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Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Through the window

24 March 2010 by davidl

To complement John Thomson’s photographs in the China: Through the lens exhibition, and after the vibrant colours of previous highlights from the Liverpool’s Chinatown: Through the lens Flickr competition, this week I’ve chosen an interesting black and white image by Aidan McManus (adebⓞnd), which has both a geometric beauty of its own and a strong human element.

Black and white photograph of young girl looking out from an upstairs window

Through the Window © adebⓞnd / Aidan McManus

The structure of the photo is simple, bold and effective: the lines and rectangles give a sense of harmony and balance, as though the viewer has zoomed in on a Piet Mondrian painting. The various shades of grey and black and the two bright white smudges of light give the photo an almost abstract quality, but, despite occupying only a small part of the image, the girl intently and patiently watching the New Year’s celebrations below is the actual focal point of the picture. 

This human element is further enhanced by the marks scribbled and smeared in the steamed-up glass, the sense of now-absent fingers and hands  – save for a solitary artist at the far right – chaotically clearing a view to the street below a reflection of the excited activity of the New Year parade. 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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