China a land of extremes: New and Old: Lens Artists 99

© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020

In a modern Chinese city the old is dispersed amongst the new. Skyscrapers can be seen peaking out from between the roof tops in a Chinese garden, as a backdrop for a bridge that we have seen decorating Chinese crockery that is ancient, and from within the Forbidden city again the city impinges on the old palace.

© irene waters

The old, unless of historical significance, is quickly being replaced by new. To see what looks to be a shanty town in the middle of the city will soon be a thing of the past.

© irene waters 2020

Areas like these are being razed to the ground and new apartment blocks are being erected in their place. The teams travel from site to site, living on the job and from destruction to end of construction is only a matter of weeks.

© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020

With most looking similar in appearance, putting me in mind of the old Malvina Reynolds song written about the housing that was being constructed in the 1960s.

For me, although I was awestruck by the high rise in Shanghai by both day and night

© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020

it is the old buildings that intrigue me most. The China that I read about as a child. The Grand canal, a feat of an early Sui emperor (604 – 609) – an amazing piece of engineering and linked major cities to each other for trade. The smaller canals all linked to it and here people lived in some ways as they had for years but on a close look some luxuries such as air conditioning exist. A great co-existence – the new with the old.

© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020
© irene waters 2020

Thanks to Amy for creating The Old and New Challenge for Lens-Artists

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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12 Responses to China a land of extremes: New and Old: Lens Artists 99

  1. pattimoed says:

    Great contrasts, Irene. You picked a perfect site. The old structures are fascinating, I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    Excellent choices for this theme, Irene. The old and new contrasts are all beautifully captured.
    Thank you for joining in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JohnRH says:

    Excellent. I love antiquity, but I’d love to see Shanghai someday for it’s ‘tres moderno’. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. oneletterup says:

    I enjoyed your variety of old and new. The photo with the ferris wheel really highlights the contrasts and plays into the circle shapes under the bridge. Really nice! I wonder how the people feel about all the changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. They seem to have embraced the change. It was strange as I was expecting it to be noisy, dirty, polluted etc and if the trip hadn’t been cheap we probably would not have chosen to go to an Asian country – however, we were stunned at how clean, modern and ordered it was. Having flown out of Sydney it made us think Sydney was the third world city. I’m sure we would have seen differences if we had gone further west into the countryside.


  5. Tina Schell says:

    I think you’re right Irene, China offers the best possible place to see the contrast between old and new. When we were there I was happy to learn that they are preserving some of the old hutongs which have become very popular with tourists. It was one of my favorite places in Beijing. I also loved Shanghai which looked like something from future-world! Thanks for the very fond memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amazing photos of lifestyles I can’t imagine – and in many cases, would never want to live. That warren of added on chicken coops balanced over nothing – nothing at all. Taking space from the sky – a strange twist on vertical real estate – maybe of a new skyscraper. You’ve really captured the contrast well.

    Liked by 1 person

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