Archive for ‘portrait’

Misplaced~

the art of urban camouflage

In Hongkou, part of the old city of Shanghai, was a set of grey narrow alleys that were a maze of tiny streets containing 2 or 3 story homes stacked side by side in a most claustrophobic manner. Hundreds of tangled electric wires dangled between walls that were decorated with phone numbers advertising services for those who needed them. Water flowed down the streets and bikes and colorful laundry colored the otherwise shabby surroundings. In those sad alleys I met some very happy people. Their smiles instantly appeared when we met and stories were told that I only understood partly because of my poor grasp of Shanghainese but laughter was the largest part of the conversation. I just loved that place and I kept going back again and again to photograph until one day the residents announced that their neighborhood is condemned to demolition like so many other old Shanghai alleys. The last time I visited there were metal foundations of giant about to rise from the stories of these lovely people. I had to fight back tears seeing the ghosts of what used to be there and is no longer…

Day 67 of 365~ 

Image taken in the old alleys of Hongkou, 2014

On Possession~

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Possessions: What do we really, truly possess? We think of possessions as things we plan and hope on keeping permanently, and the more we have the more we want to collect. But in the end, does it really matter? Maybe we can call them temporary belongings, because that is all they are. When we leave this place, the only possessions we are allowed to cary are the immaterial ones. How much love did we invest, how much care did we give and get, and how much goodness lived in us? Maybe these are the fuels that will be needed in our onwards journey into the next destination if there is one.

Day 65 of 365~ 

image is a composite of a bird I watched this week and an old portrait of my daughter. 

Remembering to forget~

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How often do we catch ourselves lingering on past events with a melancholic obsession? We task ourselves with carrying the baggage of emotional hurt like an armor that only keeps us from moving forward. The way forward is lighter, freer and leaves no room for old heavy anchors.

Day 61 of 365~

Image taken in Siena, Italy of a beautiful soul who humored my experimentations with long exposure and ghosting. July 2012

Summer in the old alley~ Shanghai

smoking his way through the last hot days of summer

smoking his way through the last hot days of summer

Each time I start a new walk into one of the old alleys of Shanghai, I feel as though I am entering another world where simple life, community feeling, tradition and open communication thrive. There is a charm to the old alleys and a distinct sense of nostalgia that makes them so attractive and keeps me coming back. As long as they are there, the spirit and essence of Shanghai continue to live on.

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