This old lady is sitting minding a live meat stall in a street market near the Downtown centre of Chongqing - nearby are ducks and their offal on crude wooden boards next to live ducks who seem entirely unperturbed at the slaughter of one of their own in close proximity. Meat is such an important element in this society.
To me this lady is also a little like a rabbit - perhaps it's that curve of her back and leg or the hat or her expression but she seemed the perfect calm presence to be looking after rabbits. She is a part of old Chongqing, perhaps she was here when the city was bombed to near oblivion by the Japanese, when the Red Guard slaughtered each other and when the grand plan for turning this city into a megalopolis were launched - or perhaps not - she may be one of the millions to have come in from the countryside more recently - but she sits in a place, in a way which contrasts sharply with the girls in their bright tops and mini-skirts at the boutiques just yards away. Is she a reminder, a remnant or something more?.......perhaps it's a strength of spirit I see, an embodiment of values which take this society forward whilst linking inescapably with the virtues of the past. Nothing's perfect and nothing is true - this place is as paradoxical as anywhere else - but I did encounter so much in conversation with young people which contrasted enormously with the attitudes and outlook of British youth.....I just wonder what modernity will mean for Chinese youth when the bright and new wear off..............?
I wonder what she thinks about it all?
Critiques | Translate
ninaL (21348) 2007-05-26 4:18
I saw the miniature in the galery and I recognized a new Kev's painting ;). Tender photograph, with some melancolic mood...I love it.
Best regards. Grazyna.
RGatward (20050) 2007-05-26 4:22
Hi Kev, very nicely seen subject, appropriate treatment for her, standing off just a little to put us in the position of observers.
Furachan (0) 2007-05-26 4:54
Clever trope here, Kev, that takes an aready perfectly decent pottrait with fine tonal values and all the rest and ELEVATES it through a clever and pertinent observation - I mean we can make out th litle furry devils in the bokeh zone but it really all comes together through your title and, as I say, very clever note.
everlasting (14037) 2007-05-26 5:06
I would like to hear more about your conversions with the young people, Kev.
The fine portrait of the elegant old lady would hold up on its on, but the rabbits in the background really bring this al;ive put everything in its place.
The natural colourtones are exquisite.
quetzal (3467) 2007-05-26 8:08
Jolie cliché bien mélancolique mais magnifiquement saisi. On pourrait croire à une peinture.
scobert (5355) 2007-05-29 0:16
Imagine what this lady has been through in her life (as stated in your notes). The invasion of China by the Japanese, the Civil War between the Communists and the Kuomingtang, the Cultural Revolution and now the Ipod generation. No wonder she has adopted a calm and detached attitude. Excellent portrait and notes!
vapours (8264) 2007-05-29 7:34
Once again a nice street portrait Kev, with her lost deep in thought, not too close to invade her personal space. Wouldn't mind seeing the rabbits as a bigger feature of the image, but still looks good to me.
paulalex32 (4) 2007-05-30 8:45
Simple but nice capture. Cheers, Paul.