Cultural-Modern China Series

Modern China - Exhibition Series

From the longevity of the Great Wall, to the beautiful and ever changing skyline of Shanghai, China is continuously evolving. This exhabition series depicts the contrast that exists in China today.

Simple Life  Traversing the Villiage - Fishing and travelling by boat  is a common site for the people of this traditional village of Xitang China and the architecture is being preserved for future generations to appreciate. MG 9718  Celebrating Today - A day in the park  Museum Subway Park, Shanghai China, Pudong Area. The people of Shanghai have adopted many forms of western recreation so a walk through the park feels like many US city parks complete with skateboarding, rollerblading, kites and people visiting. This young man was hanging with his buddies and had perfected this excellent skateboard move, reflecting the desire of the youth to capture and master western forms of living, entertainment and recreational activities as more leisure time becomes available to the younger and more affluent generation. Walking through time  Celebrating History- Living Traditional  Wuzhen China 2012   Many of the elderly are living traditional lives in the many small water cities around Shanghai that are seemingly frozen in time. The elderly still perform the rituals and observe the traditional customs passed down from generation to generation through stories told over 1000s of years. This woman was returning home, she finished participating in a weekly ceremony remembering a great General who shared food with this starving town and was executed by the emperor upon his return for disobedience of the direct order to never share rations with common people. Every week this town celebrates his great act of kindness by eating together in the memorial temple to remember this generous man, quietly protest all forms of tyranny and to celebrate social responsibility and  tolerance. IMG 2040  Living in the Fast Lane  Shanghai China, Pudong Area. I was traveling one afternoon in my comfortable cab and this young man caught my eye as he sped through the traffic on his way home from work. He was so focused, determined and  hungry to succeed that I was compelled to catch this moment. This young man's determination represented for me China's younger upwardly mobile population perfectly. China's future lies in the determination of the youth to reinvent China, economically, socially and  politically as they are very well educated and hungry for success. They are leading China out the lost decade of enlightenment.  This generation is helping to shape China into an economic powerhouse and the cultural revolution to follow them will be nothing but fascinating for the world to experience.
At the temple in water city  Worship- In the temples people still practice rituals and cross generations. The contrast is in the difference between the familes touched by western affluence and the familes untouched. MG 9727  Generations Cross- One of the impressive cultural aspects of China is the tradition of the elderly caring for their childrens young. This sensibility alloows the old to impart wisdom on the young and the young to impart energy to the older while the parents are in the prime of their working years. This tradition is a strength across this culture and forms the bridge for the passage of ideas. IMG 1579  A small place called home - A small dwelling located just outside of the city shows the challenges facing Modrern China. IMG 1510  Many Places Called Home- The giant skyscrapers go on for miles and are home to over 30 million people in Shanghai
MG 0249  Real Workers- To earn a small wage people make their own tools and work to keep the city and the special areas clean. These people work a full day and earn their small allotment. Crossing  Shanghai China, a woman and man speed across a busy intersection late at night in Shanghai MG 9934  The Alure of Mobility - Young people pride themselves on the accomplishment and status of automobile ownership. IMG 1624  Farming in the shadow of Shanghai Near Shanghai  Just outside of Shanghai the scene begins to change to the rural China, the local farmers still till by hand and it’s hard to believe that the city looms only 1 hour away. I passed by this scene on a six lane highway signaling the future expansion of the Shanghai urban forest. Farmers are being displaced from their land and their livelihoods as the local governments buy land sometimes for a few dollars a square meter and sell it to developers for many times that amount trapping these hard laboring people and giving them no way to participate in the economic expansion.
IMG 0096  Celebrating History - Writing in traditional Chinese with water was an method of historical communication passage of ideas. MG 7770  Speeding on Skates - This young boy was taking skaing lessons in the park in Shanghai enjoying the day and just having fun in the moment. MG 0575-1  Greatness  Great Wall, Badaling China, 2009 I traveled to Battling in December of 2009 expecting to experience a frozen tundra and difficult shooting conditions with cold water winds sweeping off the Gobi desert. When we arrived the weather was unpredictability perfect and warm giving me a unique opportunity to shoot with almost no people on the wall, which was decorated with some snow and complete with blue sky and sunshine, a photographic nirvana! The great wall as with many places in China, in all of its majestic beauty, came at a huge price. It was built by the people who were taken from their village labored endlessly and some ultimately died during its construction. The wall is another representation of  the determination of China to build great landmarks through the hands of its people. MG 7494  Cross over  Grandfather and Grandaughter - Shanghai China   Traditions are still prevalent in China, many of the young married couples both work earning good salaries and the Grandparents are the caretakers of the Grandchildren which promotes the wellbeing of all involved. Grandparents have the time, knowledge and desire to help their children raise their young in exchange for a place to stay in the big city and a chance to teach the young generation traditional values and ideas. This is a wonderful cultural aspect of Modern China that in my experience is a lasting chain that strengthens Chinese families. These elderly people hold the key values that have been passed down through the ages through legends and
Preparation  Preparing for a day of fishing in Xitang China near Shanghai. IMG 1533  Wheel of Progress  Amusement Park near Shanghai,China, 2011 While driving near Shanghai I observed an amusement park located in the middle of a large group of buildings. It was huge, bigger and more predominate than any Ferris wheel I had ever seen in my western experience. It seemed like strange place for this park to be built right in the midst of apartments and businesses. I had to capture the moment so I shot this from a rolled down window as we passed by and tried to understand why this was not placed far away from the city. I was told by my friend that the amusement park had been built in the country far away from the big city bussle about 10 years ago. The ferris wheel was built large so the people could all recognize it from a distance and the culture is very fond of larger a sign of  affluence. In a very sort period of time the tide of Chinese progress rolled in and gently embraced this rual escape and washed away its seclusion. Summer Palace Sunset  Emperor's Solitude  Bejing China – Summer Palace at sunset  China is rooted in culture dating back 1000s of years and the summer palace shows the true beauty of China's rich heritage.  The lake in the background was dug by laborers for the enjoyment and protection of the emperor. It's hard to imagine 1000s of laborers digging this masterpiece rivaling nature's own hands. The royalty used the Summer Palace as an escape, a retreat from the difficulty of ruling from the main palace. When you stand at the edge of this lake, with the warm spring wind striking your face you can reflect on a time where just a privileged few could experience this perfect moment. Such a beautiful and quiet scene is a stark contrast to the big cities in today's China but reflects the natural heritage to build magnificent and lasting beauty. Bund- Puxi  City Solitude Shanghai China- Bund looking towards Puxhi There was a beautiful fresh warm breeze blowing down the river and at this moment in time it was hard to believe that I was standing in the largest city in the world with over 25 million people. It was during the spring, later in the evening and very few people were walking the river. The scene was the most spectacular moment I have ever experienced in any city. I completely forgot where I was and lost myself in the serenity of the moment and the sound of my camera capturing the    beautifully lit buildings of Puxhi! Later at night, in the early spring the Bund can offer an escape from the bustling city life and a beautiful solitary experience almost unimaginable in a city of this size. Its so different, but so similar to the moment I experienced at sunset at the Summer Palace it helped tie together for me one of the enduring traits of China, its ability to create magnificently beautiful man made landscapes.    .
IMG 0609  Shanghai May 2006 Bund Shanghai - PuDong  View looking with your back towards the river back at PuDong the new area of the fast growing city. The building in the distance is one of the tallest buildings in the world. Emperors Favorite  The artwork in the Forbidden City is breath taking and is located all over the huge complex. This is a representation of one of the wives and shows the elegance of the dynasty times. MG 8067
IMG 1936 IMG 1367 Limp  This young man who lives in Xitang China walks with a limp as he heads out to work. IMG 1499
IMG 1894 MG 0665 Happiness in the City  Amusement Park outside of Shanghai that was in the rural area and provided a getaway but now is being encroached by the growth of the city of Shanghai. MG 7977
IMG 1969 IMG 1758 MG 7849-worker and the princess IMG 2135HDR
MG 0702 Great Wall- Great Step  Difficult Step Great Wall, Badaling China, Near Beijing  Left simple by the by the Age of Enlightenment, the elderly are left to small simple jobs  like  sellers of simple items and food to try and make money to live in this rapidly expanding economy. They are not easily able to take a step into the new economy and benefit from the new era of prosperity. Great Walls exist all around them preventing easy access to the economic expansion. MG 8121 Forbidden City  The Forbidden City in Beijing has beautiful details all throughout showing the elaborate beauty of the times.
MG 7619 Dragon, Kings Symbol  The Dragon is the symbol of Royalty and the King and these tile works are sensational part of the Forbidden City MG 0740 MG 0754
MG 7842  x 4x6 MG 8124 MG 9833 Greatwall MG 0581
MG 9831