Archive for the 'Culure' Category

“Humanizing China”

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

  china, exploration, culture, chinese, people, urban landscape, cities, ruins, abandoned buildings

I see I haven’t been doing much of the “Exploring the world through sight…” part of our title. So here is some very interesting slice-of-life photography of daily situations in various parts of China complete with captions.

I don’t know about you, but I often get the feeling that we humans experience the world too much through simple recognition and not enough through conscious reflection. Which is to say that every time we see or hear about something that is far enough removed from our daily experience, for example foreign countries or cultures that happen to be thousands of miles away, the information gets cross-referenced against a subconscious database of shallow tidbits –possibly simply a few cliché mental images– which is just enough to provide a basic frame of reference that is suitable for understanding the conversation and moving on.

The problem seems to me to be that without some kind of external impetus or revelation many of us may always see these people and their situations as hazy unrealistic caricatures of reality; and remain unable to sympathize with them or identify with their hardships. When we hear about Asia’s struggle for energy and industrial growth we may simply think of the whole continent as an Asia-shaped piece in an economics board game and forget the human element entirely.

In other words, I think images like these can help inspire us to reflect upon what it means that there are real people out there living these lives today.

The world is an interesting and dynamic place. It’s just hard sometimes to see it past the daily grind, to mentally disembark from our domestic slumber.

[Part 1: Survival][Part 2: Relationships][Part 3: Desires]

Japan Urban Ruins Jackpot

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

urban ruins, japan ruins, abandoned buildings, abandoned amusement park, exploration

I’ve been sitting on this for a couple of months, waiting for the owner of the site to respond to my emails. Maybe his address is no longer valid, or my emails are getting filtered, but no response so far. I wanted to mirror his site on mine, and do English translations of his comments on each picture, but I haven’t heard from him to get permission, and I think this stuff is way too good not to be seen so I’ll just give you the link.

This is the largest collection of “urban ruins” pictures I have ever seen anywhere, and they just happen to be from Japan which pleases me to no end. They range vastly, from abandoned amusement parks, to refineries, to apartment blocks, to hospitals, schools, bowling alleys, and on and on and on. Not only are there tons of pictures, but they are all soulfully taken, with love for the environments and plenty of feeling. These kinds of things really give me that craving for exploration and discovery. I want to go to all of these places, and soak in their history. I want to understand the lives they lived, and the lives that were lived in them.

There are some gorgeous pictures in here, he even went to Gunkanjima, which was the subject of one of my first posts!
Click tsugihe (tsugi he) to go forward and modoru (modoru) to go back.


City Sculpting

Friday, January 20th, 2006

urban art; demolition sculptures; new art

Here’s an interesting concept via the always fascinating Bldgblog. It’s yet another definition for art and another unlikely medium: apartment blocks, offices, run-down buildings. I’m not sure how likely the physics are for something like this, but I would be willing to bet that if you were able to make structurally-sound ap-art-ments, you could get the whole art-student demographic in the city to line up at the leasing office.