life

through gus' lenses

beijing: day 11 July 31, 2008

Filed under: family,holidays,photography — daughterofdestiny @ 22:27
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14th july 2008 – a visit to factory 798.

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located in dashanzi art district (original 798 factory), the heart of a growing art and culture community in beijing, 798 space is the center and the biggest space that provide cultural, artistic and commercial activities in the area.

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it was designed by the east german’s architects in the bauhaus style in the early 1950’s. through the reconstruction and redesigning with the contemporary aesthetics by artists, the space combines the past, present, and future of the “new china” and the unique meaning of the socialistic culture.

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made me take a second look.

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despite the lack of any conscious aesthetic in the bauhaus-inspired style, which grounded architectural beauty in practical, industrial function, the swooping arcs and soaring chimneys had an uplifting effect on modern eyes, a sort of post-industrial chic.
 

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the plans, where form follows function, called for large indoor spaces designed to let the maximum amount of natural light into the workplace. arch-supported sections of the ceiling would curve upwards then fall diagonally along the high slanted banks or windows; this pattern would be repeated several times in the larger rooms, giving the roof its characteristic sawtooth-like appearance. despite beijing’s northern location, the windows were all to face north because the light from that direction would cast fewer shadows.

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didn’t take much pictures as photography is mostly prohibited.

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tee hee hee…

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this is one of the few sub-factories that is still in use!
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random picture while walking near the surrounding area hunting for food.
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nephew at home, with a cheeky look, sitting on his toy.
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beijing: day 9 July 29, 2008

12th july 2008 – summer palace, a summer resort for empress dowager cixi, who diverted (embezzled) 30 million taels of silver, said to be originally designated for the chinese navy (beiyang fleet), into the reconstruction and enlargement of the summer palace. in 1998, it was listed as one of the world heritage sites by unesco.
 
 
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a lot of interesting constructions around the place
 

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summer palace covers an expanse of 2.9 square kilometers, three quarters of which is water.
 
 
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thanks to empress dowager cixi, i now can enjoy the breathtaking view… together with the rest of the crowd.
 
 
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have a break, have a big pau
  
  

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long corridor – first erected in the middle of the 18th century, it is famous for its length (728 m) in conjunction with its rich painted decoration (more than 14,000 paintings). the corridor was constructed so that qianlong emperor’s mother could enjoy a walk through the gardens protected from the elements.

 

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i’m not kidding you about the crowd.
 
 

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we had picnic by the side of the long corridor.
 
 
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ezra, my 1.5 year old nephew.

 

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piggy back
 
 
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 thought this pretty amusing… i like. 

  

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the marble boat – often seen as an ironic commentary on the fact that the money used to restore the summer palace largely came from funds originally earmarked for building up a new imperial navy.

 
 
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arch bridge (small)

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arch bridge (medium)

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arch bridge (large)

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faraway pagoda

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after the last qing emperor puyi was thrown out of the palaces in 1924, the summer palace was turned into a park. now, the summer palace has become a popular and relaxing destination for both domestic and international tourists.

 

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on our way to a restaurant for dinner, we passed by beijing national stadium, fondly known as the “bird’s nest” for its architecture.

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shin yeh – taiwan restaurant.

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i love this! peanut butter sorbet.

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beijing: day 7 July 28, 2008

Filed under: family,holidays,photography — daughterofdestiny @ 01:08
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10th july 2008 – hutong tour… some of the following description is stolen from http://www.chinavista.com/experience/hutong/hutong.html

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starbucks… with an oriental twist.

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booths set up at various tourist spots to offer service ranging from information to map to medical first aid.

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rickshaws to take you on a tour through the narrow hutong.

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granny enjoying beijing’s summer outdoor… feeding ducklings.

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tea house

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rickshaw and its persistent rider

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passing time

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uncle skipping by the side of the road after a swim.

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famous eatery – jiumen snack

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seahorse, anyone?

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or worms?

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or scorpions?

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hutong – an ancient city alley or lane typical in beijing, where hutongs run into the several thousand. surrounding the forbidden city, many were built during the yuan (1206-1341), ming (1368-1628) and qing (1644-1908) dynasties. in the prime of these dynasties the emperors, in order to establish supreme power for themselves, planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems of the zhou dynasty. the center of the city of beijing was the royal palace — the forbidden city.

 

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retirees/pensioners playing cards to pass their time…

 

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interesting flower…

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doggies shaved for the summer heat

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at night, we went to cafe sambal, a popular malaysian restaurant, for dinner.

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very interesting set up… love it.

 

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in recent years, the houses in many hutongs have been pulled down and replaced by modern buildings. many hutong dwellers have moved to new housing. the hutong today is fading into the shade for both tourists and inhabitants.

 

beijing: day 6 July 19, 2008

9th july 2008 – tiananmen square & forbidden city. the following description are taken from http://www.travelchinaguide.com/

located at the center of beijing city is tiananmen square, where you can visit tiananmen tower, monument to the people’s heroes, great hall of the people, mao zedong memorial hall and see the national flag raising ceremony. thousands of people come to the square every day. it is the must place to visit in beijing city. when they said thousands of people, they really mean it. it was super crowded!
five star red flag-the chinese national flag, flies high in the sky above the square. the present tiananmen square has an area of 440,000 square meters and has become a relaxing place for the common people to fly kites and walk. as you can see from this picture, the place was crowded. and my father focused on mao zedong’s face rather than mine.

quick, hide the bombing device!

forbidden city, called gu gong in chinese, was the imperial palace during the ming and qing dynasties. now known as the palace museum, it is to the north of tiananmen square.

opposite the tiananmen gate, to the north is the gate of divine might (shenwumen), which faces jingshan park.

the forbidden city is divided into two parts. the southern section, or the outer court was where the emperor exercised his supreme power over the nation. the northern section, or the inner court was where he lived with his royal family. kind of like the sanctuary of God in the ancient days – outer court, inner court, and the holy of holies.

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ancient chinese people displayed their very considerable skills in building the forbidden city. take the grand red city wall for example. it has an 8.6 meters wide base reducing to 6.66 meters wide at the top. the angular shape of the wall totally frustrates attempts to climb it. the bricks were made from white lime and glutinous rice while the cement is made from glutinous rice and egg whites. these incredible materials make the wall extraordinarily strong. hmm… i wonder if the walls are edible?
nowadays, the forbidden city, or the palace museum is open to tourists from home and abroad. splendid painted decoration on these royal architectural wonders, the grand and deluxe halls, with their surprisingly magnificent treasures will certainly satisfy ‘modern civilians’, like the one pictured above.

now, where’s my umbrella?

love this detail on the wall…
in the olden days, water was placed in these bronze…erm… containers, so that if there is fire, they could put it out immediately.
sorry, can’t read chinese.
i love all the details…
the hall looks pretty similar. don’t they have interior designers back then?
longest stone carving in the whole of forbidden city.
check out her hairband.
in all the halls, there were consistently four (4) urns/vessels/burners placed before the seat/throne. no idea why though. any thoughts?

children and adults alike were throwing coins into this burner. notice a single coin stuck near the bottom of the “S”-shaped thing?
amazing city. would love to explore this place again. hopefully at a slower pace…
 

beijing: day 5

Filed under: family,holidays — daughterofdestiny @ 22:44
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8th july 2008 – can’t remember what we did… most likely shopping and feasting. *grins*

 

 

 

beijing: day 4

Filed under: family,food,holidays,photography — daughterofdestiny @ 22:19
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7th july 2008 – went out for brunch. can’t really remember where did we go after that… most likely shopping.

love the hygiene

 

 

 

 

at night, we went out for peking duck with an uncle who flew in to beijing to meet up with us.
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condiments
 

beijing: day 3

Filed under: family,food,holidays,photography — daughterofdestiny @ 22:04
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6th july 2008

 

art exhibition related to earthquake in sichuan on may 2008.