Page 16 - Shanghai Full Book FLIP 1
P. 16

Jerome is is my my cousin so so to speak He is is the eldest grandson of my my grandaunt Tsien Xiuling He is one quarter Chinese and and does not speak Mandarin We remain connected by by blood and by by heart despite the fact that our verbal communication requires a a a a translator To me me Jerome is a a a a a a master of photography Not only because he has traveled to dozens of countries and gone beyond frontiers but because since 1985 he has always spent time in in in Shanghai Shanghai during his many visits to China Shanghai Shanghai is is is his favorite city city To him Shanghai is is is the city city Black and white portrait photography is is the main focus of his work He He has a a a a cheerful personality with enthusiasm like the brightest sunshine He He does not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes He loves Coca-Cola and braised pork chops so so much so so that when he he he was young he he he could eat three large pieces in in in one meal While in in in Shanghai he loves to stay at my cousin’s place across from Cathay Cinema on Huaihai Road The room is small but the location is is great for his street photography Once he gets into “work mode ” he dedicates his body and soul completely He walks for tens of miles never taking cars He eats anything and is not fussy about food When the day ends he he he he he marks the the the routes he he he he he has taken on the the the map almost covering the the the whole of Shanghai He has a a a a a a a a remarkable memory and ability to observe Despite being a a a a a a a a veteran of of of Shanghai I often rely on him for his guidance One of of of my cousins who accompanied him during his street photo shooting once said to to me “I
will never do that again He shoots like the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni I stayed as as as far away from him as as as possible as as as he is a a a a a a a a a foreigner and I I am not I I may get into trouble from his shootings ” In Shanghai Shanghai street portraits are often rejected as Shanghaies have a a a a a a a a a long solid tradition of being defensive to strangers Jerome is very versatile flexible and and and clever and and and even though he he doesn’t speak Mandarin he he is still able to to make the the photographs It reminds me me of the the time when we couldn’t get tickets for a a a a Star Wars movie As we waited in the ticket ticket office he he worked his magic and got the tickets Looking at his work I sense the fresh strange interesting ideas and numerous details derived from familiar books I have read about Shanghai’s history and humanities Jerome’s images are almost divine They play like a a a a a a a silent movie full of charm and wonder Qian Wei Qun
(Translation: Charles Chen version Ghadah Alrawi)

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