Back in Time~ Shanghai

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Shanghai never fails to surprise you. As a photographer living in this city, you can never be at a loss for impressions. Even time travel is possible if you are willing to go out of your way to visit the film park in Songjiang. Every time I went there I was able to capture a fantastically surreal film set where time stops and life is reenacted to show a sense of times gone by. And where else in the world can you just walk up to the set and photograph it?

I love Shanghai ❤

Ancient Tradition and Pretty Lanterns~ Shanghai

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lantern-festival-shanghai-6lantern-festival-shanghai-3lantern-festival-shanghai-23d2524ff-2db2-4a3c-b38f-9be696ad0c23Lanterns adorned with ancient poems, lights in the sky, colorful decorations, bright smiles, ever-growing crowds; this is the lantern festival in Shanghai’s Yu Gardens. Every year I keep going back simply to be with the joy of this special happening, celebrating the start of Chinese spring under a big full moon. How dull would life be without ceremony…

The Unknown Beckons~

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Isn’t every moment a step further into the unknown? We think we know where we are going, we have it all planned out, then life reminds us of the futility of our false certainty. I welcome the unknown, I want to live in the joy of discovery, to be surprised by life, to meet the future with an open mind.

I took these images today at the amazing James Turrell exhibit in Shanghai.

Xitang~ An Old Water Town

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A  90 minute drive from the bustling Shanghai Metropolis, lies one of several old water towns where life carries on with a completely different rhythm. Water has this way of slowing things life down to a gentle meander, and it magically transforms reality into gentler ripples of dream like visions. Blue and soft in nature, it allows for a place in oneself of deep contemplation. The old walls seem as thought they are speaking to the visitors, telling tales of times that have been and predicting the tales that will inevitable come to be.

All images taken with iphone 7, edited with snapseed.

Inside the Slaughterhouse~ Shanghai

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1933, a maze of amazingly original architecture, flying bridges, spiral staircases, dimly lit corridors, an eerie feeling of disorientation, and a must location to challenge any aspiring photographer. I love returning to this building again and again, that primarily served as a cattle slaughterhouse after its construction in 1933 in Hongkou,  later a cold storage facility, and a medicine factory among other uses; it now hosts creative spaces, restaurants and shops as well as a few bewildered photographers. The possibilities here are endless to create, dream and compose.

 

Quietly They Toil~ Yunnan

The tug go venture into new territory~ YunnanTobacco road~ Yunnanthe strong backbone of the working man~ Yunnanthe loads we carry~ Yunnanspinning tales over gernerations~ Yunnanfield of dreams~ YunnanFarmer in the fog~ Yunnan

For some of us here on earth, the day begins and ends with physical work, and that brings a simple satisfaction of a hard-earned existence. Every working face I saw during my travels in Yunnan was always ready to break into an unapologizing smile; they possessed a contentment that can be forgotten to us in our boxed offices and multiple screens facing us every waking moment. They commune with nature, the wind, the elements, the land and that rewards them with a sense of belonging. They remember that they are earth dwellers and that simple truth is their fountain of wisdom.

The Enigma of Shadows~

it takes believing in fairies to see one~ Shanghai

to see fairies you must first believe in them

fellowship of the hat~ Shanghai

fellowship of the hat

talk to the shadow~ Shanghai

she had big plans

stretching the truth~ Shanghai

stretching the truth

inside the abacus~ Shanghai

inside the abacus

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In the human maze

Something as simple as an obstructing the light of the sun, creates a world of wonder and a vast playground for the imagination. And shadows have a mind of their own, creating a new reality, ask Peter Pan.

Qibao, Inside the Time Capsule

unbreakable friendships~ Qibao

unbreakable friendships

Time's indellible stamp~ Qibao

time’s indelible stamp

stolen sketches of a lost theater~ Qibao

stolen sketches of a lost theater

breaking ground~ Qibao

breaking ground

If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you~ Qibao

if I wanted your opinion I’d give it to you

softening the hard reality~ Qibao

softening the hard reality

who said Triad~ Qibao

who said Triad?

a controlled sea of humanity~ Qibao

a controlled sea of humanity

Hidden inside the massively dense Shanghai Metropolis is a quaint, albeit crowded small world of tradition. Bridges over water, narrow old streets, a wide variety of delicious street food and a beautiful old tea house.

In the tea house, mostly old men gather to drink tea and watch story telling theaters on a stage that echoes with ancient times.

Each time I go back there, I find the same people, doing the same things, as though they are caught in a time capsule and every day must be relived as it was the day before.

Nearby are the green lanes, where door after door girls and women offer their services for a price. Tickets to their worlds are sold on the main street of the old village.

Heartbreaking, surreal and intoxicating is Qibao.