The Expatriated State of No Home~

I grew up in Lebanon, moved to New York City at the age of 20, have lived since in Boston, Miami, Germany, shanghai and now moving to Germany again. Like most expatriates I find myself at a loss of knowing where 'home' really is or if it exists at all…the age of 20, have lived since in Boston, Miami, Germany, shanghai and now moving to Germany again. Like most expatriates I find myself at a loss of knowing where 'home' really is or if it exists at all…

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 ❤

Ancient Tradition and Pretty Lanterns~ Shanghai

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lantern-festival-shanghai-6lantern-festival-shanghai-3lantern-festival-shanghai-23d2524ff-2db2-4a3c-b38f-9be696ad0c23Lanterns adorned with ancient poems, lights in the sky, colorful decorations, bright smiles, ever-growing crowds; this is the lantern festival in Shanghai’s Yu Gardens. Every year I keep going back simply to be with the joy of this special happening, celebrating the start of Chinese spring under a big full moon. How dull would life be without ceremony…

The Unknown Beckons~

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Isn’t every moment a step further into the unknown? We think we know where we are going, we have it all planned out, then life reminds us of the futility of our false certainty. I welcome the unknown, I want to live in the joy of discovery, to be surprised by life, to meet the future with an open mind.

I took these images today at the amazing James Turrell exhibit in Shanghai.

A bump in the road ~ Shanghai 

As it turned out, Myanmar was not meant to happen till December. 

My passport vanished and when you lose a passport as a resident in China, here is what you have to do:

  • File a police report at the local police station 
  • Take the report to the exit/entry bureau and request a lost passport form
  • Take the form to the consulate of your country
  • Get a replacement passport
  • Get a linkage letter confirming connection of old passport to new passport
  • Take the passport to the local police station to update your registration form
  • Take passport, registration form and visa documents to exit/entry bureau
  • Apply for new resident visa
  • Reapply for Myanmar visa
  • Reissue passports and itinerary 
  • Wait and cross your fingers

I became so familiar with the government officials that I’m thinking of baking them cookies just about now! 

So with love from Shanghai and soon from elsewhere 🙂

And I am a big believer in things happening for a reason. Myanmar awaits. 

Inside the Slaughterhouse~ Shanghai

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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.

 

The Enigma of Shadows~

it takes believing in fairies to see one~ Shanghai

to see fairies you must first believe in them

fellowship of the hat~ Shanghai

fellowship of the hat

talk to the shadow~ Shanghai

she had big plans

stretching the truth~ Shanghai

stretching the truth

inside the abacus~ Shanghai

inside the abacus

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In the human maze

Something as simple as an obstructing the light of the sun, creates a world of wonder and a vast playground for the imagination. And shadows have a mind of their own, creating a new reality, ask Peter Pan.

Qibao, Inside the Time Capsule

unbreakable friendships~ Qibao

unbreakable friendships

Time's indellible stamp~ Qibao

time’s indelible stamp

stolen sketches of a lost theater~ Qibao

stolen sketches of a lost theater

breaking ground~ Qibao

breaking ground

If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you~ Qibao

if I wanted your opinion I’d give it to you

softening the hard reality~ Qibao

softening the hard reality

who said Triad~ Qibao

who said Triad?

a controlled sea of humanity~ Qibao

a controlled sea of humanity

Hidden inside the massively dense Shanghai Metropolis is a quaint, albeit crowded small world of tradition. Bridges over water, narrow old streets, a wide variety of delicious street food and a beautiful old tea house.

In the tea house, mostly old men gather to drink tea and watch story telling theaters on a stage that echoes with ancient times.

Each time I go back there, I find the same people, doing the same things, as though they are caught in a time capsule and every day must be relived as it was the day before.

Nearby are the green lanes, where door after door girls and women offer their services for a price. Tickets to their worlds are sold on the main street of the old village.

Heartbreaking, surreal and intoxicating is Qibao.

Life Unfolding on the Suzhou Creek

It’s late afternoon, all are a bit too sluggish to go fast, slow moving people, dragging their feet, pushing their bikes uphill over the bridge and the woman too tired to walk, sits on top of her bike load letting her husband pull the tricycle; it has been a long day. Even the shadows are unable to catch up. I watched it all and marveled at the beauty of life and the wonderful world of contradictions that is Shanghai today.

act 2, scene 3~ Shanghaiearly matinee at the Souzou Creek~ Shanghaihis queen~ Shanghaithe working force~ Shanghai