Discovering the ladder of understanding~

ascension

This morning I was driving my daughter to her weekend Chinese class and we had a very interesting conversation. She was complaining about her inability to always find interest in continuing to learn Chinese whilst living in Germany and this took us to musings about the human brain and how we, humans have so much unused potential. It has been said that humans only use 10% of the brain capacity and once we push and struggle to learn  new things, we are perhaps activating otherwise dormant wirings in our brain and faculties. She became very interested in the process and walked to the class with a spring in her step.

Day 68 of 365~ 

image is a composite of a wall in Hong Kong and a closeup portrait of my daughter. 

Why do we forget?~

If we were asked to recall the events of the last 5 minutes, we can play them back in our minds where they are recorded almost perfectly. Then if we were asked that same question a year later, all details become blurry and most of the story is lost. Why is that? Why do memories fade? Is it by design? Or did something go wrong along our line of evolution?

Day 63 of 365~

Image taken back in 2012, in Shanghai, China

Half told stories~

Today’s dwellings are in and around time. Stories of our lives follow a time line running through today between yesterday and tomorrow. As much as we want to touch and be in tomorrow it is always out of reach today. And so is every story incomplete because time carries it through to tomorrow. The human story never really ends does it?

Day 31 of 365

Images taken on New York bridges

The Ethnic Minority Culture of Yunnan~ China

state of surrender

state of surrender

the bending force of habit

the bending force of habit

Leader of the marching band

Leader of the marching band

I returned with a small group of photographers last week to this remote region of China’s Yunnan Province that haunted me since my last visit to the area a couple of years back.

It is the type of journey you would do if you were really in love with photography and different cultures that make up pieces of the puzzle of the human story on our planet.

The journey was a great challenge from the long drives, to the heat, the spare accommodations and the great element of unknown.

It was the opening of my series of documentary photography workshops that I am doing in Yunnan and despite all the challenges we faced, I can happily call this a great success.

I will be sharing here a series of images, stories, portraits and special stories about this journey into a unique and mysterious part of the world.

a future we never bargained for~ Shanghai

pollution~ Shanghai-2 pollution~ Shanghai-3 pollution~ Shanghai-4 pollution~ Shanghai-5 pollution~ Shanghai-6 pollution~ Shanghai-7During the last few days, Shanghai was submerged in a large cloud of gray pollution that seemed to call over terms like ‘apocalypse’ and ‘end of days’ from many of its residents. A look of worry shrouded everyone’s face and all conversations centered around the same theme: the toxic smog. It felt so bizarre to walk around in a dark city with masked people and alarmed eyes everywhere you looked. The pollution was literally off the scales (over 500) and no comforting answers anywhere as to when and if it will end. Now, a few days later, it has dropped to 195, still an alarming number in any country, but here in Shanghai, it calls for a celebration. What kind of world are we bringing our children into? What levels of abuse are we subjecting our planet to in the name of progress, money and power?

 

Chance or destiny

The ones we connect with

The ones we connect with~ Shanghai

On a planet of over 7 billion people, we end up connecting with a minute fraction of humans throughout our lives. The parents we are born to, the family around us, the friends we make at school, the spouses we end up with and a handful of others along the way. Is any of it destined? Do events lead us to meet who we were meant to meet or is it all random? Do certain people sing our tune? Is chemistry involved? Are there invisible silver threads between us and a few others?

Another piece fo the fascinating puzzle we call human life…

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.