Posts Tagged ‘老上海


Before Dinner Time, You Could …

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…  sing a song.

… run an errand.

… play one last round of carom.

… run around with a stick of celery.

… trim your hair.

And just like that, the weekend was over.

August 2010

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Lessons from shooting 2010 我在上海 世博特刊 (Part 2)

I’ve been wanting to share stories from a photo shoot I did for <<2010 我在上海 世博特刊>> “2010 In Shanghai: World Expo edition” but preferred to wait until the travel magazine hit the stands.

I wanted to capture children of fishmongers, poultry and vegetable hawkers at the Hongkou market, whom I’ve photographed many times before. With the adults’ expressed permission, I found myself in the longtangs amidst screaming kids, facing one hilarious challenge after another. Here are some humbling lessons I’ve learned, applicable, to all photographers.

Continue reading ‘Lessons from shooting 2010 我在上海 世博特刊 (Part 2)’


Shooting the cover for 2010 我在上海 世博特刊 (Part 1)

I’m most excited to share with you a Shanghai travel book entitled <<2010 我在上海 世博特刊>> produced by one of the most popular travel companies in Taiwan – Lion Travel.

They approached me to shoot (part of ) a cover for their upcoming book on Shanghai, timed to release during the opening of the Shanghai Expo. They clearly had a unique vision and all credit to them for taking a chance on my style and doing such a phenomenal job on the book.

I shot the cover of the little boy in a Hongkou longtang, and can’t wait to give Ah-da and his family their own copy. I’ll share more about that photo shoot next time. Just know I endured kiddy snot and mucus on my 5D, be still my terrified heart.

They even included a photographer’s note toward the end of the book, where I talk about Shanghai through my eyes.

A pleasure working with the creatives over at Lion. I love their passion and professionalism! Do pick up a copy if you’re in Taiwan!

很高兴能和你分享一本上海旅游书,是非常受欢迎的台湾旅游公司- 雄狮旅游 -出版的. 我很荣幸能帮他们拍封面,是虹口区的一个小弟弟.我很期待把杂志给小啊达和他家人.

旅游书内还用了我其他作品,都是我非常喜欢的. 而后面也有摄影师的短文.他们把我英文的短文翻译成中文.


谢谢雄狮旅游! 如有机会,请购买一本吧!

For Taiwan friends (在台湾的朋友)

For China friends (在中国的朋友)

You can see more of my published work here.


Retrospect: No longer their city

I received a text message recently I thought note worthy.

It was from this old man in his 60s who was living in Hongkou, a site along Haimen Lu (海门路) I had visited since September 2009. I had documented the process of the longtang’s demise, as its footprint faded from live houses, to a half-demolished mess and finally, unrecognizable flat land.

The old man had wrtten, “New house is nice but far from Shanghai. Life is different. Take care, young miss.”

From the beginning, he was reluctant to share with me where he was moving to although I knew some of his neighbors had scattered to Pudong and Baoshan. He had no interest in a follow up but was pleased with the portrait I had given him.

The photo above was taken in September 2009 in the same neighborhood, of his neighbor, of the midget-like man who lived in a self-built house made of rubble and scrap.

When I asked him if he was going to relocate, he merely said, “Sure. I have to find another space. Any space. At the end of the day, this is not my city.”

September 2009


The world as their playground

Well detailed here, the area surrounding Shangchuan Huiguan (商船会馆) in Old Town, also known as Merchant Shipping Hall, has been completely flattened and the radius of demolition continues expanding in full force. Built in 1715, it was a place for business traders to congregate for wheeling and dealing or to rest for the night before hopping back on their boats moored off by the port along the Huangpu River (黄浦江). While the structure itself is authorized for preservation, everything else has fallen to the wrecking ball. At least 5 streets now no longer exist, their road signs standing in irony.

In this vast track of land, unnatural in Shanghai’s dense urban jungle, there was much activity. In addition to construction workers shoveling rubble, speeding bulldozers, and a web of scavengers, children from surrounding neighborhoods were peppered across the landscape.

There is so much to play with – puddles of water with rocks of all sizes, endless discoveries of discarded knick knacks and miles of dust to build sand castles. The children were oblivious to the sea of roaring engines and whipped up dust storms, only mindful of the playground beyond their doorstep.

March 2010

Continue reading ‘The world as their playground’


Moving out and moving on

It was the same story. The area by Lanyi Dock Road (赖义码头) was half-demolished and residents have more or less emptied out.

This family had over 20 people involved – hired movers and family members – in vacating the house they owned for over 2 decades. Boxes were hastily wrapped and movers were working at a pace that was as efficient as it was careless.

The workers were in a hurry. To save time, they began to haul boxes out of a window.

“Not so hard!” the owner screamed as a worker roughly dropped a box onto the floor, “I’ve got valuables in there!”

Separated by a wall, demolition workers were busy tearing down an adjacent house.

Down the road, I suddenly noticed a man wheeling a mattress into his house.

“Are people moving in?” I asked a former resident standing next to me.

He scoffed. “Why in the world would anyone move in when they are demolishing the place? They must have just bought a bed, that’s all.”

He shook his head, “It wouldn’t make sense for anyone to move in here at this time.”

Located by Lanyi Dock Road (赖义码头) near Nanpu Bridge (南蒲大桥) Road.

January 2010


The Baker

I bought a shaobing from this young man, piping hot from the cylinder drum which he baked them in. You could see the wafts of aromatic smoke trailing through the alley. As I nibbled on my oily flat bread, I slouched in a corner to watch him.

His movements were deft and practised. Knead, roll, dust with flour and a dash of water. Knead, roll, dust and dash. It was an internal rhythm punctuated only by the occasional peckish customer.

At one point, he bent into his dough and gave a couple of gentle blows. Perhaps to tickle the yeast that would later work its magic when the bread baked in the cylinder drum.

A quick jerk of his shoulder swept away perspiration beading at his forehead and he moved to pull knobs of dough to flatten into circular discs and attach them inside the heating cylinder drum. Within minutes, he was done assembling the tea-time batch.

Business was swift. It would be a matter of another hour or so before he’d have another go at it.

August 2009

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