The 1980s was the era that followed China's carrying out the reform and opening up policy. At that time, the Chinese people first embraced culture from outside the mainland, usually from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Pop songs sung by stars from Hong Kong and Taiwan filled in streets and lanes of cities across the mainland.
Along with the songs, martial art films and gangster films from Hong Kong also came to the mainland. They were played in a new type of entertainment locale called a "Video Playing Hall".
Many established Chinese film makers, critics and art lovers in modern China got their early artistic enlightenment in these halls.
Chinese film from this era began to find their individuality. Films by the fifth generation of Chinese directors, such as "One and Eight", "Yellow Earth" and "Red Sorghum", were among those that received worldwide recognition.
Following the songs and movies, it also became the trend for youngsters to wear hair fashions from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
When the clock ticked into the 1990s, cultural life in China evolved into a phase with all-around diversity. Individuality and diversity are found in every cultural field, including music and film.
Art works include those that reflect mainstream ideology and those that seek roots from the lives of ordinary people, or individual experience.
New Year films and comedies became a new film type. Film no longer always carried some message, but some were for mere entertainment. In the pop music field, along with TV sets going into every family home, and the launch of televised singing competitions, the mainland got its own first batch of star singers. They swept the pop music scene, equaling their fame and influence with the stars from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Rocker Cui Jian emerged onto the pop music scene with his work "Nothing to My Name". He shouted out the outrage, confusion, and self-declaration of a whole young generation, which triggered a wild and vibrant pop music scene in 1990s China.