sleuths, over-analyzing everything Hua posted, finding meaning where there is none, using advanced photo-processing technologies to zoom and enhance all Hua Chenyu-related photos, from which many major discoveries were made, like that one time Hua posted a selfie on a train, and got off to throngs of Martians waiting for him at the station, because during the short train ride, Martians had already deduced his precise location and train schedule just from the background of his potato-quality selfie (scary, I know). Or that time when Martians zoomed in on his make-up artist Vincent’s Weibo photo and discovered Hua in the reflection of Vincent’s sunglasses. Or that time when Hua posted a photo of himself watching good friend Zhang Xinyi’s new movie in the theatre, and Martians adjusted the contrast and lighting of the photo to show that Hua was the only one in the theatre – he bought all the tickets.
Though Hua himself has been laying low and writing songs for his new album these past two months, Martians have been pampered with a constant drip-feed of information about his new songs and upcoming concerts, mostly through interviews, articles and short videos. On October 21, Hua Chenyu studio released a video prelude to Hua’s new song “Conversations with the Martian Child”.
Speculations about Hua’s new album have already veered towards the whimsical and absurd, with theories about the number of chairs in the above video signifying the number of songs in the album, and correlating that with the stage design in a similar Hua Chenyu video featuring an inexplicable surplus of chairs on Super Boy 2013, and then some Martians started adding, subtracting or multiplying various numbers derived from the video and creating new numbers with new mysterious meanings… It’s all going bananas. At this rate, if Hua didn’t release a new single soon, Martians would all be wearing tin-foil hats and hovering over John Nash pinboards plastered full of screencaps, maps, and newspaper clippings connected with strings and arrows by the end of the month.
I was originally planning to post an article when the single actually drops, but all this suspense and tin-foil hatting is killing me. Here’s Hua’s new commercial for Hair Recipe to soothe your pre-new-single jitters.