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Friday, August 7, 2015

Cont., Shanghai by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Continued, 
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, May 29, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #66
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #66 - 1985 to the Present:  In post #19, I photographed school children in bright uniforms walking down a city street in #Shanghai, circa 1986. As I have said before, as much as things change, some things remain the same. Here in 2002, under the shadow of the #PearlTower, are hordes of school children in bright uniforms.  They are enjoying the sun and river views from the new #Pudong shoreline esplanade, while eating their lunch in this pleasant river park. In case you are curious, different colors in the same school define classes/ages. Different -- more colorful -- combinations in the uniform indicate completely different schools. Apparently it's helpful when there are as many as one hundred VERY energetic children you are trying to organize!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 22, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #65
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #65 - 1985 to the Present:  In my previous post, I noted the #Pudong waterfront esplanade has become a popular place to walk, enjoy the view and the breeze, AND to have some Haagen-dazs. I mentioned Haagen-dazs specifically because their advertising on the esplanade has been somewhat odd. These large posters appeared behind glass in numerous places along the walk and they must work because the store is jammed. For me, however, I don’t quite get the connection. There are no Chinese involved AND this looks more like an Abercrombie & Fitch billboard. Perhaps it implies ice cream is like sex for some people... which is true, AND the Chinese love symbolic meaning. It is good they have protected the poster from striding as well. (What????) And why would you ?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 15, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #64
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #64 - 1985 to the Present:  The boat traffic on the river was clearly a colorful tourist attraction, so the first waterfront makeover was #TheBund. Parks were improved, the esplanade was raised and repaved, and sculptures began to appear. #Pudong district and the #JinMaoTower skyline were the view. However, it was just as interesting from the Pudong side of the river looking at The Bund, so when the Pudong tower development reached the water’s edge, a beautiful esplanade was built there as well. IMMEDIATELY it became a well-attended attraction, especially on hot days when you could have an ice cream at @HaagenDaz_US and catch the breeze off the river. This is the new Pudong waterfront view of “Old” Shanghai. The Bund is obscured by the passing cargo ship.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 8, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #63
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #63 - 1985 to the Present:  Another aspect of #Chinese culture I have come to appreciate (and this is true of many world cultures):  they like to bargain! There are plenty of stores and markets in the New China, but on the street the prices are lower, the food is fresher, AND there is no set price so you can haggle as much as you like. As you can see here, at the foot of some VERY modern apartments, the street market thrives. Many spoke English and wondered what I was doing? I told them I loved street markets and the chorus of voices all clashing at once. Many of them thought that was pretty funny, and one girl said that when you stood at a distance and listened you could here the pitch of all the conversations rise and fall like a musical score.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, May 1, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #62
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #62 - 1985 to the Present:  Early on in this blog, I posted an image from the late 1980’s showing a little street shop with a new tower looming in the distance (post #24). Well, here is Shanghai in 2001: a larger street shop, and a MUCH larger tower looming! Some things never seem to change. In college I thought #PaoloSolari’s #Arcosanti architectural project was the answer to the big sprawling city. Build a single massive vertical city wherein everything was sustainably managed, and everyone was served. My design teacher listened to my presentation about it and then asked me which level would be set-aside for the street people and the homeless...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 24, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #61
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #61 - 1985 to the Present:  In my landscape blogs I am fond of saying that “scale is everything.” This must be true of how the numerous #architects from around the world viewed their designs in #Shanghai during the mid-90’s, and well into 21st Century. The #Chinese willingly embraced “over-the-top,” especially in Shanghai, a city China intended to be its financial AND fashion capitol. The opera house was designed to be a showcase design, towering gracefully above and overlooking The People’s Square. And notice how they are still using bamboo in their industrial scaffolding!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 17, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #60
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #60 - 1985 to the Present:  People’s Square park was expansive and beautifully planted. It was also full of visitors, as it was a very popular attraction. Across the park from the completed Shanghai Museum, the construction on the opera house was underway. In keeping with the ever-encroaching mega-complex malls and skyscrapers, the opera was designed to be a “grand” building, both in scale and in vision, including a dramatic design. Here you can see the skin of the old building (white and square), as the very dynamic new structure begins to engulf it. This was an amazing project to watch evolve.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 10, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #59
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #59 - 1985 to the Present:  By 1999, #Shanghai was building at an unimaginable rate. New freeway systems had been completed, bridges and tunnels crossed the river to #PuDong, and hundreds of new hotels, housing units, and office skyscrapers had appeared. Part of the new city design was an arts and garden “complex” surrounding The People’s Square park situated in the new “center” of the city. This park complex featured a new, state-of-the-art #museum and, when finished, a grand opera house. Here strollers amble through the park, passing in front of the recently completed Shanghai Museum.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, April 3, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #58
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #58 - 1985 to the Present:  This was one of my favorite restaurants in the plaza. The name pretty much says it all. Not only did they have an astounding fish menu, they also had fish in tanks against every wall and you could choose what you wanted to eat by pointing at it. At the time, restaurants did this so that the diner would be assured his or her meal was as fresh as possible. One other characteristic most all restaurants had in common was a nicely dressed young female “welcoming” you to her establishment. In the country, these girls would stand by the road and wave to indicate their house served food.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 27, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #57
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #57 - 1985 to the Present:  Taking a slightly wider view, you can see what I mean when I say the plaza was slowly being surrounded by vertical #architecture (and for my money, some PRETTY FANTASTIC architecture at that). There are few skylines in the world that can boast this great a variety of distinctive designs. Back at ground level, however, the lunch “rush” had begun, and the first of many groups of businessmen and women have begun to drift in to dine. Check the signage showing off products and dishes. Note also, now that we are in the plaza, the “shooting star” street lamps have been replaced by an “old-timey” style that looks more #British than #Chinese. It is making me hungry just writing about this plaza!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 20, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #56
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #56 - 1985 to the Present:  Just approaching the restaurant plaza was dramatic. The plaza itself was brightly decorated with banners and colorful signs offering the best dishes of each restaurant. For me, however, the most striking element of the plaza was its setting. Located right in the middle of some of the tallest buildings in the world, the relatively low, 3-story plaza provided a stunning contrast to the looming verticality rising on all sides. I am sure all of the people in these towers were good for plaza business... for now. If you are wondering what the metal pole crowned with “shooting stars” is on the right side of this image, it is not a sculpture, but rather a VERY COOL streetlight. There are bright LED lights at the end of each “stalk.”
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 13, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #55
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #55 - 1985 to the Present:  One last view that would be forever transformed is this plaza, directly adjacent the #JinMaoTower. I LOVED this plaza as it was encircled by some excellent restaurants, and during lunch hour it would be teeming with customers. Each restaurant offered differing menus, and the available variety of food concentrated here was unmatched anywhere else that I knew of in #Shanghai. The #GrandHyattShanghai did have great restaurants, but only one was purely #Chinese, and all of them were expensive, so the plaza was a welcome break for both my palate and my pocketbook. If you look to the right of the plaza, there are four different traffic lanes. Look closely as the two in the middle disappear into an under-river tunnel leading to central Shanghai. #ThePearlTower is just out of view in the top, right corner.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, March 6, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #54
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #54 - 1985 to the Present:  This is the view that will change the most. In this image, we are looking downriver from the #JinMaoTower, and #TheBund is off to the right, just out of view on the other side of the river. As you can see, even in 2002, much of this area, beyond the edges of the developed buildings along the expansive boulevard, was still VERY industrial. The new high-rise housing in the foreground foretells the future quite clearly, and any day now, any building you can see in this picture under 10-floors will be demolished. Before this blog is finished, three of the tallest buildings in the world will be in this general vacinity, all within walking distance of each other.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, February 27, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #53
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #53 - 1985 to the Present:  The #JinMao and #PearlTower are situated on a promontory of land overlooking the #HuangpuRiver and the #Bund. I say “promontory” because they are situated on a sharp bend in the river that wraps significantly “around” the towers and their neighboring buildings. As a consequence, the views up-and-down river are sweeping, and give the viewer a MUCH greater sense of the sprawl of #Shanghai, a city now thought to be home to about 24-MILLION people! This is downriver, and the Shanghai industrial shipyards (previous post #21) would be at shoreline near the bottom left, hidden at this point by the surrounding office towers.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, February 20, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #52
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #52 - 1985 to the Present:  This viewpoint is looking somewhat more straight down from the #JinMaoTower than the previous post.  As of 2002, this is what the grand boulevard of the new #Pudong financial district looked like after it emerged from the under-river tunnel. Over the next decade of my pictures, you will see this view change substantially AGAIN. (Remember, in 1982 it was rice paddies, farmhouses, and small factories). Many more skyscrapers displace some of the recently constructed housing communities visible here. And as the surrounding buildings rise, the view diminishes. Eventually #Shanghai will have more skyscrapers than any other city in the world! And putting hotels on top floors of ever-taller buildings became part of the architectural strategy of "maintaining-the-view."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, February 13, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #51
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #51 - 1985 to the Present:   Regardless of the scale and luxury of the #GrandHyattShanghai hotel inside, the greatest attraction for me was the views. ALL rooms were on the outside of the atrium tower, and they all had views of #Shanghai in one direction or another. I have stood before these windows in awe during sweeping storms, stunning laser light shows, and copper-smog days, watching Shanghai “grow” before my eyes. It's never ceased to fascinate me. These next 4 posts were taken in 2002, and the more recent skyscrapers that have since surrounded the #JinMao tower are not in place yet. These are the “early” days in the development of the #Pudong financial district. The race “to-touch-the-sky” is just beginning....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, February 6, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #50
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #50 - 1985 to the Present:  In the last post, your view was from the lobby bar lounge on the 54th floor of the #GrandHyattShanghai hotel situated in the #JinMao tower, peering up to the 85th floor. Above that, the 86th floor features a restaurant and a glass skywalk, and the 87th floor is the Cloud 9 Bar. In this post, you are looking down into the lobby bar from my floor at the time, 66. The large couches I was formerly slouching on, and the grand scale of the stage and decorations don’t seem very significant from here. AND yet I am still a long way from the top floor! Note that each floor has an architectural detail that provides several small overhanging balconies for you to “view” the atrium. Not being a big fan of exposure to artificial heights like this, I can only take so much of this “view”, and then I have to go have a drink in the Cloud 9 Bar to recover!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, January 30, 2015
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #49
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #49 - 1985 to the Present:  Sitting in the bar lounge you are surrounded by objects of opulent scale, yet to me the most impressive part is the atrium above. The atrium of the bar lounge rises nearly 40-floors, and in this picture my room is about 1/3 of the way up. The glass wall in the center of this image shields the elevator towers. The spirals are the successive floors as they rise, and all rooms are on the outside with view windows. What does not show here is that after you ride the elevator to the “top,” you can get off and move to another 2-floor elevator that will take you into the crown of the building. There a dark room with large glass windows, amazing views, and super-structure steel frames protruding into the space through the glass from the external architecture, form the nooks and tables of the Cloud-9 Bar... big trouble!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, January 23, 2015
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #48
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #48 - 1985 to the Present:  Essentially, from the 53rd floor up (all the floors incorporating the #GrandHyattShanghai hotel) the #Jin Mao tower is "hollow." The reception lobby, restaurants, bars, elevator towers, and guest rooms all circle the core of the building, which is a huge 40+-story atrium. Thus all windows have a view. On the 54th floor, forming the floor of the atrium is the cocktail lounge. You can be sure I have a drink in my hand at this point! The lounge is large and comfortable, busy with people and waitstaff at all hours. And in the evening there is a large stage and live music. In keeping with the "grand" of all of this, this room is "over-sized" with spectacular plantings and flower arrangements, and a huge painted mural as the backdrop to the stage. This scale becomes insignificant, however, when you look up...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, January 16, 2015
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #47
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #47 - 1985 to the Present:   The lobby of the #GrandHyattShanghai is on the 54th floor of the #JinMaoTower. Most outside walls are glass offering dramatic views of #Shanghai framed by the exoskeleton of the architectural lattice. The common area has grand scale with massive plantings and selective lighting, and the restaurant on this floor offers one of the great breakfast views (and buffets) in Shanghai. Most of the shots in this blog have been made with my medium format, #Pentax 645, so I will apologize for this image and those of the next few posts as they were made with my #iPhone. And in many cases, such as this, it is late and I am probably mildly inebriated; I mean, all those restaurants and clubs and I have not even left the building, right!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, January 9, 2015
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #46
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #46 - 1985 to the Present:  The #JinMaoTower has a 3-level basement that includes a food court and banquet facilities for the hotel. The next 6 floors include a shopping mall, restaurants, and nightclubs. Office spaces occupy the levels above that up to the 53rd floor where the Grand Hyatt begins. Everything is connected by 61 elevators and one of the longest laundry chutes in the world. In the express elevator to the Grand Hyatt lobby, the acceleration / de-acceleration actually takes your breath away the first time you ride. Of all the interesting things of note about this building, my favorite is that in 2001, a 31-year old shoe salesman, named Han Qizhi, was struck by a “rash impulse,” and he simply set down his briefcase and climbed the external framework of the building to the summit. YEOW!!!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, January 2, 2015
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #45
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #45 - 1985 to the Present:  As #Shanghai is built on the #silt of a huge #river delta system, much like Louisiana, a building weighing this much and standing this tall takes some awesome engineering to prevent any shifting or sinking. The #JinMaoTower foundation rests on 1,062 steel pilings sunk 275-feet into the river bottom.  At the time of its construction, these were the longest piles ever used. The building has been designed to withstand #earthquakes and #typhoon winds using shock absorbers that allow a 30” sway in the structure, and the stunning pool on the 57th floor of the #GrandHyatt plays a role acting as a passive damper. Personally, as much as I LOVE this building and the hotel, I hope I am NEVER in it when these structural theories are tested!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, December 26, 2014
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #44
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #44 - 1985 to the Present:  Designed by the #American firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (@skidmoreowingsmerrill), the #JinMao nonetheless reflects influences of #Chinese culture in #design and #engineering. Starting from the base, the exterior form grows narrower and more complex as it rises, the mathematical proportion of the sections creating a rhythmic pattern as they ascend, much like a #pagoda. Also, all of the building's proportions revolve around the number '8', associated with prosperity by the Chinese. The 88 floors are divided into 16 segments, each of which is 1/8th smaller than the 16-story base. The #tower is built around an octagon-shape concrete core, surrounded by 8 composite material supercolumns, and 8 exterior steel columns. Striking to the exterior appearance, a lattice of aluminum alloy pipes decorates the glass-steel-granite of the tower. OF COURSE the building was dedicated on 8/28/1988 to keep that '8-thing' working!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, December 19, 2014
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #43
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #43 - 1985 to the Present:  Many of the citywide POV’s I have posted were made from the windows of the #GrandHyattShanghai which occupies the 53-87th floors of the 88-story #JinMaoTower. Previously I said that the #JinMao and #ThePearlTower were intended to be signatures on the skyline of the new #Pudong financial district.  Having shown you the Pearl Tower, herewith is the one of my favorite, wonderfully-weird pieces of architecture, “The Golden Prosperity Building.” Until 2007, the Jin Mao was the tallest building in #China, and the 5th tallest building in the world. Not sure if this is more Gotham than OZ, but the “style” has been referred to as #Neo-Futurism.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, December 12, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #42
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #42 - 1985 to the Present:  At 1,535-feet high, the #PearlTower was the tallest structure in #China from when it was completed in 1994 until 2007. The scale of the tower is striking: note the large ceremonial group of people dwarfed by the #structure. The entire tower is supported by three massive columns that connect 11 #spheres. The huge internal space of the spheres house 15 observatory levels, exhibition facilities, restaurants, a shopping mall, and a 20-room hotel. The upper observation platform (not visible here) has an outside glass floor, and one of the largest spheres features a revolving restaurant. When first constructed, the tower stood alone, but over the ensuing years, many other very stylized buildings have come into the neighborhood, which also now features an amazing pedestrian #bridge complex you will see in later posts. After my many years of visiting #Shanghai, watching the colorfully illuminated tower disappear and reappear in passing clouds and fog like some huge alien craft is one of my favorite embedded memories.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, December 5, 2014
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #41
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #41 - 1985 to the Present:  Perhaps it is unfair to the new #architecture to #photograph it from above in the #JinMao tower because the other #buildings around the Jin Mao were intended to be equally impressive, both with design AND SCALE. Thus, we are now at ground level, looking at The #PearlTower and the same two offices buildings shown in my last post from above. From this POV they are indeed statuesque! In the immediate foreground the thrall of cars and buses travel the new parkway/freeway that leads to the under-river tunnel connection to old #Shanghai.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, November 22, 2014
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #40
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #40 - 1985 to the Present:  In these last few posts, I've been contrasting scenes from #Shanghai in 1986 with views of Shanghai in 2002. These were taken from one of the world’s tallest buildings, the #JinMao tower, recently built in the new #Pudong Financial District. In one post, I also referenced the under-river tunnel freeway that was built to connect old Shanghai to Pudong. That tunnel opened to a view of the #PearlTower and the Jin Mao, both intended as skyline icons that symbolized this new district. So, once again looking from the windows of the Jin Mao, beyond the reflections are some of the newer towers rising around the Jin Mao, and to the left is The Pearl Tower.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shangha

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Friday, November 21, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #39
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #39 - 1985 to the Present:  That last post was of The #Bund, which you now view on the opposite shoreline in this picture. My POV in post #38 was from the raised esplanade at the shoreline, looking at the buildings to the middle-right of the foreground tower. I took THIS picture in a rush as the tower(s) were rising so quickly, the view disappeared if you blinked.  LOL! More about that disappearing view on this side of the river, later. On the other side of the river in this shot, The Bund is nearly invisible, defined more by the river than its own presence. The large, stately #architecture is completely lost in the stunning scale and sheer numbers in the forest of skyscrapers that now spread into the haze of the horizon in EVERY direction from this amazing vantage point in the #JinMao tower.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, November 14, 2014
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #38
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #38 - 1985 to the Present:  Ah yes, the bustling #Bund. A well-kept showcase of Old #Shanghai #architecture, including city hall, several major banks and trade buildings, and the venerable Peace Hotel. ALWAYS filled with people shopping, and especially enjoying the #esplanade along the river. When change came here, many of the best buildings were not replaced, but refurbished, and the street-pedestrian relationship was well redesigned.  The actual scale, however, of change that went on “just behind the curtain” of the Bund, can only be understood from the vantage I will post next week. It is from a position across the #Huangpu river in the #JinMao tower. This is the Bund in 1986, before much change began to happen.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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Friday, November 7, 2014

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #37
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #37 - 1985 to the Present:  If you look back at post #35 of this blog, to view that scene imagine yourself standing where the large OLD building with the brown roof is, just to the left of the triangular “sculpture” across the river. That juncture is where the #Suzhou river flows into the #Huangpu. I am now in one of the tallest buildings in the world in what was the “view” of THAT shot, and from that building I am looking at where I was standing in 1986 to take the picture (post #35). Some of the large administrative structures of Old #Shanghai still line the riverfront, but they are dwarfed by the forest of towers around them. The single-stroke engine cargo boat seems to have grown a bit in size as well (LOL).
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2014, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

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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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