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  • Her life looks like one straight out of a fairy tale.

  • Li Ziqi impresses millions with her videos,

  • where she makes seemingly everything from scratch

  • with her own two hands,

  • from dying a dress with fresh grape juice

  • to fashioning traditional lipstick from roses in her garden

  • to foraging on horseback

  • in order to prepare

  • one exquisite meal

  • after another.

  • She has some 50 million fans in China

  • and another 8 million overseas,

  • but she remains a mystery to many of them.

  • In her videos,

  • she doesn't speak,

  • and she rarely gives interviews.

  • But now,

  • she's ready to open up to us.

  • To find Li,

  • we had to travel to rural Sichuan Province in southwestern China,

  • where she grew up.

  • Li grew up with her grandparents here.

  • She says she came to live with them

  • after her stepmother mistreated her.

  • But they were poor,

  • so when she turned 14, Li went to work in the city.

  • In 2012, she decided to return to the countryside

  • to take care of her grandmother.

  • Four years later, she started filming her life there.

  • The dishes she prepares range from a single condiment

  • to elaborate multi-course meals.

  • But whatever she makes,

  • she leaves no stone unturned,

  • going as far as raising baby ducklings

  • just to make a sauce out of salted duck eggs.

  • Some joke that she's brought

  • a whole new meaning to the phrasefrom scratch.”

  • Some of her other recipes are wholly original.

  • In one video, she uses magnolia flowers to make pastries

  • and even deep-fries the flowers themselves.

  • Apart from food,

  • she's also known for her videos demonstrating traditional crafts,

  • like building this bamboo furniture set,

  • which she says was inspired by

  • one of her grandfather's old benches.

  • Li's stylized depictions of rural life

  • stand out in China's ultra competitive field of online videos.

  • The market has become lucrative,

  • estimated to be worth $6.5 billion.

  • Li's pensive and ethereal take

  • has struck a chord with young people

  • hustling in China's big cities.

  • But Li is not without controversy.

  • Some viewers have been skeptical of her claim

  • that she started as a one-woman band.

  • Two years ago,

  • Li posted a behind-the-scenes video to refute those claims.

  • Li says she now works with one videographer

  • and one assistant,

  • but she's still the one calling the shots.

  • We weren't able to verify these claims

  • because we were not allowed to observe Li filming.

  • But today,

  • three years after she first picked up the camera,

  • Li is one of China's most successful online video makers.

Her life looks like one straight out of a fairy tale.

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Exclusive Interview With Li Ziqi, China’s Most Mysterious Internet Celebrity

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/27
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