China — a photographic update

In February, work took me to China, my stay there bookended by a weekend each in Beijing and Shanghai — time enough for some long  walks with my new go-anywhere camera, the minuscule Panasonic Lumix GM1 with the legendary 20mm F1.7 lens.

Beijing: This was my first time back since I last lived here three years ago, so I wanted to visit all my old haunts, to update my mental map of the place. The pollution reading stood at 500+, so the hazy beige hue to every view became a photographic subject in its own right. On frozen Qianhai lake, meanwhile, everyone was having huge amounts of fun avoiding collisions on the ice:

Skating on Qianhai lake in Beijing, Feb 2014 from Stefan Geens on Vimeo.

Tiananmen Square:

Shanghai: Having just read some works by Lu Xun, China’s literary giant of the 20th century, I decided to explore Hongkou, the northern section of town where he lived and where today you can visit the Lu Xun Museum and his home.

This time around I kept noticing Shanghai’s architectural heritage from the 1920s and 30s, so had a go capturing some of it. More and more of these buildings are (finally) being renovated, as opposed to just being demolished.

View of Pudong past an earlier generation of highrises:

Hongkou:

Here’s a street vendor deep in Hongkou with whom I was having a pleasant chat until being rudely interrupted by the Chengguang, urban thugs in police uniform:

Here’s the set of all 18 edited photos from the trip.

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