China

Keeping the Past Alive Today - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

A much welcomed surprise in my kitchen recently had me think about this trip to the area in China that's known for this type of food for centuries.  Granted, I'm a trained microbiologist (that happened in one of my past lives), the whole thing about tofu being covered by cotton-like fluff that originated from the air is just mythical.  Even after tasting the food there, and even having watched the documentary by CCTV1 (China's national TV station), it's beyond my wildest imagination to create something like these cotton balls in my own kitchen.

In my mind, this food belongs to a place and people where it carries hundreds of years of history, where tofu (and many other types of food) is still sold on carrying poles, clothes dried in the open air and laundry done in the pond in front of their houses that were constructed and carved back in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and don't forget the  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  OK, this last part was a joke with you all.  But the movie was filmed there.

Drying-Clothing-and-Vegetables-in-the-Open-Air-Hongcun-Anhui-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-PHotography

Drying-Clothing-and-Vegetables-in-the-Open-Air-Hongcun-Anhui-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-PHotography

Then, on my journey to seek traditional food preparation methods, the cotton balls made their presence in the most unexpected way in my house, on a fine spring day.  It seems they've been around all this time, including the years after the trip while I constantly reminisce about the incredible food, only waiting for the prime opportunity to debut.  So, is it the mental readiness that it's waiting for or that I started drying clothes in the open air?  Enlighten me, please.     

Morning-Laundry-at-Moon-Pond-Hongcun-Anhui-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Morning-Laundry-at-Moon-Pond-Hongcun-Anhui-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

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Movement of Black and White in Suzhou Museum - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Continue along the same line about something being "intrinsically" set with me creatively, this image is another proof (please see here for my other post).  It was made a few years ago at the Suzhou Museum (苏州博物馆), which was designed by the world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. I didn't realize at the time that my love to observe movement of lines and contrasts was already there.

Suzhou-Museum-Hallway-by-Architect-I.M.Pei-Copyright-Jean-Jiaying-Huang

Suzhou-Museum-Hallway-by-Architect-I.M.Pei-Copyright-Jean-Jiaying-Huang

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Seniors Gathering in Historical District of Suzhou (苏州), China - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

I'm sure all creatives can relate. As we progress artistically, our interests in visual cues and expression techniques change. However, it seems that something is "buried" so deep in me that it hasn't left me these years; or is it something that represents the intrinsic "true me" that's simply waiting for me to realize one day?This image was made a few years ago in Pingjiang Road (平江路), Suzhou (苏州), China. Little did I know that my interest in observing and documenting the interaction among seniors, especially in their communal gatherings, has been "set in stone" from a long time ago. :-)

Seniors-Gathering-on-Pingjiang-Road-in-Suzhou-China-copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Seniors-Gathering-on-Pingjiang-Road-in-Suzhou-China-copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

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