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 ❤

Day 6~ June 6th~ Xinjiang

at the teahouse

In the old city of Kashgar is a charming teahouse. When you enter into it you feel as though you activated a time travel machine. The tea is prepared in a most traditional way with water boiled in large pots over burning fires, the spices used in the tea and the amount of sugar mixed into it are all adherent to old surviving customs. The patrons of the teahouse are some of the most colorful collection of men I have every met. They seem to have a unity that binds them in their togetherness and a feeling of calm and well being resides in the old teahouse.

This place was used as the background for filming the movie ‘kite runner‘. It is a must see for any traveler to Kashgar and I do hope it outlives the ongoing demolition of the city.

Day 31~ March 31st~ Egypt

egypt the unforgettable~ inside the tombs of the Pharaohs

Every journey must end for a new one to begin…

This image concludes the Egypt series for the month of March and I thought in encapsulates the whole experience for me. Humans, friends, together in a quest, searching for the truth, looking at the ancient, to better cope with the now and with the future. The human story, our story, your story, my story, her story, his story , history…

The next month will be an entirely different chapter of my story, another life changing experience, in images..

till tomorrow, good night from New York, and thank you for bearing with me while I am traveling with very little time to comment on your work. Thank you also for your wonderful, thoughtful and encouraging comments on this series. I have enjoyed every post, and every comment and I have valued every reflection you gave back to me about the work.

Day 30~ March 30th~ Egypt

a journey like no other~ boy on a camel in the desert~ Egypt

There are some places you travel to that remain alive in a very special place in your heart…

It really was a journey like no other, this adventure in Egypt. The pyramids, the sphinx, the desert, the camels, the ancient ruins, the mind boggling architecture, the friends, the strange carvings, the sense of being so different to the ancient culture that has been, the bedouins, the Nubians, and most of all the children of Egypt.

Our life experiences come together and culminate to make us who we are. This journey for me in this year to collect the salient bits of pieces of 12 of my life journeys, one a month, and to go through the process of examining them as one would a sand painting, with different colors, different essences and experiences and to then brush them away into the archives of my memories, hopefully learning a lesson in the process.

 

Day 29~ March 29th~ Egypt

boys in abayas

As I come close to the end of this journey back into Egypt I have to carefully choose the last 3 images I want to share with you. Temples, artifacts, artwork, that can all be seen in books, on websites, it has all been recorded again and again, but the people of Egypt, the human element, this is what I value the most in my photos from that time.

The faces of these boys, dressed in their traditional abayas, as they stood there back in 1996, would never have looked the same again. The magic of street photography is in capturing a fleeting moment that is natural, spontaneous and cannot be replicated.

So yes, I will leave  you with people’s images in the last 3 posts perhaps to balance the imposing starkness and coldness of Egypt’s architecture and art.

 

Day 28~ March 28th~ Egypt

the temple of Hatshepsut

The impressive mortuary temple built for Queen Hatshepsut, the 18th dynasty female Pharaoh stands as the evidence of Egypt’s influence on today’s classical architecture styles. This pharaoh was known for her great power and dominion over both upper and lower Egypt and was said to reign for over 22 years.

The original name of the mortuary temple is Djeser-Djeseru (holy of holies) and it is entirely dedicated to the birth and life of the queen to whom it was dedicated.

Legends of Queen Hatshepsut’s great ambition as a ruler and the later destruction and desecration of her statues leave much to ponder about her  intentions as a ruler of Egypt. The sense I got standing at the temple near Deir el Bahari is that of cloudy oppression.

 

Day 27~ March 27th~ Egypt

step pyramid of Djoser~ Saqqara

If the pyramids were burial chambers, how come no bodies(mummies) were found in any of them in Egypt?

This impressive 6 mastaba pyramid is found inside the great courtyard of Saqqara near the city of Memphis in Egypt. Historians tell us that it was built around 2800 BC as a tomb for the Pharaoh Djoser whose Horus name was Netjerykhet, by his vizier Imhotep. This pyramid is the oldest known worked stone large structure in the world and used to be covered by smooth limestone like the later pyramids at Giza. Upon standing at the foot of these pyramids in Egypt, the idea of a tomb was quite far away from my mind…

Day 26~ March 26th~ Egypt

inside the shaft of the great pyramid

The Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, the greatest and largest pyramid known to us, I had the chance to walk inside it in 1996. If you find the pyramids mysterious and impressive on the outside which everyone I know does, then the inside will leave you mystified! The pyramid of Khufu is constructed with shafts like this one in the photo above that are perfectly straight and on a large scale connecting in a strange maze that no one seemed to have figured out the purpose of despite many various efforts.

The wooden steps you see in the very old photo I took back then were added to allow tourists to walk up the shaft that leads to the king’s chamber.

It was a very strange feeling being in a such a wonder of the ancient past and thinking only how futuristic it felt.

(writing this post and the next few while away in NYC, so I will have very little  to reply to comments, but hopefully will catch up soon :))