dundon_280Fan Bing Bing is one of Mainland China’s biggest pop stars. An actress and fashion icon, she is most famous for her roles in the widely popular soap operas that are followed devotedly by hundreds of millions of people across China.

In 2008 and 2009 I spent nearly a year traveling with Bing Bing as she worked on various projects throughout China and Asia. During these months I was witness to her busy working life and its endless series of promotional appearances, film sets, luxury hotels and elaborate meals.  Her’s was a world of nouveau-riche celebrity privilege where private banquets and police escorts are the norm and running from crowds of frenzied fans is all in a day’s work. I often discovered photos of myself in the Chinese tabloids – awkward, blurry images shot from a distance by hidden paparazzi.

Fan Bing Bing is idolised for her beauty and her features, especially her eyes, which are considered unsurpassed. Round, big eyes like hers are priceless and, in a China obsessed with strictly defined notions of beauty, Bing Bing represents perfection of female form. Her image is ubiquitous in the newsstands and on billboards across the country.

Rian Dundon