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Posts tagged with 'Chinese New Year'

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. Read more…

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. Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens: A meeting of cultures

10 March 2010 by davidl

For this week’s highlight from our Liverpool’s Chinatown: Through the lens Flickr competition I’ve chosen this intriguing image by Alan Cookson, which captures Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral in amongst the vibrant colours of the flags of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral seen in the distance, with crowds and colourful Chinese New Year flags in the foreground

Chinese New Year © Alan Cookson

I think this photograph is really interesting both in terms of its themes and its composition. The solid, classical beauty of the Cathedral and the surrounding impressionistic greys and browns in the background contrast strikingly against the vivid, swirling Chinese flags in the foreground, neatly capturing two of the various different cultures which exist side-by-side in Liverpool.

The Cathedral and gold dragon’s head are neatly framed in the centre of the image, drawing the eye over and past the crowds, but they are also an integral part of the photo as a whole: though it is a landscape photo the image is made up of a series of vertical elements - a row of flags, the Cathedral tower (331 feet, 1.5 inches tall!) and an onlooker at the right side, these different elements combining seamlessly to give a natural flow to the picture. See the photo in a large size.

Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown Through the lens: Dancing dragon

3 March 2010 by davidl

Our photo competition pool ‘Liverpool’s Chinatown: Through the lens‘ has had over 100 photos submitted so far and I’m really excited by the variety and imagination shown in people’s photos of the Chinatown area and Chinese culture.

In this first weekly blog highlight from the competition entries I’ve chosen this view of Nelson Street by Ian Hughes (ihughes22). It’s a bustling and eye-catching image, the colours of the flags and the dragon looming powerfully over the massed crowds adding to the sense of drama and excitement of the occasion – especially since the dragon almost looks like he’s staring straight out at us! Read more…

Liverpool’s Chinatown through the lens competition

12 February 2010 by Sam

archive photo of a woman in traditional Chinese costume

A Manchu bride, Beijing 1871-2. © The Wellcome Library, London

The pioneering photojournalist John Thomson travelled for years through China with a lot of heavy, cumbersome equipment to take the incredible photos that are now featured in the China through the lens of John Thomson 1868-1872 exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

We don’t expect you to go to such lengths for our latest competition. Instead we’d like you to take your nice light modern cameras or camera phones on a journey to explore Liverpool’s Chinatown and Chinese culture. Read more…

Lions and tigers, no bears – oh my!

9 February 2010 by Sam

dancer in traditional Chinese costume

Lion dancer at the Maritime Museum

The Year of the Tiger starts on 14 February but there are so many events taking place to celebrate the Chinese New Year here at National Museums Liverpool that we’ve had to spread them over several weekends.

The first major event was the opening of the blockbuster exhibition China through the lens of John Thomson 1868-1872 at Merseyside Maritime Museum, which is the first time that this incredible pioneering collection of photographs has been shown in England after touring China last year. It’s a stunning exhibition but don’t take my word for it – here’s a review from The Times last week – just one of many great write ups that the exhibition has had so far. Read more…