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Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekly Post: CHINA Travels Since 1985 by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Traveling in CHINA Since 1985 by Robert Glenn Ketchum

During the reign of Mao (1949-1976), China was a closed country. China in the 1980’s was 80% rural, with no outside visitors, particularly from the West. When China opened to travelers, the Chinese government placed severe limitations on who was allowed to enter the country. Earthwatch was one organization that allowed foreigners to visit China without going through too much red-tape. These photographs are a first glimpse into China in the mid-1980’s by world-renowned Conservation Photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum. 




Friday, October 31, 2014

Traveling in China Since 1985, #103
CHINA #103:  With both of us "running," we were flying down staircases, blowing past #Chinese, coming upon and overtaking those going down, often to their surprise. As time went by, more and more upward-bound Chinese appeared on the stairs in front of us. In many places the stairs could barely manage two-way traffic, so they fact that we would RUN by them caused a good bit of discussion after our passing. Turning a corner, the path momentarily left the rocks and started down into a small, forested valley that had structures. We knew it was NOT #YuPingLu, but we did not know what it was. As it turned out, it was a small “village” of workers all airing their bedding and clothes on a big boulder in the warmth of the sun. It was good people were here as several trails radiated from the site and the “locals” made clear to us which one we should be on.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China @Earthwatch_org

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Weekly Post: SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient by Robert Glenn Ketchum

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient by Robert Glenn Ketchum

During the reign of Mao (1949-1976), China was a closed country. China in the 1980’s was 80% rural, with no outside visitors, particularly from the West. When China opened to travelers, the Chinese government placed severe limitations on who was allowed to enter the country. These photographs are a continuation of other ongoing blog threads of the first glimpses into China in the mid-1980’s by world-renowned Conservation Photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum.


Friday, October 31, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #36
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #36 - 1985 to the Present:  Along with the #PearlTower, #China wanted to distinguish the #Pudong district of #Shanghai with the world's tallest building.  And in 1999, the #JinMao tower was completed. The 88-floor structure houses a 555-room Grand Hyatt hotel between the 53rd and 87th floors. Closer to the new airport and easier for my hosts to reach me, it became my hotel of choice for many visits. It also became an incredible aerie from which I viewed the stunning growth around me through their glass windows. This is what Pudong looked like in 2002 from one of those windows. And this is mostly the "residential" view. I will show you the corporate megaliths soon enough. What a difference 15-years can make!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, October 24, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #35
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #35 - 1985 to the Present:  This picture was made in 1986. I am standing at the confluence of the #Suzhou river flowing into the #Huangpu. Across the river is what will become the new financial district, #Pudong. The cranes you see are from the #Shanghai shipyard. They are NOT the sky cranes that will invade the city in coming years, but they ARE the tallest things around at the moment as all the rest are warehouses and farm houses. Next week's view of this same area will be from right about the middle of this picture, on that side of the river, and I will be looking down on Pudong 2002 from one of the tallest buildings in the world. Don’t miss it!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, October 17, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #34
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #34 - 1985 to the Present:  For a brief period in the mid-'90's there seem to still be some integration of the old and new, even as neighborhoods were vanished or remodeled. But growing wealth, more and more cars, and the new super-highway systems really changed things. In developing #Pudong, the new financial district across the #Huangpu river, the highway system added two bridges and under-river tunnel to bring you into the Pudong district at very nearly the base of the #PearlTower. With that being a sort of a grand point of entrance to the district, an impressive boulevard was designed with the intention of building out dozens of architectural high-rise showcase buildings. To compliment the gateway of the Pearl Tower, it was decided to build the tallest building in the world a few blocks away, and to have it a signature CHINESE design, NOT one done by the many foreign architects working in Shanghai at the time.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, October 10, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #33
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #33 - 1985 to the Present: From 1997 to 2002, the pace of the change became frenetic. Megaliths were rising everywhere. In two years, #Shanghai was divided with one super-highway system and completely surrounded by another. Across the #Huangpu river from the #Bund was a promontory of land that was mostly low warehouse buildings, formers houses, rice paddies, and vegetable farms. The tallest things visible were the cranes at the Shanghai Shipyard. Look carefully at this image:  in the haze of the background you can see an odd-shaped spire, that is the #PearlTower.  By 2002 the Pearl Tower had become the iconic #architectural symbol of the new financial district called #Pudong, which COMPLETELY REPLACED EVERYTHING that was across the river.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, October 3, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #32
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #32 - 1985 to the Present:  This is your last look in this blog at the "old" #Shanghai. As you can see from the progression of pictures to date, most of what you see here is disappearing... QUICKLY! I am using this image as a segue to the New Shanghai pictures because what follows this shot next week also involves a "gold" tower in the middle of the picture. Here the glow on the building is the early morning sun rising on what looks like will be a very, hot and humid day. In the haze of the skyline, the ghostly shapes of industrial cranes rise across the #landscape. It is believed that at one point in the building of the New Shanghai, 2/3 of all the sky-cranes in the world were engaged somewhere in this one city.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, September 26, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #31
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #31 - 1985 to the Present: "The Times They Are a-Changin'." Yeow! What a difference a few years makes. Once the doors opened, the international corporations poured in. In nearby #Suzhou, one of the first #KentuckyFriedChicken's opened and when I asked my colleagues if they had eaten there, they were proud to say they had tried such a new and #American place, BUT they did not like it as they said it did not taste like chicken to them. They jokingly referred to the famous three letters, KFC, as Kentucky Fried Cat.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, September 19, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #30
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #30 - 1985 to the Present:  Generally speaking, in the 15-years from 1990-2005, #Shanghai - one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world - completely transformed. For world-class, high-profile #architects with a wild ideas, this was also The Golden Age. The #Chinese welcomed everything imaginable, and often spoke about new buildings as being "signatures" on the skyline. However, like the bike-path redo, MUCH of it was often "over-the-top." This is a housing complex and, yes it is large... and yes, there is a hole in the middle of it! I suspect that brings good luck to all the tenants. I wonder if they feel that way during monsoon season when typhoon winds are funneled through there?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, September 12, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #29
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #29 - 1985 to the Present: I could not resist this! One of the reasons I enjoy #Chinese culture is their willingness to go "over-the-top" with things: food, style, weddings. And since we have been talking about changes in traffic density causing a redesigning of city streets, here is one of those redesigns. Now THAT is a "joyful" stretch of bikepath if I ever saw one. These are NOT Christmas decorations !
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, September 5, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #28
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #28 - 1985 to the Present: Change came so rapidly during this part of #Shanghai's transformation. The density of car traffic that exploded, flooded on to old streets that were barely engineered wide enough for the new buses, trucks and other large vehicles. This bus is NOT parked, it is just waiting in gridlocked traffic, VERY near the curb. The crush of this traffic was not even navigable for the scooter and bicyclists, SO THEY DROVE ON THE PEDESTRIAN SIDEWALK. Eventually much of this would be redesigned and remodeled, but the transition created a lot of interesting circumstances.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, August 29, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #27
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #27 - 1985 to the Present:  Given what was happening as megastructures popped-up all over the city, and more and more #Chinese began to drive cars, #Shanghai had to re-engineer its entire road systems. BUT, in a city as old and established as Shanghai, this task was staggering. In order to accommodate more scooters and bikes, and less cars, the system also had to be bike-friendly. Even as Shanghai grew more modern and fashionable, on any given day thousands of residents manoeuvre these streets on their bicycles.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, August 22, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #26
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #26 - 1985 to the Present: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you! "One morning I went out to get some coffee and there at the end of my block had appeared..." As you can see, some contrasts in neighborhoods were more jarring than others. Remember also that during this timeframe #Shanghai had TERRIBLE traffic, that was only getting worse because more Chinese could now afford cars. Add to that the building of an intensive vertical habitat, YET the streets stay pretty much the same??? I will bet 5,000 new cars streaming through here will change things....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, August 15, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #25
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #25 - 1985 to the Present: In a city as large and spread-out as #Shanghai, there are many beautiful older buildings with significant #architecture. Without getting into the politics of what was taken down and what was kept, the results are some very interesting contrasts where the historic and the modern co-exist with one another. For me, it gives Shanghai a unique flavor, a unique style... suggesting its remarkable past and its soon to be remarkable future simultaneously. However, as more and more skyscrapers appear, their striking isolation against the skyline is lost in the assemblage of towers.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, August 8, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #24
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #24 - 1985 to the Present:  To me, this image of #Shanghai in the early 1990's is a "staircase" of structural growth that was being echoed all across the city. In this shot, I am standing at street level in front of a tire-repair vendor's stand that has been set up against the wall of a large 2-story home in an older neighborhood. The multi-story apartment tower behind the home was built sometime in the '80's, and then more recently the blue-glass mega-structure office tower appeared behind the apartments. If you look carefully, between the two towers you can see steel-frame going up as another, taller tower is being built when I took this photograph!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, August 1, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #23
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #23 - 1985 to the Present: Walking in the old urban neighborhoods as the New #Shanghai was being born was an interesting experience. For the time, except for some remodeling, they were NOT changing much BUT their view certainly was, and all of them seemed to sense the New Shanghai marching toward them slowly from one direction or another. Scale on the new high-rise construction kept growing ever larger and higher, COMPLETELY redefining the Shanghai skyline. I was often approached when I stopped to shoot, asking what I was taking pictures of, and when I would respond that it was about the contrast between the new and the old, I would inevitably be offered an opinion about all the change. While most thought it good for the economy, most also said they hoped it did not change where THEY were. Good luck with that!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, July 25, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #22
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #22 - 1985 to the Present: Walking around in #Shanghai as it was transformed, I would find one block after another going through its various phases of reconstruction. Clearly the rough-around-the-edges of the older city were beginning to disappear, replaced by a gleamingly modern urban environment that was cleaner and a "bit" more orderly. Having said that, I was also struck by how much of the "heavy-lifting" was still done by hand.  However, considering the many improvements, the workers are not wearing muddy rags, nor Mao-suits; they had on gloves and hard hats; the heavy clay-mud was being hauled in a wheelbarrow, and not by yoke-and-baskets across someone's shoulder; and there are internationally recognizable guard rails at the edge of the site. Lots of "Beware The Safety" signs around here I would bet...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, July 18, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #21
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #21 - 1985 to the Present: Another of the places in #Shanghai that I returned to again and again on my walks was the industrial shipyard on the #Pudong side of the #Huangpu river. This was, quite literally, a community of workers. This shipyard was building supertankers and other behemoth vessels, and the scale of its enterprise was always amazing to see. For security reasons, I was never allowed in the yard or to photograph it, BUT work in progress could be viewed at a distance and what they were building was not the most interesting aspect of this place. The workers lived in housing just off-site, and various restaurants line the street between the shipyard and the homes. There was ALWAYS activity here, lots of competing food scents, and lots of constant conversation between stalls, and with those passing by. I was always engaged by someone, as it was a very friendly environment, as well as home to one of the first dogs that I saw in #China that was clearly a pet and not intended as a meal.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, July 11, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #20
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #20 - 1985 to the Present: Here is that "color thing" again.  I think I have always liked #China because visually it is VERY busy, a characteristic of my own work. Of course I was attracted to the #color #relationships here, but look at all the other information - all the lines and forms. If you follow my 3 other China blogs, you will note in ALL the pictures, even those from Mt. #Huangshan, there are cables and power lines running everywhere. In this image we have a few extension cords thrown in (on the ground; coming out of the store into the umbrella). Then there are the awning cables and the power boxes... wait a minute, could this be #SarahSze installation?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, July 4, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #19
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #19 - 1985 to the Present: As a #photographer whose work is grounded in color, one of the first subtle changes I could "see" throughout all of #China as it modernized was the appearance of a more "colorful" life at street level. When I first arrived in #Shanghai in 1985, I often saw groups of school children like this but they would be wardrobed in a uniform of #Mao blue and gray. As Shanghai became one of the most important centers of the New China, it also became one of the most fashionable, so there was a transformation of apparel and style. These school children are in comfortable athletic clothes featuring quite stylish colors and neck scarves. The vibrancy of the New China was not just the air of business, the Chinese also began to wear it.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, June 27, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #18
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #18 - 1985 to the Present: This is one of my #images that really sums up the acceleration of life in #Shanghai between 1985 and 2000. This is pretty typical "life-on-the-street". The guys are playing cards, with their friends looking on. There are still bicycles and pedicabs prominently around, BUT look more carefully at this picture: Immediately across the street from this card game, an entire block has disappeared behind scaffolding; and, at the "end" of the street there is a cirque of towers - 5 megalithic vertical superstructures, all as yet unfinished. In JUST 15 years, Shanghai would explode from historically urban at the edge of rural agriculture, to having MORE SKYSCRAPERS THAN ANY OTHER CITY ON THE WORLD, and being one of the MOST modern, hippest, and busiest cities in the world!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, June 20, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #17
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #17 - 1985 to the Present:  By the 1980's in #America, many of us were starting to feel pretty good about the fact that our culture was beginning to take #recycling seriously. Others thought recycling was some costly regulation dreamed up by hippies that was being unnecessarily imposed upon us. REALITY WAS, we were a #culture of DISGRACEFUL and THOUGHTLESS discarders and we had only just begun to understand the value of what we were throwing away SO carelessly! Few other #populations the size of ours EVER squandered so many #resources by just burying them in landfills. Even to THIS day in #Shanghai, these "collectors" still pedal the streets and ply the allies. Long before recycling even entered the #American consciousness, #China valued every last scrap of usable material, and in every city legions of collectors reclaimed everything from #cardboard to precious #metals.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, June 13, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #16
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #16 - 1985 to the Present: As the city of #Shanghai was being transformed, the urban neighborhoods were going through subtler changes. The new prosperity gave homeowners the opportunity to expand and improve their properties. Even when walking down these beautiful streets, clearly in the process of daily life, you could hear the hammers and chatter of workers virtually everywhere. Among the most common debris littering sidewalks and curbs was discarded #bamboo used in building scaffolding. Lots of sprucing up going on.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, June 6, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #15
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #15 - 1985 to the Present: Between 1988 and 1995 #Shanghai exploded. At first it was a few tall buildings. Then came mega-hotel and shopping complexes. With each passing year, and my frequent visits, there was more and more construction. Down on the street in the neighborhoods life stayed much the same for awhile. The blue "#Mao jacket" disappeared, bicycles were replaced by motor scooters. But then, in a very short space of time, Shanghai moved and considerably expanded it's airport, built a very complex freeway system, and constructed both an under-river car tunnel and a bridge over the #Huangpu river connecting historic Shanghai to the fields and rice paddies of #Pudong, an area destined to become the new financial district.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 30, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #14
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #14 - 1985 to the Present: Unfortunately, #China's explosive growth into the 21st Century has come with some considerable costs, many of them #environmental. We read today about the terrible #air quality of #Beijing, in particular, but air #pollution is a nationwide problem. This is the "view" from my #Shanghai hotel room window on a warm spring evening in 1986. The heat and humidity have "trapped" the #industrial pollution in an "inversion", something I know well from growing up in Los Angeles under similar conditions. Here though, in 1986, it was as bad as anything I had ever seen, and it would only get worse as the "New China" revolution was just beginning.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 23, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #13
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #13 - 1985 to the Present: The vintage boats would disappear, many buildings would be replaced, and even the "Mao" blue color would be gone as the #Shanghai of the New #China was destined to be as 'fashionista' as it was rich and powerful. The question was, "How long would these changes take?" And the stunning answer to that was... less than 5 years! By the early '90's, as you will soon see in the progress of this blog, Shanghai went from the historic ancient city in my previous pictures to become one of the shining stars of the New China - a glistening "emerald" city, where life is lived well -- yet controlled by the Great and Powerful OZ -- just behind the curtain. NO other culture of this size on the planet has EVER gone through such a vast transformation in such a brief amount of time.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 16, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #12
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #12 - 1985 to the Present: In the first few years of visiting, '85-'89, "old school" boats continued to motor by vintage buildings, and neighborhoods as a whole were pretty intact, only a few had yet been invaded by the New #China. Nonetheless, there was palpable energy in the air and you could hardly walk more than a few blocks without coming across some kind of renovation or rebuild. Without yet knowing what it would look like, I DID know something epic was coming and that #Shanghai would ultimately be one of the greatest centers of change so I valued the idea that I was recording images of things that, very shortly, would cease to exist.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 9, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #11
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #11 - 1985 to the Present: The visual graphics of these #construction sites always attracted me as a #photographer and this retail/apartment building renovation is one of my favorites. 10 stories of #bamboo scaffolding, almost no nails used, three layers of bamboo support/safety structure - truly amazing ! The #Chinese language is not always translated clearly into English on signs, and one of my favorites, "Beware of the Safety," is intended to make you pay attention to the safety warnings. However, I suppose it might be taken in an entirely different way...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 2, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #10
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #10 - 1985 to the Present:  Besides the #bamboo scaffolding held together with twist-ties, another unique aspect of the less-international construction sites was the presence of women. In the #Mao era, women were supposed to be treated (and dressed) as equals, and they were involved in the labor force and military at every level. In the desire to be part of the New #China, those that wanted to grow their incomes took whatever better-paying jobs they could get, and many times that placed women on a construction site doing just as much heavy labor as the men. Given #Shanghai is now one of the great center's of #Chinese food and fashion, it is hard to imagine how recently it was that MANY women were doing this.They definitely were not wearing Versace. I hope those that have been born since and did not have to do this work, remember, honor, and respect those that did because that is how the New China was built FOR THEM.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 25, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #9
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #9 - 1985 to the Present: As I had seen in other cities, #Shanghai was also being "rebuilt"; to put it mildly. There was a palpable difference in Shanghai, however, as the frenzy of pace was greater. In the dream of the New #China, Shanghai would be one of its MOST gleaming cities. The best of the old was being refurbished, the less important was being torn down to make way for a city that in 20-years would go from virtually NO skyscrapers, to having more than any other city in the world. Because so much work was being done, there was simply not enough modern heavy equipment and industrial materials available, nonetheless the building went forward so often these "lesser" sites were being worked on in "traditional" ways: A LOT of bamboo scaffolding, wire ties, and SERIOUS hand labor!!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 18, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #8
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #8 - 1985 to the Present: Another place LOTS of people collected was on the side streets early in the morning where everyone would exercise in a group before going off to work. In this shot, I am looking down from my hotel window at about 7am. It is already hot and humid, but several hundred people are doing Tai Chi routines in the street and a number of guests from the hotel have joined in. Sometimes I encountered sword dancers and stick fighters practicing in this way at the dawn of the day, and even with modernization, these community exercise groups continue to thrive.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 11, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #7
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #7 - 1985 to the Present: #Chinese friends have repeatedly said to me, "In #China, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd." While this was certainly true of my blond-haired, blue-eyed wife and me while walking around (we did draw small crowds if we stood in any one place for too long), it was never more true than on The #Bund esplanade where the public came to enjoy the view and socialize. This was a VERY cold and rainy day, but The Bund was completely packed with people enjoying themselves along the banks of the river.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 4, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #6
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #6 - 1985 to the Present: Close to the juncture of the #Huangpu and #Suzhou rivers, #Shanghai built some of its most prestigious buildings to house government offices, administrative centers, principal banks, and trading companies. This array of now-historic architecture overlooked the Huangpu and was separated from it by a 4-lane street and a popular walking esplanade called #TheBund which formed the bank of the river and provided boat docking. The Bund, even on the coldest of days was always filled with people, who like myself, were people-watching and pondering the diverse traffic of boats on the river.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 28, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #5
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #5 - 1985 to the Present: #NanjingLu and the historic "old town" of #Shanghai always drew crowds, but THE best place for people-watching was, and still is, the waterfront of the #Huangpu river. Shanghai is connected to the open ocean by the Huangpu and the size of the river allows for a tremendous volume of industrial and commercial activity so the corridor teems with large and small boats of every description - here they are tied-off one to another in layers as there is only so much room at the dock.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 21, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #4
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #4 - 1985 to the Present: Over the many years of visiting #Shanghai, I always loved frequenting the places that attracted the #Chinese public because I am basically a voyeur and I enjoy AND LEARN from watching people. Along with the busy shops of #NanjingLu, another location that was always bustling was what is now viewed as the historic "old" town - a well preserved neighborhood of classic Chinese #architecture, ponds, gardens and a labyrinth of shops. This is one of those places that will "change but stay the same" in my pictures. Over the years, the shops, restaurants, and clothes may be different, but the public is still attracted to this busier-than-ever enclave; especially if you want some good dumplings!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 14, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #3
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #3 - 1985 to the Present: The center of shopping in #Shanghai was (and still is) a street named #NanjingLu. This is one of my very first images of the busy sidewalks around me as I explored its many shops. Nanjing Lu is has been COMPLETELY transformed and is partly a pedestrian-only mall today. As this blog progresses, I will return to this walk on Nanjing Lu many times - over many years - and bear witness to what happens. Look carefully at the details and dress, the way the street / sidewalks are defined, and the advertising. Things will change in amazing ways, and yet strangely stay the same. Stay tuned - you will see!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 7, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #2
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #2 - 1985 to the Present: #Shanghai was very much like #NewYork, always bustling, and the streets were always crowded. There were many cars in Shanghai but in 1985-86, they were still outnumbered by bicycles and motor scooters. Shanghai had not yet been reborn, and so the vibrant colors of fashionable clothing were almost non-existent on cold winter days when most still wore their blue or green Mao "uniforms". Regardless of the times and cultural differences, somethings remain the same - we all live with movie posters.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, February 28, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #1
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #1 - 1985 to the Present: If you have followed my blogs about China, SILK ROAD and CHINA, they are being modified and added to, so please follow. Thursday morning remains the posting for SILK ROAD, but now on Thursday afternoon I am offering witness to 25-years of enjoying Suzhou while I worked at the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute (SERI) - that new blog is WELCOME TO SUZHOU - 1985 to the Present. During those same 25-years, my portal to Suzhou was Shanghai, so I had the opportunity to savor, enjoy, witness and be astounded as both transformed - quite literally - between every visit. Although I enjoyed many hotels, old and new, the real adventure was just to get out and walk around, camera in-hand. As my 1st visit to Shanghai was in June, conditions were humid and sweltering, so I learned to rise early trying to avoid midday melt-down and awesome afternoon air pollution. Here, another day dawns on "downtown" Shanghai in the summer of 1986.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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