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Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: Dragon

1 April 2010 by davidl

Keeping with the black and white theme from last week, this week I’ve chosen another monochrome masterpiece as a highlight from the Liverpool’s Chinatown: Through the lens Flickr competition, by Graham Lloyd.

Black and white photograph of a Chinese dragon dancing on a wooden floor

Dragon © Graham Lloyd

Taken during a performance at the Black-E Centre, the play of pattern and light captures many interesting details in one frozen moment of dance. The ornate swirling patterns of the dragon’s head and back contrast sharply with the even lines of the wooden floor, which, whoosing diagonally across the photo, enhance the sense of frenzy and dynamism seen in the dancing dragons of Chinese New Year.

One tale of Ancient China tells of a solar eclipse, thought to be caused by a huge dragon slowly devouring the sun: only by shouting and causing a commotion did the people scare the dragon away from its meal. The picture reminds the viewer of this idea that dragons are not just creatures from fantasy films and celebrations, but represent something genuinely frightening – the perspective here, looking down on the dragon like spectators viewing a dangerous caged animal, enhances this sense of danger… until the viewer notices the contemporary footwear and the mood suddenly lightens. 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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