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Monday, December 11, 2017

A Solid Game of Xiangqi in Wuhan

Sculpture of a xiangqi game with one man playing and another watching
On the Jianghan Road Pedestrian Street

The above sculpture of a xiangqi game appears to have been designed to encourage people to have their photo taken while pretending to be one of the players. You would have to bring your own fan and sandals though.

I have been bouncing around — of both the intracity and intercity variety — quite a bit lately. This perhaps to a degree unconsciously influenced the recent focus here on rather still statues. Other topics are on the way — probably more statues at some point too.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Time of Change and Digging at the Gude Temple in Wuhan

Even after visiting hundreds of Buddhist temples in China, the Gude Temple in Wuhan can catch you by surprise. According to a photo gallery featuring the temple on the Hubei Provincial People’s Government's website:
It was built in the 3rd year of Emperor Guangxu (1877) in the Qing Dynasty.

The present Great Buddhist Hall was built in 1921 and later was expanded into Gude Temple, which covers an area of 20000 square meters and has a floor space of 3600 square meters.

The Gude Temple was built according to style of the Alantuo Temple in Myanmar in an erratic combination of all thinkable architectural styles and traditions, being unique in construction of Buddhist temples in China’s hinterland.
I wouldn't describe the location as being in China's hinterland, but I agree the architecture is unlike any other temple I have seen in China. My recent visit was made all the more special thanks to work affecting much of the temple's grounds — reminiscent of the construction I walked through when I visited the Changchun Taoist Temple in Wuhan six years ago.

Below are some scenes which feature some of the change now occurring at Gude Temple as visitors still make their way around. The temple is easily reachable by going to Toudao Street Station on the Wuhan Metro and then walking down Gudesi Road. But that might not work in the not-too-distant future. Many of the areas near the temple are changing to a greater degree.


excavator moving a tree at Gudesi Temple



excavator moving a tree at Gudesi Temple



monk and workers at Gudesi Temple in Wuhan



excavator and truck at Gudesi Temple



excavator at Gudesi Temple



excavator at Gude Temple



excavator at Gude Temple



Gude Temple (古德寺) in Wuhan

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Views of and from Toudao Street Station in Wuhan

The Toudao Street Station on Line 1 of the Wuhan Metro is a brief walk from one end of Gudesi Road. For contrasts to the previously shared scenes from Gudesi Road and of metro trains arriving at two other stations on Line 1, here are photos of two trains departing the station:

view of Toudao Street Station (头道街站) in Wuhan with a departing metro train
View of Toudao Street Station facing northeast from a pedestrian bridge


view from Toudao Street Station (头道街站) in Wuhan of a train departing
View facing southwest from Toudao Street Station

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Few Scenes from Gudesi Road in Wuhan

Unlike Qingfen Road in Wuhan, Gudesi Road (古德寺路) is labeled on both Google Maps and Baidu Map. However, both maps are missing sections of the street and Baidu Map mistakenly labels a connecting street with the name. In any case, there aren't as many shops on Gudesi Road as there are on Qingfen Road, but plenty of life can still be found there.

Gudesi Road (古德寺路) in Wuhan


Gudesi Road (古德寺路) in Wuhan


And if you are lucky, you may meet a rather friendly dog.

dog sitting on Gudesi Road (古德寺路) in Wuhan


friendly dog Gudesi Road (古德寺路) in Wuhan


While Gudesi Road wouldn't seem remarkable to most people in China, the temple it is named after is another story. More about that later.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Five Scenes From Qingfen Road in Wuhan

Qingfen Road (清芬路) in Wuhan doesn't appear on Baidu's or Google's online maps, but it definitely exists. A few scenes from a street densely packed with life:

Qingfen Road (清芬路) in Wuhan



Qingfen Road (清芬路) in Wuhan



two girls on Qingfen Road (清芬路) in Wuhan



boy running on Qingfen Road (清芬路) in Wuhan


Qingfen Road (清芬路) in Wuhan

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving in Wuhan

I didn't have any rats running up my leg like I did in Changsha five years ago, but Thanksgiving this year was still a success. Although a holiday-special pulled turkey breast burger with cranberry BBQ sauce took way too long to arrive at lunch, the delay led to a free slice of dark chocolate cake (thank you, Sunny). The cake was more impressive than the burger, so it felt like a net win. For dinner I chose a Western upscale hotel with a buffet that I figured would be serving turkey today. Not only was I correct, but I arrived in time to score a leg. It took a little extra effort to communicate that, yes, I really wanted the whole leg. Early bird scores the worm and all that.

I won't be sharing any photos of the pricey food since none of it would be remarkable for Thanksgiving fare. Part of the reason for my choice in dining location tonight was that it would offer the opportunity for a late walk somewhere I hadn't visited before. So in that spirit, for a photo here is a scene from tonight in Wuhan's Hanyang District including the Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge (鹦鹉洲长江大桥):

People near the Yingwuzhou Yangtze River Bridge (鹦鹉洲长江大桥) at night


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Integration: Fusion and Adaptation" at the Wuhan Art Museum

"Integration: Fusion and Adaptation" is the fourth and current exhibition for the Wuhan Ink Art Biennale at the Wuhan Art Museum. As described at the museum:
The preceding three exhibitions present a chronological sequence of perpetuation and development, transformation and innovation, in Chinese ink painting since Ming and Qing periods. "Integration" showcases the richness of contemporary ink art through works that are rooted in tradition yet present new ideas, pieces that are more avant-garde in creative concept and method, as well as pieces by foreign artists working in ink.

One piece on display features Chinese calligraphy, common at art museums in China.

Chinese Calligraphy: Excerpt from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (2012) by Michael Cherney


Less common is the calligrapher's home country — the U.S. — and the topic of the writing, which is captured in Michael Cherney's title for the work: Excerpt from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (2012).

South Korean Shin Young Ho's piece Liquid Drawing_4207 (2015) doesn't include calligraphy, but it does have ants.

Liquid Drawing_4207 by Shin Young Ho


Li Huichang's Groan No. 66 (2015) has neither calligraphy nor ants, but there is still much going on.

Li Huichang's Groan No. 66 (2015)


One of the more colorful pieces at the exhibition is Paradise (2008) by Huang Min.

Paradise (2008) by Huang Min


Finally, the piece I pondered most was Stop! (2015) by Liu Qinghe.

Stop! (2015) by Liu Qinghe


Like many others on display, the large piece of art is worth a closer look.

closeup of person in Stop! (2015) by Liu Qinghe


closeup of people in Stop! (2015) by Liu Qinghe


The Wuhan Art Museum has much more. One sign indicates this exhibition was supposed to have already ended over a week ago, so I am not sure how much longer it will be around. In any case, the Wuhan Art Museum is free. You just have to scan your Chinese ID card to open an entrance gate. If you are a foreigner, don't worry. You can walk around the gate — no need to stop.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Two Metro Trains Arriving in Wuhan

metro train arriving at Xunlimen Station in Wuhan
Arriving at Xunlimen Station


metro train arriving at Dazhi Road Station in Wuhan
Arriving at Dazhi Road Station


The first photo was taken from the metro station. The second photo was taken from a pedestrian bridge while facing towards the metro station.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Perspective on a Old Tower in Wuhan

Hongshan Pagoda (洪山宝塔) in Wuhan, China


In 1291 somebody climbed many steep, narrow, and irregular stone steps to reach the highest level of the Hongshan Pagoda in Wuhan, China. More than 700 years later somebody else did the same.

But only one of us is still alive today.

*   *   *

Now that I've confirmed my continued existence, at least up until the time I post this, I will add that, yes, I am now in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. There is an immense backlog of posts I have been wanting to write, but I have been heavily preoccupied with the exploration / collection side of things lately. Also, the amount of change I have seen in Wuhan, Changsha, and elsewhere has left me wanting to digest things more fully.

So on that note, here is a photo of the Hongshan Pagoda taken by Frederick G. Clapp sometime between 1913-1915:

black and white photo of Hongshan Pagoda


And here is a recent view from the tower including the Baotong Temple:

view from the Hongshan Pagoda in Wuhan

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Windows on Changsha

Sometimes things don't go as planned.

Windows desktop screen appearing on a digital billboard
At Huangxing Square in Changsha

More soon.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Still There in Changsha: Yanjiatang Lane

Yanjiatang Lane in Changsha (晏家塘巷)


Shortly after I took the above photo, a man approached me and asked what I was photographing. I answered, "This road!"

Feeling he might still have concerns about my intentions, I added "It feels comfortable."

He smiled, and that was that.

Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) was one of the areas that I wouldn't have been surprised to have found greatly transformed during this most recent return to Changsha, but most seemed basically the same as I remembered. However, there were signs, specifically the red circled "征" character I have seen previously in other soon-to-be-demolished neighborhoods in Changsha, that this will be the last time I see the lane as I did today.

"征" character on a building at Yanjiatang Lane in Changsha (晏家塘巷)


Another time, I will share scenes from the street with the same name from which this lane directly extends and other nearby streets where the demolishing is already far more advanced. For today, below are some more scenes from comfortable Yanjiatang Lane.

Yanjiatang Lane in Changsha (晏家塘巷)



Yanjiatang Lane in Changsha (晏家塘巷)



items for sale alongside Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) in Changsha



Van stopped on Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) in Changsha


Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) in Changsha



man using his mobile phone while sitting on motor scooter at Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) in Changsha



Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) in Changsha



flowers (at least some artificial) for sale at Yanjiatang Lane (晏家塘巷) in Changsha