Tag Archives: Photography

Celebrating American Car Culture in Changzhou

“The Changzhou public bus system is more than likely better than any bus system in America.”

When I say this, my Chinese university students usually gasp in shock. They become even more flabbergasted when I say the US is pretty bad at public transportation. If they counter by bringing up the New York City subway system, I remind them that New York City is always the exception and not the norm, and a lot of the subway stations often smell like a public bathroom — and I am saying that as a New Jersey guy that has always had a very large soft spot for The Big Apple.

Owning a car is not a sign of wealth or status, because even poor or broke people have to drive to get to work.  It’s just that they own a jalopy, wreck, hooptie, rattletrap, clunker, bucket of bolts, lemon, junker, or any other colorful noun that can mean “old car that breaks down often.” America, I always tell my students, has a very car-centered culture. Instead of opting for an intricate rail system, President Eisenhower initiated the construction of a network of super highways in 1956 that has defined America up to the current day.

So, it’s interesting that the Changzhou Museum has a temporary photography exhibit celebrating this aspect of Americana.

IMG_20181026_184505

It’s located on the ground floor of the museum.

IMG_20181026_184519

IMG_20181026_184537

There are some old black and white photos as well as some vintage illustrated posters.

IMG_20181026_184615

 

Plus, there are some contemporary shots on display. Not to mention this…

 

IMG_20181026_184641

This shot is particularly grainy. That’s because I took this picture with my cell phone (of course), and it’s basically of a TV screen playing a documentary. Some of the guys featured are true whackjobs.  Lastly, I sort of had to take a photo of the place I now love to hate….

IMG_20181026_190626

There is a wall of license plates from all 50 states. Not represented, it seemed, were Washington DC and territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, and The Virgin Islands. Anyhow, it seemed like a quirky temporary exhibit. It runs until November 18th.

M

Screenshot_2018-10-26-19-29-11-98[1]
Map location for the Changzhou Museum

Chen Yaqiang at Global Harbour

Some of Changzhou’s malls have culture exhibits mixed into the shops and restaurants. This is especially true at Global Harbour in Xinbei. The massive shopping center has several. One of them is a photography exhibit. The work on display comes from Chen Yaqiang. He comes from Yixing, which is one of Wuxi’s satellite cities directly south of Changzhou.  As for the photographs, they are black and white shots that show an eye for lighting and texture. This gives many of the shots on display an abstract feel.

IMG_20160526_141232[1] IMG_20160526_142129[1] IMG_20160526_142249[1] IMG_20160526_142350[1] IMG_20160526_142453[1]