top of page

The Heartbreaking Story of China’s Most Stylish Homeless Man

Welcome to the 155th insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode, we uncover the truth behind Chen Guorong aka ‘Brother Sharp’ as he’s more popularly known, revealing the untold story behind China’s most stylish homeless man.

On the morning of January 20th, 2010, Mr.Tu, a Chinese photographer, took to Tianyi Square to test out his Sony camcorder. Sporting a new lens, the creative opted to capture dynamic street style, shooting random passers-by as they commuted. While rather uneventful, interest would peak as a vagrant man strut forth in an oversized trench coat, baggy jeans and complimenting rope belt. His slender profile drew attention to a unique temperament and razor-sharp jawline, in light of unforgettable cheekbones.

Having captured an array of in-motion stills, Tu would upload each to the online forum ‘Fengniao’ which he frequented. A month later, his work was reposted on a similar forum thread alongside a caption that roughly translated to “Behold the number one ultimate, gorgeous, handsome passer-by! Blind your dog eyes! Seeking detailed information on his flesh." Other commenters would shower him with similar compliments, glorifying his unique style and “sharp” features before plaguing him as Brother Sharp.

Within five days the post amassed millions of views, prompting users to locate the mysterious man. Found outside of a bookstore, it was confirmed Guorong was in fact homeless and “mentally disturbed”. As a result of such notoriety, he would be admitted to a hospital and reunited with his long-lost family, beginning a slow road to recovery. His younger brother revealed that nearly a decade prior he had departed from home in search of work after a fatal car crash took both his wife's and father’s life, sending the vagrant in a downward spiral.

Such loss explained his often feminine stylistic choices, allegedly seeking female companionship in a lonesome world. But even after returning home, Chen Guorong would relapse four years later, returning to the streets once and for all.

271 views0 comments


bottom of page