Tag Archives: China

Uncanny Moments on the Streets of China Photographed by Water Meter Reader Tao Liu

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The 32-year old Tao Liu knows the city of Hefei like his backyard. Since 2005 he’s traveled up, down and across the city in Eastern China on his motorbike reading water meters for a local utilities company. The job was tedious, exhausting and unrewarding, until he picked up a camera.

For the past 3 years Liu has used his spare time to capture intimate, witty and humorous street photos of Hefei. “I like taking photos because I can hang around on the streets and capture an image when something interested me but was neglected by others,” Liu told the Global Times. “I want to remind people of the touching moments in life.” He was interviewed after his photos went viral on China’s social network Weibo.

Liu has no formal training in photography but cites Daido Moriyama – often referred to as “the father of street photography” – as a primary influence. “I found him [to be] a very focused photographer,” says Liu in an interview with TIME. “I chose my camera based on what he uses.” Liu’s photos, intentionally or not, seem to poke fun at things like commercialization and urbanization. Liu clearly has a knack, not only for being in the right place at the right time, but for a keen eye that spots charming, serendipitous scenes amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can keep up with him and his work on Lofter. All photos courtesy the photographer. (via Time)

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Hu Shaoming’s Mechanical Sculptures of Time and Civilization

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Hu Shaoming is a young Chinese sculptor and graduate of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. With a deft mastery of metal he creates intricate sculptures that are surreal and dreamlike, but also somewhat cautionary. As part of his city series Shaoming created a mechanical seahorse that appears submerged in water. The exposed top of its head is burdened by a beautiful, metallic civilization, creating a fascinating and treacherous balance between man and nature.

In a different series on time Shaoming appropriates artifacts of industrial civilization like old cameras and telephones. Effectively destroying the mechanism, he disassembles them and then rebuilds them but with a zipper that offers glimpses into what makes them tick. You can see more of his work over on the Chinese portfolio site Jue.so. (via Steampunk Tendencies)

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Porcelain Busts Imprinted with Chinese Decorative Designs by Ah Xian

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Chinese artist Ah Xian lives and works in Sydney where for nearly two decades he has explored aspects of the human form using ancient Chinese craft methods including porcelain, lacquer, jase, bronze, and even concrete. The artist often uses busts of his own family members including his wife, brother, and father onto which he imprints traditional designs with a vivid cobalt blue glaze. Via Asia Society:

These sculptures by Ah Xian establish a series of multilayered oppositions. The most overt is the tension between the sculptural form of the bust and the painted surface designs, which the artist likens to the oppositions of West and East. The bust is part of a Western portraiture tradition dating back to the busts of ancient Roman times and the designs are derived from Chinese decorative traditions, unique to China and in some cases to the studio-kilns at Jingdezhen. Such an opposition can also be seen as the relationship between the personal (since many of the busts are of Ah Xian’s family, including his wife, brother, and father) and the political (a statement about the artist’s own Chinese heritage articulated outside China).

The works collected here are mostly from his Human Human and China China series, though you can see many more works on Craft Australia. (via I Need a Guide)

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From the New World: A Sprawling Digital Collage of a Dystopian Future by Yang Yongliang

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From the New World, 13′ x 26′ (400cm x 800cm), Epson Ultragiclee print on Epson fine art paper

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

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From the New World, detail

In his largest artwork to date, Chinese artist Yang Yongliang (previously here and here) just unveiled From the New World, a sprawling digital collage depicting an overpopulated, futuristic landscape completely overrun with construction, debris, and high-rise skyscrapers. The new artwork is a continuation of Yongliang’s ongoing commentary about the devastating effects of unchecked development and industrialization through the use of dense, photography-based collage. From the New World measures almost 26 feet wide (800cm) by 13 feet tall, and while it’s impossible to truly appreciate it online, you can see many more detail shots over on his website.

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Photos of Hong Kong Construction Sites Wrapped in Colorful Cocoons by Peter Steinhauer

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Like a burst of color on an otherwise grey canvas, a single majestically colored building rises out of a sea of dull grayness. This is not Christo’s latest “wrapping” project, which is what the photographer Peter Steinhaur first thought, naturally, upon encountering the phenomenon. In fact, these are construction sites wrapped in a colorful mesh material, a traditional method employed in Hong Kong to prevent debris from falling onto the streets below. According to Steinhauer, who’s lived and worked in Asia for the last 21 years – but was stunned to discover this unique construction method in Hong Kong – buildings are wrapped regardless of whether they’re coming up or going down. I’ve seen a similar method employed in Japan with smaller houses, but never anything of such monolithic scale. You can see many more photos over on Steinhauer’s site, where he has two series aptly titled “Cocoon.” (via Featureshoot)

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Underworld: The Intrepid Cave Photography of Robbie Shone

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County
China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County
China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.

Exploring The Gouffre Berger(cave) in the Vercors region of France. At just over 1000m deep, The Gouffre Berger is recognised as one of the best sport trips in the world.
Exploring The Gouffre Berger (cave) in the Vercors region of France. At just over 1000m deep, The Gouffre Berger is recognised as one of the best sport trips in the world.

Epic cave exploration photography from around the world
A cave explorer climbing out of a Maelstrom on the fixed rope in Boxhead Pot, Yorkshire Dales.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County
China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

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Robbie Shone is a British adventure, cave and travel photographer based out of Austria. His adventures have led him to the remotest areas of China, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, the Alps and Crete where he has photographed the deepest, largest, and longest cave systems ever discovered. These feats involve dangling on a thin rope 650 ft. (200m) above the floor in the world’s deepest natural shaft, exploring the far ends of a 117 mile long cave system, and spending nearly four days continuously underground on shoots.

Collected here are some of his most jaw-dropping shots, many from a 2012 excursion into cave systems in Wulong County, China. You can explore more of his cave photography over on his website. All imagery courtesy the photographer. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

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A Dystopian Sci-Fi Movie Filmed Completely under the Radar in China … Starring Ai Weiwei [Updated]

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Just announced today, The Sand Storm is a short film directed by New York filmmaker Jason Wishnow that was shot completely under the radar in China, starring none other than dissident artist Ai Weiwei in his acting debut. How such an audacious and risky endeavor came into being is pretty mind-blowing given the heavy amount of surveillance surrounding the artist. The movie takes place in a dystopian future where Ai Weiwei plays the role of a smuggler in a world without water.

The existence of The Sand Storm was kept heavily under wraps while shooting in Beijing. Ai Weiwei has been closely watched by the government since his 2011 imprisonment and authorities still have yet to return his passport. While the short film has already been shot beginning to end, the filmmakers are raising a bit of money on Kickstarter to finish the movie and recoup some costs as crowdfunding beforehand was too risky. Had this been announced yesterday I would have assumed it was a hoax.

Update: At the moment it appears the Kickstarter has been halted due to a dispute.

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