Assignment #2 of my current Photo101 course, which I am enjoying tremendously, the theme is Street. Here is my chosen image. It is an image snapped on a recent holiday to PingYao, the only completely walled city left in China and listed as UNESCO World Heritage. It is a charming little walkable town, like a China version of York, with winding narrow streets and buildings that date back three or four hundred years — all still standing and occupied as homes, and shops and a few emerging boutique hotels. Pingyao is a fascinating dichotomy of the old and the new.
While in the morning, cars, electric bicycles and design forward tourist shops make up the liveliness of the town, the night hides the gaudiness of the day. What is left are the red lanterns which light up the main doors of almost every home, casting a haunting glow on the ancient walls of the town. At night, the past comes alive and even though a few people are walking the streets, you can imagine the ghosts and spirits of the past emerging and reliving the glory of Pingyao’s past.
(Incidentally, Pingyao was the inspiration for the setting of Kungfu Panda II, and the mansion that was used as the location for the movie ‘Raise the Red Lantern’ is not far away.)