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

Holy water~

When I was a small child, we lived close to a very special monastery. In that monastery was a very magical well that always fascinated the dreamy child in me. We were told that the well was always empty but if you prayed and your prayers were accepted then the water flowed and you could have a drink of holy water. I was in utter awe of seeing my suspended bowl attached to a piece of rope sometimes come up full.

In my travels I saw several cultures revere water in different ways. On this riverbank in Myanmar locals considered this water a miracle cure for their ailments, the river Ganga in India is considered the ultimate destination for Hindu worshippers.

There is so much mystery in something as simple as water. We are 70% mystery ourselves!

Day 64 of 365~

Image taken on the river bank near Bagan, Myanmar

We are born alone~

According to the most recent statistics, there are 7.6 billion people living on the earth today. Absolutely none of these people shares your fingerprint or DNA structure. How incredible is that?!

Finding someone to share your beliefs, likes and dislikes would seems like an impossible achievement! Part of me believes it should be that difficult. Each difference of opinion matters because it makes me question mine and either reject my own after long consideration or become even more steadfast in my beliefs.

Day 62 of 365~

Image taken yesterday after a brief snow storm in Düsseldorf

Remembering to forget~


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

Romanticizing the killing machine~

romanticizing the killing machine~ ChinaWhen faced with a hot issue in the world like guns and the recent school shooting, it is a good idea to look at the simple facts. What are guns? Why do we have them? How did it all begin?

The simple truth is that they are human fashioned killing machines. That is their sole purpose, a metal object designed to project at strong speed another metal object with the purpose of puncturing the body of another human or animal and to cause injury or death. That simple fact should halt all arguments about having them with children, near children or having them at all.

I listen the news about Syria and all the children that died in the least week to benefit a recent group of arms dealers who benefit each time there is conflict and who thrive from the misery of the less fortunate. They try to romanticize the issue and muddle it so we won’t comprehend, but it is very simple, isn’t it?

Power, greed, wealth and the personal need for self gratification without counting any cost.

Day 55 of 365~

Image taken in a back alley in Shanghai, China

Protecting Innocence~

mindful of their innocence~ Kashgar.jpgThey arrive to this earth relying on our coded ability to host them as they take human form. They are born tiny and helpless and it is up to us to support, care for and nurture them till they can care for themselves. They carry in them the promise and possibility of a better tomorrow. They are our most valuable assets. Why can’t we all put their wellbeing before that of wealth, power and greed?

Day 53 of 365~

Image taken of a child in the old streets of Kashgar, Xinjiang