Day 1~ December 1st~ Guilin

her beautiful toothless smile

Her beautiful toothless smile

A new month, a new place, part of the Guangxi autonomous region of far Southern China, is the beautiful and enchanting Guilin. When I travel in the heart of China or any other country, I find myself impressed mostly with the local people, the essence carriers of the land. Guilin, Yangshuo, Longji and the small villages along the Li River are inhabited by some beautiful people with a very rich culture just waiting to be explored and appreciated. I travelled to Guilin back in 2009 with a great friend from New York and we spent all our days and nights between its beautiful people and the hills. This old lady was washing clothes by the side of the river and she granted me several portraits that I treasure dearly. Her name she told me through a toothless smile several times but I just could not get it, and it does not really matter. She is so much more than a name.

Day 27~ November 27th~ New York

To be free to do just that~ 

Don’t you love it when you find yourself so free in your mind to just break into a dance in the middle of a crowded park simply because you ‘feel’ it? Don’t you wish we could alway be reactive like children without the weight of inhibition and the shackles of self enforced rules of behavior?

photo~ man dancing in central park

Day 16~ November 16th~ New York

I will meet you in the underground

When you ride the subway trains in New York City everyday with their strong smell, the shrieking brake noise of the arriving trains, the unintelligible speech of the conductors, and the repeating “stand clear of the closing doors”, you beging to feel a sense of belonging in those underground tunnels, almost like a city rat. You pick a spot that is convenient for you stand in each day while you wait for the train, you decide weather you are in the mood to look for a seat or simply just stand, and the train ride becomes a kind of a meditation. I always loved people watching while on the subway, and trying to imagine the stories behind each face while trying hard to keep mine anonymous.

Day 2~ November 2nd~ New York

even shadows must rest

Being a photographer, shadows intrigue, evade, flee, hover and enchant us in so many ways as they claim their place in our images. Shadows are strange phenomena, aren’t they? They are the reverse projections of whatever object is blocking the light, almost like the doubles of that object that follow it wherever it goes, sometimes obviously visible and daunting, and other times barely there like phantoms. In a high energy city like New York, even shadows need a little nap.

Day 30~ October 30th~ Yunnan

from the West to the East~ the gift of smoke

Since the 7th century in China, Opium was ingested for medicinal purposes and never smoked. Then in the 17th centurycame the Europeans and introduced the mixing of opium with tobacco to be smoked making it the most addictive practice among the Chinese. This led to the two famous opium wars and after several attempts from the Chinese to ban the import of opium, attacks on the shores of China by the British and eventually several treaties that according to historical accounts marked the beginning of the century of humiliation of this Asian nation.

Today, everywhere you look, people, young and old are smoking tobacco on the streets of China.