Inside the Slaughterhouse~ Shanghai

at-the-eye-of-the-storm-shanghaidreams-half-forgotten-shanghaii-spy-with-my-little-eye-shanghailost-in-the-maze-shanghaipeace-inside-the-nothingness-shanghairegret-shanghaivertigo-shanghai

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.

 

My trust is not granted

You must prove yourself worthy of it

You must prove yourself worthy of it

This is what I felt the eyes of this little boy telling me in an old Shanghai alley. He created a shield for himself just in case, hiding behind it half playfully and half in fear of the strange and the unfamiliar. I was with a photographer friend there and we both could feel when it was the right time to stop pushing the limits of innocent trust. It was one of those precious moments that street photography grants you, rare, human, and unforgettable.

Let me spin you a tale

with every puff of smoke, a story flows

with every puff of smoke, a story flows

I was walking in an old street in Shanghai with my camera taking in all the sights, smells and noises of the crowded narrow lanes when an unusual sight drew me in. I looked inside a smoky large room packed with  rickety tables, chairs, tea pots, and men in hats, so many men in hats. I walked in and after I stopped being looked at as the stranger in the village, I began to be approached by the curious of the gathered men. Each wanted to tell me stories, because this is what we humans do, we carry our his-story with us, in our minds, our hearts, etched on our faces and we long to tell them and to pass them on before we leave, so that parts of us can stay behind and make an indelible mark. I listened and tried my best to comprehend, but the best story this man can tell is written all over his face and I present it to you here in this frozen moment…

Day One Hundred Ten, May 12, 2011

the spirit of Kashgar

When I first arrive a new and foreign place, the first thing I am drawn to is what looks at me through the faces of the people. I feel that the spirit of the land lives in its people and through their eyes and their faces it portrays its theater. Kashgar and its people are innocent, friendly, welcoming, hospitable, kind, inviting, humble, simple, religious, traditional, and very childlike. The old city is a magical maze of amazing architecture, carvings, mosques, cobble stone roads, and the people are in tune with their land and its spirits. They live by code and almost everything they do is done with meaning and purpose behind it. Down to how the door of their home is opened, half open, with a curtain, both sides open, or close, all mean different things as to who  (husband, guests, ..etc) is in the house at that moment.

Tomorrow we visit very early a village on the way to the high mountains, called Opal. What secrets does a village like this hold??

shy smile