Shanghai Moments~

Visiting the city we called home for almost 12 years is nothing short of strange at first. But within a day or two I felt the streets call me back with their charm, unique flair and warmth of the people. So little of the old city is left as the large construction projects drive forward leaving bits and pieces of the beautiful old alleys around the city. As I walk around and find huge empty lots and big buildings on the sites of my favorite alleys, I realize that all my photography over the years in Shanghai has been about recording history and vanishing alleys that are never to come back again…

Winds of Change

From the mega metropolis of 30 million to a quiet German neighborhood, from the 16th floor of a high-rise building to the lone house and garden, from the green polluted sky of shanghai to the intoxicatingly fresh air of the countryside… we find ourselves in a whole new ecosystem.

We took in a few fish to live in our small pond last week and since then they have been hiding as they get used to the new environment. We are not so different. I feel the urge to settle in and find my way in my new ecosystem.

Despite of all the change, something inside me is dancing in joy and wellbeing. Thank you Germany for the chance to be well and happy as we get ready to call you home.

Modernization at any cost

progress will wait for no one~ Shanghai's condemned alleys

progress will wait for no one~ Shanghai’s condemned alleys

Shanghai, the pride of China, races towards its future, bejeweled with glitzy sky scrapers, glowing with billions of energy consuming lights, employing the largest work force in the world, day and night, 7 days a week and waiting for no one to be ready for this epic change. In neighborhoods like this one, people are given very little notice before their homes get demolished giving room to bigger, more modern and more expensive buildings. The people themselves are moved to housing outside the city to start a new life with little character, with no traditions and with not much choice. Every week that I visit these alleys, I find that more and more of them has disappeared…

 

Anonymity~ the great gift of urbanism

Because you don't want everyone to know your name

Because you don’t want everyone to know your name

The most difficult thing about change is to not be allowed to do so. In a big city change is a way of life and conformity can be easily pushed aside to make room for a journey of personal development. But then there are some rare villages and tribes where personal development is championed above all else. I have seen one or two.

 

Day 27~ June 27th~ Xinjiang

walking the path of change

In our lives we get so comfortable with the familiar, we anchor ourselves in the past and we walk around with the certainty of the now. The future, we file in our minds as unknown, not yet tread, uncertain, and we handle it with the tools of our past based on what we already know and have done. But what if the rules of the game have changed? What if the future is dealing us a new card? What if the path is about to change direction? How then do we get ourselves fit to interpret the future? Where do find the tools to update ourselves and be ready for what is clearly changing all what we know from governments, weather patterns, mental possibilities, arts, technology… everything that we see resulting from that which we don’t see?

Woke up to so many more questions today…

photo taken: an old man walking on a Kashgar city street~ Xinjiang

Day Three Hundred Thirty Seven, December 25, 2011

is it the vanishing point?

Christmas day always seems to point to the next highlight or important event, the arrival of the new year in only a week’s time. This new year has been heralded all over the place as a possible end, a new beginning, a major year of unusual events according to the Mayan prophecy of the shifting ages. But come to think of it, haven’t things already started happening? 2011 was a year filled with upheavals, on natural, human, social, religious, governmental, and personal levels of all kinds. So what awaits us in 2012 really? Do you ever wonder?

 

Day two Hundred Fourty Seven, September 26, 2011

to walk in the avenue of change

I was looking in a drawer the other day and I came across an old phone (the palm 650), I carried it in my hand and felt stunned at its weight, bulkiness and clumsy appearance. This was my dream phone only 2 years ago because it had a keyboard for writing emails. And I realized 3 phones later and several ‘i’ gadgets since, that the speed at which technology is developing is astounding. If we don’t stop to examine it, we can almost miss it. As soon as you get your mind wrapped around your new and unbelievably futuristic ipad, you feel uncool to be seen with it since the far cooler ipad 2 is now out!

It is a cause of so much concern actually to see what kind of world and at what staggering speed we are leading our children into their digital future. I wonder if someone was to to go to a desert island for a few years without any contact to the outside world and come back, what kind of impression will this fast changing world have on them and how will they cope?

photo taken: Lea walking over a Chinese character stencil on the street in Pudong

Day Two Hundred Eighteen, August 28, 2011

The direction of change

It has become forcefully clear that change is upon us. Hurricanes, volcanos, floods, global warming, waves of animal extinction, earthquakes, tsunami, revolutions, uprisings, new and strange weather trends and even down to people becoming unsettled and unable to cope emotionally with the fast onset of change.

But we live on a planet of duality and positive changes are certain to accompany the negative an the threatening. But as all things fine, a human development change will be more difficult to detect, to know where it is coming from, to tune into, to be with and to grow and evolve with.

Spring will still come anyway…

Shanghai blossoms

The world is changing!

We would have to be blind not to see that the powerful current of evolution is driving through our planet in full force.

Something if forcing us to move on, to evolve, to find new ways of going on.

It is not subtle, this message, it comes with life changing potency.

It drives nations to revolution,

it erases whole species of organic life,

it shakes the earth from its core,

it shifts weather patterns,

it forces us all to stop and rethink our lives,

and still,

it keeps the steady rhythm of the seasons and it offers us the gift of Spring after a long winter.