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Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Anticipation

17 March 2010 by davidl

After a couple of entries bustling with activity, for this week’s highlight from the Liverpool’s Chinatown: Through the lens Flickr competition I’ve chosen an image almost completely devoid of people: this 2009 photo of Liverpool’s iconic Chinese arch, added to the pool by Mark McGowan.

Large Chinese arch in hazy yellow fog

Foggy Chinese arch © Mark McGowan

Taken just before the Chinese New Year celebrations, there is a sense of expectation and mystery to the image, the sunlight just glinting off the brilliant gold of the arch and the viewer imagining the crowds that will be filling the ghostly streets.

The different architectural styles contrast but compliment each other; there are no absolutely horizontal or vertical lines, but various angular perspectives which draw the eye in different directions. At once the viewer is invited in through the arch by the receding buildings and flags of Nelson Street, but at the same time to the top of the image: neither the square pillars of the arch nor the round pillars of the Black-E Centre to the left are straightforwardly vertical, both tapering up towards the shrouded sun and pulling the viewer’s gaze with them. The result is a constant shifting of perspectives, never settling, like an MC Escher print. See the photo in a large size.


To celebrate our photography exhibition China: Through the Lens of John Thomson 1868-72 at the Merseyside Maritime Museum we want you to submit your photos of Liverpool’s Chinatown to our Flickr pool – our favourite photo submitted by 24 May will win a banquet for two at Yuet Ben, with two runners-up winning exhibition catalogues. Find out more on the competition page.

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