Shop Sundance Catalog

icon icon

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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.




Wednesday, August 10, 2016

 SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #129
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #129 - 1985 to the Present:   This is my final post for this blog. I hope you will continue to follow SILK ROAD, however, as that blog is about the creation of the work that brought me to China in the first place. It has now been 4 years since my last visit and I miss the "emerald towers" of OZ; the strange energy of the streets; the amazing diversity of food; the crazy signage - and so much more. I hope those of you that have followed these blogs about China have enjoyed seeing this evolution of 30yrs. through my eyes. It is not typical to the work for which my career has become known, BUT I WAS THERE and in some degree just became a witness with a camera. Watching the stunning transition of this country was a privilege and I would like to thank UCLA for helping me to become the first American artist to enter the China Exchange Program.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Wednesday, August 3, 2016


 SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #128
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #128 - 1985 to the Present:   My travels in China started in 1985. I visited every year for a decade, and after that, returned every second or third year. There was nothing but small warehouses, rice paddies, and some farm residencies in this view on those first visits.These images that are closing this blog were made on my last visit in 2012. The rain has certainly brought out "a sprouting of mushrooms." Curiously, although it is NOT true of Shanghai, there are cities that have been built in China that look like this only NO ONE IS LIVING IN THEM! A bit of overzealous building. Not so here, however. These sidewalks and housing communities are swarming with people in better weather.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
 SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #127
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #127 - 1985 to the Present:   Same POV as the last post, just 25yrs later! In fact, the skyline has changed AGAIN since I was last in Shanghai and the newest and tallest building has been constructed since my visit. If you have read this blog, you recognize the Oriental Pearl Tower, but you might not notice the Jin Mao tower as it's prominence has been reduced by the upstart neighbors. It is directly in front of the taller Shanghai World Financial Center, and framed by two "lesser" buildings. For me these last two pictures are the "bookends" of this blog. They represent not only the first and last pictures I took, but taken together they encapsulate something epic to which I was a privileged witness - the rise of the new Shanghai! (Quite literally the "rise" judging from this image - LOL).
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Wednesday, July 20, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #126
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #126 - 1985 to the Present:   This was a POV I posted (#35) early in this blog. I am standing near the juncture of Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu river in 1986, looking across the Huangpu at what WOULD BECOME Pudong and Lujiazui. The cranes to the left are in the Shanghai shipbuilding yards. The sky cranes that will create the new towers of Pudong have not yet shown up. The tallest building over there is 4-stories or less. Traffic on the river is significant. The New China is beginning to awake, in fact, explode. Check out this post next week!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #125
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #125 - 1985 to the Present:  There are thousands of people out tonight and many of them are streaming through this complex of trains, elevated walkways, and surface streets. This may be the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone during the day, but at night it is something else ENTIRELY, and it is not just food and clubs that attract everyone. Part of the evening is simply to engage "the views." That is certainly what I am doing, and lit by the varying colors of the nearby signs and neon-coded buildings, I have the distinct sense that I am at some huge EDM concert and this is all just staging. Is the great OZ a DJ?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #124
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #124 - 1985 to the Present:  Blade Runner? Spaceport? Regardless! Really popular on a warm night. Nothing more fun than standing around watching everybody standing around watching. The crowd's universal favorite thing was the pedestrian dodge-ball being played out below. With the skybridge in place, foot traffic at street level does not get much respect, so there is always a bit of adventure if someone wants to ACTUALLY cross a street. Drivers no longer see any reason to slow or avoid "them" because "they" have a pedestrian bridge, and the street belongs to the cars!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, July 1, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #123
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #123 - 1985 to the Present:   Many posts ago, we visited the Oriental Pearl Tower shortly after it was first erected. Then, many other tall buildings were built in the neighborhood. The boulevard traffic only got worse as well, so in a visually exciting piece of Blade Runner design they created a pedestrian walkway and metro station ABOVE the streets that connects many different plazas, one of them being the Pearl Tower. As you might expect, it too is a spectacle of lighting, and it has turned the night of the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone into quite a lively environment. Watch in the ensuing blogs as I swing my camera around."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, June 24, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #122
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #122 - 1985 to the Present:   And finally, there is this, or these as the case may be. If you are confused by this, so was I, and I was standing there. Besides the architectural light show scrolling around on the tall buildings, and the other neon nuttiness floating and driving by, in this particular district, the street lights have been replaced by this display. There are trees that line the sidewalks and so large, bright spotlights have been put in the cradle where the first branching out occurs. This is A LOT of light and it illuminates all the upper branches against the dark of the night sky. Select trees even have colored gels over their light. ALL the trees, however, have their branches strung with a lighting display I have not yet seen elsewhere. It consists of a glow stick about 3ft in length that hangs from a cord. The stick lies dark for a moment, then a flash lights up the top, and that glowing ball then descends the length of the stick, much like a drop of water. The effect of this along the entire street was pretty off the chart, and gave new meaning to the phrase, "a light rain is falling."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, June 17, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #121
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #121 - 1985 to the Present:  No problem FINDING public transportation, just look for the nearest radiant neon light show. Here we have an evening dinner cruise boat (foreground) and a water taxi (just behind) plying the night air of the Huangpu river and taking in the sights. Those "sights" are pretty lit up as well. Not only is the architecture either theatrically illuminated or a changing electronic billboard, but many of the taller buildings have laser shows on their summits, one of which you can see (ray beam emanating from the tower on the right). I have seen as many as 10 tower laser shows going at once, ALL pointing into the sky. I wonder what incoming pilots think about all this.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, June 10, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #120
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #120 - 1985 to the Present:   It is not just the buildings that have been beset by lighting extravagance. If it moves (or not) it can, and will be lit. Good thing about an illuminated bus like this - it is hard to be rundown by it because you can clearly see it coming. This was actually quite a SPECTACLE. The colors changed, the Chinese characters illuminated by flashing on and off, and all the bus lights were synched to fire in sequence from front-to-back-to front - kind of rolling strobe show! This IS NOT a cocktail bus or party bus, this is just one of many driving around on established routes in the busy streets of Shanghai.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, June 3, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #119
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #119 - 1985 to the Present:   My encounter with the snails was unusual, but I am out walking around to view "the norm" which I still find pretty unusual. I am surrounded by the towers of OZ (Pudong) and they have become electronic advertising works of art that light up the Shanghai night. Each tower has its own unique images and way the illumination is used. Seeing them all together and constantly changing is quite a light show. The tower to the left has messages that scroll across AND change color frequently. The tower on the right has an animated light array that does shapes and symbols mixed with Chinese characters in a kind of storybook. The Chinese love lighting - lighting anything, lighting everything. Look below the towers and you will see an outside cafe with big umbrella's over the tables and the support arms of the umbrella extend from a light globe and the lighting runs up the arms. Hey, I can read my menu!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, May 27, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #118
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #118 - 1985 to the Present:   In the growing forest of ever-taller toadstools (I refer to the Jin Mao tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center, I was walking one night and I wandered into a park that offered some dramatic views of the towers and the broad avenue. Appropriate to a humid "forest" I suppose, this park had VERY large snails that were also there taking in the night air while watching over the passing humans. Just one more of those odd discoveries around any given corner in Shanghai. I wonder if anyone has tried to eat these yet?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, May 20, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #117
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #117 - 1985 to the Present:  Briefly the tallest building in #China, the #ShanghaiWolrdFinancialCenter is a striking contrast to the #JinMaoTower and therein lies a classic Chinese perspective - many do NOT like the financial center because the architects were "foreign" and the building is not "Chinese" in design. Nor is it the tallest in the WORLD. Obviously the solution to that is to build a third tower close by using a Chinese design/architect and make it the tallest building in the world. So they did. Before we leave the financial center though, another tale: one REALLY windy night quite late, I was buying food from food vendors around a theater line in the Jin Mao complex. The financial center was unfinished at the time and many high floors had no windows in place. Out of the corner of my eye, near the top of the tower, I saw something flash rather brightly as it passed through the beam of the tower spotlight. I looked up to follow what it was and it appeared to be a bird, swooping and diving, AND headed toward us! In its descent, it grew larger quickly, and others around me began to notice it also. Finally, those of us looking could see it was a huge sheet of dry-wall, but before anyone could speak or flee, it slammed into the ground striking no one, but blowing into pieces and showering them all over the street and passing cars. Beware The Safety!.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, May 13, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #116
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #116 - 1985 to the Present:  That "thing" in the last post, is this! The #JinMaoTower now has a newer, taller neighbor. As I noted previously in this blog, the Jin Mao Tower houses a favorite hotel of mine, the #GrandHyattShanghai and for a brief time, the building was the tallest in the world. Of course when the #PetronasTwinTowers in #KualaLumpur became taller, the #Chinese wanted to regain the record, so this was constructed. This is the #ShanghaiWorldFinancialCenter, 101 stories high and from the 79th to the 93rd floors it features the #ParkHyattShanghai, at the time of completion, the "highest" hotel in the world. Nothing lasts forever, however, and soon towers and hotels in #Dubai would eclipse this.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, May 6, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #115
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #115 - 1985 to the Present:   My last post carried you over the river from central #Shanghai to the esplanade that runs along the shoreline of the #Pudong financial district. If you have followed this blog, you know I often stay at #GrandHyattShanghai in this area, and I have dedicated many images and posts to the unique architecture and scale of this hotel. For a brief moment the #JinMaoTower, the upper floors of which are occupied by the hotel, was the tallest building in the world. Now we come us this picture. To the left is the stunning facade of the Grand Hyatt/#JinMaoTower, BUT WHAT IS THAT TO THE RIGHT, looking DOWN of the Jin Mao???????
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, April 29, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #114
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #114 - 1985 to the Present:   Given what Carey and I saw on the ground in #Shanghai and #Suzhou, the use of force by the government and military seemed inevitable. Of course it was a terrible thing to do, but considering how large and widespread the demonstrations were, they were destabilizing the economy, and by doing what the government did in Beijing and broadcasting it on the news country-wide, they did NOT have to intervene significantly in any other cities. Everyone went home and back to work without further confrontations. When I say these things, Americans are quick to criticize me for not condemning the military response more strongly, but I think WE are quick to forget that our military shot students during a single university protest over a president - NO cities were shut down, our economy was not in peril. The good news is that nothing really stopped China's march toward increasing levels of democracy because it comes with their raging capitalism. AND, the generations sitting in this riverside cafe and walking along the esplanade of the new financial district that drives the economy are barely old enough to even remember the incident.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, April 22, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #113
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #113 - 1985 to the Present:   Carey and I went back upstairs to the dining room to have a dessert, a drink, and to further ponder the events of our evening. Her question opened a #Pandora'sBox of further questions. Because there were so few hotels, perhaps our "guide" guessed that we were staying at the #PeaceHotel, BUT how did he find us in that crowd? Why would they even know we were walking out there that night, we had only just made up our minds to do it at dinner? He knew I had a camera and with his first question asked if I was a journalist? The more we thought about it, the stranger it got. The next day the hotel had secured us a flight out and a car that would actually take us to the airport, so we were off. #Shanghai was a ghost town as we passed through. It was eerie! The airport was virtually empty. We boarded without the usual ""crazy" line behavior and crowding. Then, while we were taxiing, our plane was halted for several minutes as another one landed bearing Russian Prime Minister Gorbachev. This was his first visit with the new #Chinese premier, and I knew at that moment, the protests would be stopped. China would NEVER allow that kind of public behavior to be seen during such an important international visit. By the time we landed in #Hawaii, the military had begun arresting and shooting the protestors and students in #TiananmenSquare. 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, April 15, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #112
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #112 - 1985 to the Present:   The protestor turned back to the crowd and told us to follow him. Again the crowd parted and we simply flowed through all of them arriving at the steps of #ShanghaiCityHall in brief minutes. There were bright searchlights on the building and a number of lights on the students as well. The glare was considerable but from the elevation of the steps, the view out over the massive crowd was amazing. Many of the students spoke English, and asked us to take pictures and to be sure and tell the world that they were peacefully protesting on behalf of democracy and asking the #Chinese government for democratic reforms. I assured them most of us already knew that and that we in the West supported them. I had no strobe but with so much light I took some hand-held shots of the protestors and the crowd. Then, the one who brought us to the steps came beside me and said we should leave as WE were being photographed. He led us back into the crowd, and within minutes we found ourselves alone with him in a nearby alley and virtually no one around. I asked where we were, and he told us to go to the other end of the alley, turn right, walk three blocks and we would be back at the #PeaceHotel. He assured us we would be fine, and then he disappeared back into the crowd. We did as he asked and found ourselves in the quietude of the hotel lobby entrance within a few minutes. As we caught our breath and pondered what had just happened, Carey turned to me and said, "How did he know we were staying here?"
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, April 8, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #111
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #111 - 1985 to the Present:   The crowd was thinnest at the periphery but grew dense as it got near to the city hall of #Shanghai where the democracy protesters were staging their sit-in. That seemed to be where all the interest and activity was and it was only a couple of blocks away, so we began inching ourselves in that direction. As we got closer to the demonstrators, however, the crowd grew impassable. Eventually it was clear we had made a serious error in judgement because we were regularly being swept off our feet and carried along by surges that rolled through all the people squashed together standing up. Carey was getting groped and found that we were powerless, frightening, so we decided we would try to get out of there,..but how? Suddenly the crowd parted around us like Moses parted the Red Sea. No one was touching us any longer and before us stood a #Chinese student clad in white and wearing a white headband painted with characters we knew to be democracy slogans. Speaking relatively good English, he asked if we were journalists and if we wanted to talk with the protesters. What????? But then, why not? I mean, we were here. This WAS happening!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, April 1, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #110
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #110 - 1985 to the Present:  As far as the #Chinese government was concerned, another unsettling aspect of large crowd gatherings wasn't simply the fact that they were convening in ALL the large cities, and they were growing in size each night, YET ALSO that when the participants went home, they stayed at home. No one came to work the next day! Big, key-economy cities were being shut down, in effect. There were few stores open. There were virtually no taxis, and no shipping transportation. The airport was only partially operational. Therefore Carey and I couldn't re-book our flights immediately, so another night passed as we watched the growing crowd from a restaurant. On the third night, the crowd was estimated at 1-MILLION, so let me give you some perspective on that. This is an iPhone image from 2012, and I am standing across the street from #ThePeaceHotel (which is out-of-frame to the right). Here I'm looking down #TheBund and the boulevard towards #ShanghaiCityHall. The actual Bund is out-of-frame to the left. This is quite an expansive space. There is an across-street sidewalk, 6-lanes of traffic, a huge riverside sidewalk, and the elevated esplanade of The Bund. On that night in 1989, this view was filled with people, end-to-end, sidewalk-to-riverside, and spilling into the side streets that were rapidly filling with more who were still arriving. I could no longer just stay on the balcony, so Carey, I, and my 645 camera opted to leave the hotel and enter "the stream."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, March 25, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #109
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #109 - 1985 to the Present:  In #Beijing, student protesters had begun to "occupy" #TiananmenSquare, stating they would stay in the square until the #Chinese government adopted democratic reform. Now citizens in #Shanghai were showing sympathy for them by assembling on #TheBund in the evenings. We were told the crowds were getting bigger every night, however that they remained peaceful, and we shouldn't have any problem traveling to Suzhou. Nor did we, and we arrived the next day to be welcomed by #ZhangMeifang, director of the embroidery group with whom I was working. She and I carried on our business discussions the rest of that day, and then went to dinner. En route to our meal, however, Zhang noted protesters gathering along the main road, and told me they made her uncomfortable. The next morning during our breakfast meeting, marching protesters of considerable number closed the boulevard in front of my hotel, and Zhang said she heard on the radio that the government would bring the military into Beijing. She thought things might not go well, and that Carey and I should return to Shanghai and leave China as soon as possible. And so we trained back to Shanghai that day, and found ourselves once again having dinner at #ThePeaceHotel looking down on an assembling crowd in the twilight - only tonight the crowd would approach 500,000!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, March 18, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #108
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #108 - 1985 to the Present:  In early June of 1989, my wife, Carey, and I flew into #Shanghai and transited to #Suzhou to continue work I was doing there through the #UCLAChinaExchangeProgram (read my blog). We had visited #China several times since first arriving 1986, and we had mastered the complexities of getting around. To mental immerse ourselves in being there and to purchase train tickets to Suzhou, we would always shelter at the #PeaceHotel in Shanghai for one night. (Pictured here is the beautifully restored lobby as it appears today thanks to the new owners, #FairmontPeaceHotelShanghai.) For us, The Peace was calm in the middle of the China "storm." When the crowds and the streets wore you out, The Peace was just that -peace! And best of all, on hot summer nights you could dine on fabulous food in the upstairs restaurant where they would open the balcony doors allowing the breeze off the river to blow through. (Remember, it is 90 degrees, 90% humidity, and air-conditioning at this time in China was marginally effective if you had it at all.) The dinner this night was different, however, because down below the balcony windows 300,000 people were assembled on #TheBund "protesting."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, March 11, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #107
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #107 - 1985 to the Present:  In post #97 I presented a night shot of #TheBund, and made note of the building with the illuminated green pyramid roof. That building is the historic #PeaceHotel that has served visitors to #Shanghai for more than 80-years. Now beautifully remodeled, it has been rebranded as the #FairmontPeaceHotelShanghai. Nothing, however, has changed about its fine location, the great food they serve, or the internationally known jazz band that plays for cocktail hour, and in the evening. AND has been doing so since the doors opened! When Carey and I first visited Shanghai, the ONLY hotel used by foreigners was The Peace, and many tales unfolded there, including one I will now relate.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, March 4, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #106
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #106 - 1985 to the Present:  This blog is going to cross the river and investigate some of the changes to the #Pudong side and skyline, however to get there I'm taking you on one last pass at central #Shanghai. Of nothing "significant," this is one of my favorite pictures because it is so layered. The colors were what attracted me, but as the camera so often does, once it allows YOU to focus in on something, you see other relationships. And here the play of the old and new struck me. The modern architecture reflected and distorted in the glass of the windows of the older building, not only confuses the visual sense of space, but look how, in some weird way, it echoes the classically "Chinese" framed windows surrounded by the reflections.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, February 26, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #105
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #105 - 1985 to the Present:  Most #Chinese cities have parks, often many of them, and some can be quite large. Several parks were in place before modernization began, however only a few were well kept. I'm happy to say that in the new #China city parks have become showcases. Perhaps you've already noticed, posts #59-60 of this blog are shots of the #ShanghaiMuseum, and the new opera house under construction, all surrounded by a very lavishly planted landscaping. Here we see it again in another small park, yet there is also something ELSE to note in this picture. In the middle of this skyline you can see two VERY tall buildings. The one to the left is the #JinMaoTower I've referred to many times in this blog. When it was first built, it WAS the tallest building in Shanghai, and one of the tallest in the world. Pretty clearly there is now something NEXT TO the Jin Mao that is MUCH taller.... Where did that come from?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, February 19, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #104
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #104 - 1985 to the Present:  Well, to be fair, among the new food displays that reflect the tastes and diversity of contemporary #Shanghai, these guys crept in as well. Catchy location too, wouldn't you say? The #ShanghaiFirstFoodStore is a market. The #BigMac-sters occupy the street corner but are beneath the market sign, so they have appropriated the sign as well as the suggestion that THEY are Shanghai's first food store.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, February 12, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #103
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #103 - 1985 to the Present:  Another of the pleasures of wandering through old town #Shanghai were the amazing restaurants and food stands with their displays of available items. This is the greatest marketing strategy EVER. Between the sight and smell of it all, YOU GET HUNGRY! I also found the kitchens fascinating to watch because they were VERY busy and intentionally open to public view. Multiple chefs scurry behind the counter firing up woks, chopping vegetables and meat, and all the while yelling wildly to each other. A successful food vendor here was part quality of offering, AND part theater. The more amusing the activity, the more customers attracted. As I have said before, in China, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd (LOL).
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, February 5, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #102
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #102 - 1985 to the Present:  The restoration of #Shanghai’s “old town” was opulent, and at the surface it remained faithful to historic tradition. Taking it all in, I continued to wander in the twisting (and crowded) pedestrian streets and hallways that wound around through the buildings. I wasn't surprised to find odd signage in English, however I'm not sure I was fully prepared for this moment of inevitability. Rounding a corner to enter a more open plaza, the English signage suddenly became all too clear:  DQ! Whaaaat? I guess the #Chinese really love ice cream because of the many franchises to establish themselves early in the game, Kentucky Fried Chicken (@KFC) was one of the first, yet they were quickly followed by Häagen-Dazs (@HaagenDazs_US), and Dairy Queen (@DairyQueen), which seemed to sprout up quite literally EVERYWHERE.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, January 29, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #101
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #101 - 1985 to the Present:  Still pondering the "#Chinese cakes preparing for foreigners," I continued wandering around in the narrow pedestrian "streets" of old town, taking in the renovation. Spectacular! Building-after-building, square-after-square, every little connecting hall, ALL beautifully restored and repainted. At street level you are greeted by hundreds of small retail shops beneath structures like these. Food is everywhere, and stores offer everything from clothing and jewelry, to calligraphy brushes, and chop-making. Even with as many foreign tourists as these pathways have these days, the architectural presence always gives me a sense of what the busy streets of ancient #Shanghai must have felt like.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, January 22, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #100
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #100 - 1985 to the Present:  The refurbishment to the architecture of old town #Shanghai was very well done. However as I began to look around, I began to notice some changes that were ever “curious-er and curious-er.” After pondering the massive dragon-turtles (previous post), I moved on to some of the nearby store windows, and was surprised to realize that some of the new touches of modernization were English signage, where previously there had been none. As I've noted in my ongoing #China blogs, signs in English often translate in interesting ways, as is the case here. What is really going on inside? ”EATING THE WORLD”??? "HERE WE HAVE CHINESE CAKES PREPARING FOR FOREIGNERS" ...Whaaat!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, January 15, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #99
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #99 - 1985 to the Present:  On one of my more recent visits to #Shanghai, I was out wandering around on the streets, and it occurred to me that I had not been to the historic "old" Shanghai neighborhood since the major remodeling of the city, and I wondered if it was even still there. When I began this blog, I featured old town in post #4, and I said I would learn it was one of those places that "would change but stay the same." And so it was. It was a bit trickier to find it in the maze of newer city streets, but as I got close you knew immediately you were approaching because the neighborhoods and surrounding architecture began to change also. At last the dramatic multi-story, up-turned roofs showed against the Shanghai skyline and I walked through a now-formal gateway into the "city" to find it restored, polished, and more striking than ever.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, January 8, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #98
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #98 - 1985 to the Present:  The other effect of the night-lighting was to brighten the streets and bring the people out. There were always parts of the city that attracted people in the evening, especially #TheBund, but the remodel of #Shanghai illuminated much larger areas of the sprawling metropolis, making them popular at night. We will cross the river into the #Pudong district eventually, but right now I am just wandering around central Shanghai taking in the explosion of night life, great clubs, and amazing food everywhere. In fact, in my walk I discovered colors of neon I had never seen, and I came to realize the #Chinese love lighting SO MUCH, they pretty much now are trying to light EVERYTHING! You will see.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, January 1, 2016


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #97
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #97 - 1985 to the Present:  The #Chinese penchant to be a bit over-the-top with lighting plays out quite beautifully in the remodel of #TheBund and the riverside esplanade. It is also an interesting mix of the old and the new. Although the "old" Bund did have floodlighting for the architecture, it was random and not always flattering or defining. I think when media glare lit the steps and facade of city hall during the #TiananmenSquare demonstrations (massive protests were everywhere - I was in Shanghai), some viewing saw the "drama" of the architecture and later those ideas led to today's illumination design for the older buildings. Here, too, the old and new are blended. On my side of the street, the esplanade, you can see low-profile sidewalk lighting, blue-glass plates embedded in the sidewalk with light beneath them, and way down at the end, that glowing rectangle is actually quite a large cube of digital TV/ad screens. You might also notice, directly left of the glowing cube is a tall, dark building with a pyramid-like roof, lighted green. That is one of Shanghai's MOST historic tourist hangouts, the #PeaceHotel (now known as the Fairmont Peace Hotel) where I spent a good deal of time over the years. It's remodel is also quite spectacular as I will try to show in upcoming posts.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, December 25, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #96
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #96 - 1985 to the Present:  As cities are transformed by time and economic circumstance, there is always a struggle between development and preservation, only further complicated in #China by its truly ancient history. #Shanghai is certainly one of China's MOST showcase cities, both in the past and in the present. So when the "remodel" of Shanghai began in the '80's, it must have been a stunning challenge. One of the many GREAT decisions that was made, #TheBund was recognized as a significant tourism and pedestrian area of the city. The old riverside esplanade and cruise docks were redesigned to become more pedestrian and view-friendly. Strolling here today allows you to see the dramatic visual contrasts of the architecture in modern Shanghai. The historic town hall and business district that formed The Bund traditionally has been well preserved. Across the river (to the right of frame) you can also view the remarkable skyline of the new #Pudong financial district.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, December 18, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #95
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #95 - 1985 to the Present:  #Shanghai's most famous shopping avenue, now a pedestrian mall, has definitely embraced western culture. I can tell you when I first visited back in the '80's, I never imagined that in the future I would be standing here, seeing this. These billboards are now everywhere in the city, and feature a broad array of international personalities. I particularly like the serendipitous association of ALL the "faces" in this shot, INCLUDING the small double banner on the light post. What are they selling!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, December 11, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #94
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #94 - 1985 to the Present:  Present: Wait! What? 1969 Premium Jeans? @GAP? What? I thought I was in #Shanghai! Indeed I am, BUT this is 21st Century Shanghai now so it gets even more amusing. This huge billboard is actually the new style of making a construction site more discreet. Also interestingly, the guys in the white hats are elderly men "on tour" and they are apparently going to visit the construction site as part of their tour. This billboard also struck me as a bit funny, because I actually wore "premium" jeans IN 1969. I note also that even though it is Shanghai, 2011, GAP apparently does not yet realize that there are Chinese models available.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, December 4, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #93
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #93 - 1985 to the Present:  This is another image that has echoes in the past. At the very beginning of this blog, post #3, I put up a picture of #NanjingLu in 1986, one of the best known shopping streets in #Shanghai. THIS image is nearly the same place in 2011. The shopping district is now car-less as it has become a multi-block pedestrian mall. The old electric buses have been replaced BUT NOT eliminated, and gratefully the clutter of wires and cables in the sky have disappeared. Now why can’t I get them to make those same cables disappear where I live in Manhattan Beach?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, November 27, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #92
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #92 - 1985 to the Present:  If you follow this blog, this is an interesting image, in my opinion. It first appeared in post #55. In posts #55-58, I was describing this plaza of restaurants as one of my favorite places to eat. However, by 2004 the development pressure in the area to use this real estate for towers finally pushed the plaza out, and “Fish Beauty” restaurant would be no more. I also think it's kind of spooky that post #55 and this one are 6 years apart and yet the are framed almost PRECISELY the same; and from nearly the same POV. I know when I took this image, I didn't even remember the previous one until I began editing for this blog, and discovered how weirdly the same these two were!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, November 20, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #91
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #91 - 1985 to the Present:  Usually on a warm night in #Shanghai, it was fun to go out and walk around. The streets were always very crowded and alive. But tonight as I sat having dinner and watching the last light colored by the dense air pollution, I knew there would be many fewer people out given the conditions, and I decided I would best be served by retiring to view of the #Cloud9Bar and risking the cigar smoke, rather than going out into the night, and sucking this stuff down.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, November 13, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #90
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #90 - 1985 to the Present:  “The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.” When #CarlSandburg wrote that poem I am certain he did not mean this. At the end of a long, hot day, there would be a lot of people wheezing and coughing at night. On days when #Shanghai is truly wrapped in RIVER fog, it is quite enjoyable and seems to add to the mystery of the city. This is no mystery, though. This is just sinister!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, November 6, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #89
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #89 - 1985 to the Present:  I DID go out and walk around, and I'll show you some of those images in ensuing posts, however for the moment I want you to be able to easily contrast images that describe the deterioration of the day. As I suspected it might, the heat and humidity DID trap all the pollution that began, as the afternoon wore on, to settle in pockets over the city like an evening fog. This is NO FOG however! Here in #Shanghai, and even more so in #Beijing, these fogs are deadly, impair the health of the citizens, and occasionally are so bad and so dense that it makes driving nearly impossible. #China realizes this threat to health and is attempting to do something about it, yet in the meantime, “BEWARE OF THE BREATHING.” (I would LOL at this if it were not SO sad.)
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, October 30, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #88
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #88 - 1985 to the Present:  From my breakfast window at the #GrandHyattShanghai, the morning light illuminated #TheBund in a beautiful glow. I love the massive shadow of the #JinMaoTower in which this hotel is located, being cast completely across the river and on to The Bund. At the moment there is minimal air pollution yet you can clearly see the haze of humidity rising above the city. Unfortunately, I know this cycle all too well. As the temperature and humidity rise, if the air remains still it will trap pollution from the city, much as happens in #LosAngeles, and the air quality is going to plummet. If I am going out to walk today, I better go soon as later may be very unpleasant....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, October 23, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #87
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #87 - 1985 to the Present:  Most of my visits to #Shanghai after 2000 were brief pass-throughs en route to #Suzhou where I was creating my embroideries. I would always spend 1-2 days before going to Suzhou, and 1-2 more after coming back, just walking around Shanghai to witness what had changed and what had not. In 2004, I had resumed my perch in the #JinMaoTower’s #GrandHyattShanghai, and I was seated at an early breakfast looking through the huge glass windows as the sun rose. For the moment, the air was relatively clear and you could see out over the city for some miles. It is quite amazing that the streets below have no traffic, but that will change very quickly. In fact, quite a lot will change as the day wakes up and WARMS up.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, October 16, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #86
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #86 - 1985 to the Present:  I've always viewed #HongKong as a “stratified” city. It was built on hillsides; it was VERY vertical, both commercial and residential; and at every “layer” in the ascent / descent, there was a “class” of people, right down to the street. By 2004, Shanghai had developed very much like that as well. The shocking thing to me is that Hong Kong is relatively small, and since landscape was limited, the city grew vertically because it had to. Not so with Shanghai. Shanghai is like #LosAngeles, it spreads in all directions. BUT, it now has more SKYSCRAPERS than any other city in the world, and beneath them all of those class “layers” down to the street. It just boggles the mind! Do you think LA is big? NY? Imagine 15-MILLION, and more likely 25-million, down there in the world of OZ.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, October 9, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #85
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #85 - 1985 to the Present:  In ’02, not all of #Shanghai housing was vertical. Those that worked FOR the people living in the towers were housed “under” the towers, or nearby in “communities.” With running water, sanitation, and some income, many of those living here were doing better than when they were living in rural areas, however this was still pretty marginally getting-by. If Shanghai is a 20th Century Oz as I have suggested by the title of this blog, the government is certainly part of “the man behind the curtain operating everything,” yet so are all of these people. They are the “invisible” street population that keeps everything running.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, October 2, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #84
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #84 - 1985 to the Present:  If you don’t drive a @MercedesBenz or a @Ferrari than you certainly do not have a fancy showroom and auto-care complex to pamper you. Right in the middle of some of the densest tower complexes, this is a “sidewalk” scooter repair service shop, and if you are walking on the sidewalk you just have to navigate around it. Chinese are VERY curious observers and on some days, the work will be encircled by chairs of numerous friends "giving advice." LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, September 25, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #83
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #83 - 1985 to the Present:  By 2002, #Shanghai had been stunningly transformed. Tourists and newly wealthy Chinese strolled along the grand river promenade, ate at fine restaurants, drove cars, and many worked in the new vertical world of office and hotel towers. Those who BUILT them and SERVED in them didn't have cars, nor did they have time to stroll anywhere, and their restaurants looked VERY different. This is a “workers” fast-food restaurant row, immediately off one of the main thoroughfares in central #Pudong.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, September 18, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #82
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #82 - 1985 to the Present:  When I previously suggested that these housing projects and their supportive vendors existed in the shadows of the gleaming new #Shanghai towers, I meant it QUITE LITERALLY! This vendor is on the sidewalk of a small narrow “side” street in an apartment housing “community.” We are nearly UNDERNEATH one of the mega-plex office structures, and we are walled-in by towers. Traffic back here is mostly on foot, and by bike, or scooter. I seldom saw cars. If you haven’t noticed, I have a fun little color thing going on here with the laundry and the fruit (LOL).
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, September 11, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #81
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #81 - 1985 to the Present:  One of my great pleasures in wandering around modern #Shanghai is witnessing the paradox of what the city is. Beneath the gleaming towers, and off to the sides of the grand parkways, “the Chinese street” thrives in its unique way. Yes, there are now supermarkets, however in the “neighborhoods” beneath the skyscraper skyline, the fruit and veggies on the street “stands” looks pretty GREAT! Nearby, #Ferraris and #Mercedes fly by on an 8-lane super-boulevard, yet merchants in the neighborhood residences are delivering wares in 3-wheeled trikes. It is good that Shanghai is relatively flat, as this would be a tough haul uphill!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, September 4, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #80
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #80 - 1985 to the Present:  When the Chinese began to develop the #PudongDistrict it was very different than converting the more dense and structurally more historic central #Shanghai. Much of what was here were factory sheds and farms. This “rural” state allowed the city planners to create a pre-designed world to encompass Chinese work and lifestyles in a more safe and orderly fashion than the sometimes helter-skelter of the old city. Here you see an expansive highway connecting apartments and business / retail.  Numerous buses help to minimize car traffic; and, protectively sited bike lanes pass through park-like greenbelts.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, August 28, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #79
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #79 - 1985 to the Present:  …and there were a lot of neighborhoods to maintain! Like mushrooms after a rain, new housing complexes bloomed across the landscape. Big urban areas like Shanghai attracted workers from the countryside with the promise of a better income, and more modern living conditions. Shanghai nearly doubled in population in twenty years, and is now one of the biggest cities in the world. New infrastructure, new buildings, new roads, new parks, lots of executives in the new tower offices; SO someone had to keep it all working at the block-to-block street level. They are out there in this landscape, however they are NOT living in these houses!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, August 21, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #78
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #78 - 1985 to the Present:  As #Shanghai went through its architectural transformation, in the big view it would seem gleaming and modern. Signature buildings rising across the city, now newly connected by a bridge-tunnel-highway system that promised ever greater efficiency. A stunning new airport; fantasy hotels; chic restaurants, and yes, much of that built by industrial “crews” and industrial equipment. HOWEVER, out on the street walking around I was always amazed at how the core of the infrastructure was serviced by working “citizens” whose dress and equipment support – if they had any - varied greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. One of the biggest and most populated cities in the world was being kept operational by guys like these!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, August 14, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #77
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #77 - 1985 to the Present:  Like #LosAngeles, #Shanghai is at the edge of the #Pacific, so passing weather helps to clear the smog. When it's clear, the endless skyscraper skyline of the city is breathtaking to see, HOWEVER NOW there are new visual obstacles to my view of #TheBund. Apparently while the smog was obscuring my vision some more shoreline towers popped up. YEOW! The immediate neighborhood of the #JinMaoTower was about to explode with a FRENZY of construction, that even paled what I had already witnessed. Not only was it "building-out," but THERE WOULD BE A RACE FOR THE SKY!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, July 31, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #75
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #75 - 1985 to the Present:  Slowly but surely, in the ensuing years, tall(er) buildings around the #JinMaoTower would take some of the view away, however that wasn't the only thing impairing the view. Unfortunately with the growth of the New #China came a LOT of cars and coal-burning. So one of the other things I have witnessed is the already poor air quality get even worse... MUCH worse! In densely populated cities like #Shanghai and #Beijing, on a hot day with humid, still air hanging over everything, it is downright mind-boggling! There are 15-million people out there breathing this in. In the late '60's, Los Angeles and the #PomonaValley had days like this. Brutal!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, July 24, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #74
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #74 - 1985 to the Present:  Back in my “perch” at the #GrandHyattShanghai the ever-changing view provided much drama and amusement. You might expect that a booming, successful, new financial district with lots of grandiose driving thoroughfares connected to “the rest of” Shanghai by a relatively narrow, under-river tunnel was an invitation for crazy behavior. Driving “laws” in Shanghai are questionably enforced, and generally cab drivers and the drivers of private cars know no shame! Certainly it was one of the reasons I tried to walk as much as possible. How many “actual” lanes of traffic do you see here!?!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, July 17, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #73
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #73 - 1985 to the Present:  This @LATimes story is about the American #Architecture firm, @GenslerOnCities, that built the second tallest building in the world, the #ShanghaiTower. In this shot by China based photographer #NickMay, three super-towers share the cloud-space. The one in the lower right, which actually twists as it rises, is the Shanghai Tower. The one on the lower left is the #ParkHyattShanghai. If you have followed this blog, you will have already recognized the one in the upper left is the #JinMaoTower / #GrandHyattShanghai. I thought this feature story serendipitous to the point of my blog that the Jin Mao's unique architectural details make it stand out – even in a crowd.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, July 10, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #72
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #72 - 1985 to the Present:  Timing is everything, so here is a bit of serendipity. Over the past several months' postings, I've repeatedly referenced the #JinMaoTower. Both as where I stayed (#GrandHyattShanghai), and as an icon of the skyline of the New #Shanghai. When first built (1999), it was the tallest building within the center of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Districts, and one of the tallest structures in the world. Last week the @LATimes ran a feature article in their business section about the “sky-high” architecture of China, and the American companies that were helping to create it. As you will see in my next post, #China now hosts FOUR of the tallest buildings in the world, and they are all next to each other! ALL have striking architecture, however the Jin Mao -- although it is now the “shortest” of the four -- still stands out because of its unique “neo-futurism" / Chinese "gothic” design. From this angle, it reminds me once again of post #46, which recounts the story of 31-year old shoe salesman, Han Qizhi, who one day walked around the building at ground level a couple of times with a companion, took his jacket off, and started climbing to the top! WTF!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, July 3, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #71
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #71 - 1985 to the Present:  In my previous post I referenced walking around the “new” #Shanghai as being like being on another planet. So, put yourself in my shoes:  I'm alone; I speak virtually no Chinese; I can't read Chinese; and then I come upon this! Where am I, and what is going on here? Suddenly I realized the rising #Pudong district was NOT a new financial zone. In actuality it was a spaceport being secretly constructed to LOOK like a business district!!! At this moment I've stumbled into the flying saucer construction area, and it's now perfectly clear to me that the #JinMaoTower is an alien rocket ship. Holy cow, that is where I'm staying! Well, I guess that would better explain the bar at night....
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________
Friday, June 26, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #70
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #70 - 1985 to the Present:  Day-by-day, and in EVERY way, Shanghai was definitely growing more “neo-futuristic.” It was NOT just the #JinMaoTower. Almost every building erected was an architectural design statement/experiment. Taken as a collective whole, walking around I often felt I was on another planet (and, of course, culturally I was.) I LOVE architecture so there was no end to my picture taking, and in this shot there are quite a few design statements being made. I also hope that whomever created the “protecting-you-from-the-rain” tunnels in the immediate foreground will enter #ElonMusk’s design-challenge for the pneumatic “tube” transport he hopes to build for north-south transport in California. Look out @JerryBrownGov, if Musk's idea works, your bullet train will be history! Imagine being “sucked” from one end of this state to the other!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, June 19, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #69
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #69 - 1985 to the Present:  While there was no doubt that all of the architects working in the developing #Pudong district were trying to make "signature" statements with their buildings using height, color, shape, and overall opulence, for me NO ONE even came close to the presence of the #JinMaoTower. Yes, that IS it in the reflection of this hotel under construction. For my many years of traveling to #Shanghai, the tower and crown of the Jin Mao are iconic and define the view on that side of the river. Initially it was because the Jin Mao was simply the tallest structure around. Even though that would change eventually (REALLY change), the Jin Mao still stands out like no other. The height and shape are one part of the magic, but that "neo-futurism" external frame structure is just OUT THERE, and were I to reference the style, I would call it Chinese Gothic - just amazing, AND from EVERY angle of view - even in a reflection!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, June 12, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #68
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #68 - 1985 to the Present:  When I titled this blog "Shanghai, OZ of the Orient" I was referencing the famous movie "The Wizard of Oz" wherein the child, Dorothy, and her companions seek to visit the Emerald City of towers, so they can ask the great OZ for help. #Shanghai seemed to have similar parallels. For the Chinese, Shanghai was a symbol of their new and rising relationship with the world economy, so many had come there to have their problems "solved." Clearly Shanghai was run by someone, BUT like the great OZ, no one was ever allowed to see that person. Finally, it was also a city of towers, BUT it would be incorrect to call it the Emerald City, because the gold of reflective windows and the silver of steel were the colors of Shanghai in reality.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Friday, June 5, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #67
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #67 - 1985 to the Present:  Not all of the waterfront on the #Pudong side was redesigned as of this moment, and one of my favorite places to visit still existed:  the #Shanghai shipyards. Located on the river, and quite near the #JinMao, it was within easy walking distance and ALWAYS worth viewing. It was one of the world's great shipyards, and they built some of China's largest vessels. As much as I enjoyed it, in the 1980's most of the work went on behind high walls, and a massive closed gate. Even walking-up to the gate and peering in, drew the attention of security who would quickly wave me away. So there was never a thought on my part to try and take a picture.  I was happy to just have an occasional glimpse of whatever was going on. By 2001, however, things had changed. The ship projects were even bigger, and the one being constructed in this post is one of the largest super-tankers in the world. Also -- and rather unexpectedly -- on this day the gate was open.  And as I stood there watching, medium format camera in hand, one of the guards approached me and asked what I was doing? I replied that I was just enjoying watching the work, to which he responded, "Would you like to take a picture?" He then allowed me to go a short distance inside the gate for a better shot, just as this huge steel sectional piece was being hoisted into place! Wow!!! That was different!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:





Due to the size and quality of the photos included in this blog, and as too many photos tend to slow a blog down, we have opted to host the previous entries on a separate post in order to best optimize your reading experience. Please click here to continue reading this blog...