Month: August 2013

Night, Tower E (I)

The first of several exposures that I took from the rooftop of my apartment tower. Trying out my new Oben CT-3510 tripod and Polariod Wireless Viewfinder & Remote Trigger System.

And, yes, the sky was truly that beautiful tonight, as it has been for much of August.

Seated Buddha with Swastika, Panjiayuan Market

I’ve thought a lot about this image since I took it six years ago at the Panjiayuan Market.

I knew before coming to China that the Nazi party had adapted/adopted the Swastika for their needs, but had never before seen one out of that context. This was my first exposure. (My second came in Taiwan when I saw some temples emblazoned  with it.)

In editing the photo today, I though about whether I should leave it in color, or really crop-in tightly on the statue of the Buddha. I decided to go with black and white, and stay with pretty much how I shot it, since I thought the context was important… just a piece amongst other pieces at the market for sale.

After a lot of searching, I found this page on the difference between the various swastikas:

The swastika sign (卐) – a symbol of Buddhism or Nazism?

I found this quote on the page referenced above:

Mind is the forerunner of (all evil) states. Mind is chief; mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with wicked mind, because of that suffering follows one, even as the wheel follows the hoofs of the draught-ox.

Mind is the forerunner of (all good) states. Mind is chief, mind-made are they. If one speaks or acts with pure mind, because of that, happiness follows one, even as one’s shadow that never leaves.

The Twin Verses, Dhammapada

Range Hood Cleaner

Chinese cooking can be especially greasy. Kitchens in older-style apartment are often very small, enclosed spaces to keep the grease from traveling throughout the house. They are often so small that refrigerators (even though the ones here are roughly half the size of the American standard) are located in the dining room or elsewhere in the house.

Most of these range hoods have built-in containers to catch the grease.

However, there are times where it will still need a good clean. And, for such times, there are door-to-door cleaners.

Blue Skies and White Clouds at Jinwuxing

I needed to get an assortment of stuff (such as hinges, a door threshold, custom-cut metal plates, and wood shelves), so I went down to Jinwuxing yesterday. Fairly devoid of tourists (and, by that, I mean both the foreign and Chinese types), it is one of the places that makes Beijing home for me.