China Part 2

Thursday, February 18, 2010


This next installment of China images is seen through my misplaced perspective as a tourist, foreigner, and curious observer. Most of these observations were fueled by the simple mundane visual language that may appear on a garden wall, the side of bus, shadows, silhouettes, or a fascinating looking individual. Basically, these are the scenes most people would not necessarily think twice about, while being immersed in their daily automated routines. China retains a duality of maddening and beautiful elements which are cross pollinated from it's ancient culture to the remnants of the Cultural Revolution, and now to the contamination of commercial western values.

The mosaic above is a condensed time line of highlights spread throughout a three week period.

Two themes that are missing from this series are Colonel Sanders and construction cranes. Both these symbols are very abundant in modern day China and hold a substantial amount of subtext therefore, they need their own separate presentation to justify their stories.

Karen's hometown "Suzhou" has an array of classic gardens dating back hundreds of years.

Suzhou is the birthplace of the Bonsai tree.

The Suzhou garden walls are seeping with rich textures.

Classic interior design and architecture.

Tea house mah-jong showdown.

Kicking it old skool.

This bright display resided inside a Walmart esque shopping building callled "Tesco".

The exterior bus art reminded me so much of early 2000's motion graphics-print design.

This gal stood out like a peacock in heard of black cats, how could I not photograph her?

A very typical sight, a biker piling as much cargo as possible for cross town transport. Very rad.

Concrete jungle, a view of Shanghai at dusk from inside a warm office building.

This dude reminded me of one of those Final Fantasy Shinra thugs.

At rush hour, the subway turns into one massive of organism of people, unbelievable. I've never seen this amount of sheer mass crammed into one space here in the States.

Tranquility... this Shanghai subway entrance is completely vacant and worth documenting as such a rare moment.

Walking up the Shanghai train station ramp exit is a very surreal feeling.

This glass ceiling is also a floor for the surface dwellers who walk above.

The freeway lit like segments from Tron.

Shanghai signage implying the Blade Runner vibe.

Snacking while waiting for the train back to Suzhou.

Had to sneak one KFC pic. "Alright mom! Hand over the wings and nobody gets hurt!"

Yes, the air is so polluted that it turns sunset into a yellow tint.

This amusement park is still under construction and posts American families on its sign adverts.

Reflection or liquid mirror?

Loved this ceiling fixture.

Suzhou museum, architecture with design and form-giving at its best.

The museum's sunlight entries allow organic projections throughout the building.

Alien calligraphy.

This grandma has probably lived through some intense periods in Chinese history.

This guy sells yams and chains smokes above your potential snack.

MMM... nothing beats street meat (or squid) from a vendor wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt. Behinds the scenes I was being harassed by a monkey while trying to nail this shot, not cool.

They say communism is the still the foundation of the Chinese government, but capitalism is quite apparent everywhere you look.

Sweet ride.

Chinese gondolas waiting to charm visitors up and down the murky canals.

This is the neighborhood Karen used to run around as a little girl.

Chinese Sex and the City chicks.

This chick was one of the few hipsters I ever spotted.

Very chill old dude.