China

Fairy Tale or Fiction in Guangxi, China - Los Angeles Travel Photographer

Traveling in places with scenery that’s out of this world, one is guaranteed to have unusual encounters.

On our stroll to photograph the rice terrace in Longsheng, China, a boy in the middle of the road caught our attention, hunched down, dried noodles in hands.

We got down to his level and had a short but meaningful exchange:”What are you doinggg?”

Him:”I’m feeding ants.”

Boy-Feeding-Ants-Longsheng-Guangxi-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Boy-Feeding-Ants-Longsheng-Guangxi-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

He recognized our subsequent amazement. And we went on with our journey. On the way, I remembered another encounter earlier in the day, when we waited for the bus to take us up here from the foot of the village.

It was a long wait by only the two of us, until a person in the outfit of a peasant (judging by the straw hat) got near and sat down next to us. As meeting locals is always what we love in travels, I was getting ready to have a fun and meaningful exchange of our respective experiences and background. When he turned around and spoke to us, I noticed his fair skin under the hat, fair for a peasant.

”There’s been great improvement to the people’s quality of life in this region”, he said.

Seemingly acknowledged his comment, I was searching for words to compliment his skin.

But, after a brief pause, off he went, leaving us befuddled about what just happened.

Afternoon-Tea-Huangyao-Guangxi-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

Afternoon-Tea-Huangyao-Guangxi-China-Copyright-Jean-Huang-Photography

After this many years, that little boy popped up in my head the other day. I wonder, if his ants got big from his dried noodles.

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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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