Behind the modern facade of Shanghai and the fashionable lifestyle of its rich, is a world of tradition hidden in the city’s old alleys. Every week when I visit these neighborhoods, I find less and less of them left. The city is changing so rapidly and the new has no room for the old. Modernization is consuming tradition and Starbucks cups are quickly replacing the famous tea containers of the Shanghainese. A paradise for street photographers, I feel so lucky to have lived in Shanghai as long as I have.
Every stitch on her costume, every threaded bead she decorates herself with, every wrinkle on her face plays a part in telling her story, a life so different to ours, a world so alien to 21st century culture, an existence rising out of old traditions, she belongs to a tribe that allows strangers no access. All I could capture was the sense of her presence and the few photographs that I always hope could link to the state of standing in front of these amazing people.
So many have walked, are walking and will walk this earth. How indelible of a shadow are we going to leave behind? Is our life going to be forgotten or will there be anything in the universe that would have been positively impacted by our lives and how we lived them?
It is the biggest question of all! Are we here only for this lifetime? Do we go on afterwards? Why can’t we remember where we came from? Does it make any sense for it to end here? What kind of a bad investment would that be?
The questions that haunt us all and the answers that we think we are so sure of, but are we? No one has been there and back yet, have they?
I dream of a world were we can walk together looking forward with a sense of mission and not at each other with suspicion
I dream of a time when we see with a clear vision and not be hindered by wars, disputes and division
I dream of seeing the day when the fog finally disperses and humans can champion the onset of future forces
Today I end this journey back into the past. It has been very enlightening for me to revisit some of the places I have been to and deepen my connections to them, but I feel moved to put an end to this and move forward into something new before the 365 days end on this project. Tomorrow is a new day and with it I will start a new project.
Wishing you all a very smooth ride into the new year and all the hidden possibilities it may bring.
With love from Germany!! xoxo
One of the most stark truths about the future is that it remains unknown until the moment when it happens. We project, we plan, we dream, we wish, and almost always we are surprised by what unfolds. If it is the past that holds sway on our emotions, then it is the future that triggers our imagination and creativity, and the now is the bridge we build to take us into the great unknown.
A new year unfolds, and so do many contemplations in my mind …
With every new year, we dream of new possibilities, we swear to do better, we feel confident that we we tackle more impossibilities and we feel armed with the promise of a new mystery box that awaits our discovery…
It is so endearing in Asia to see how grandparents create a living womb for their grandchildren and how they care for them tirelessly, carrying them on their old backs, feeding them, singing hymns to them, and carrying them into adulthood on a fluffy cloud of love.
How strengthening it must be for the children and how infusing with confidence.