Monday, 3 March 2008

Beijing Images by Peter Kurz

Peter Kurz from Munich is a talented photographer and his photos are art to me - not only because they are beautiful, also because they transport what I like about Beijing. Last November he and our common friend visited me in Beijing and we did most of the sight seeing together. When we exchanged our photos - he sent me his on a CD packed in a sweet surprise Christmas parcel full of Lebkuchen and Marzipan - I was so excited to see how he saw Beijing through his lens. I got his permission to publish some of my favorite pictures. I picked 11 for this post (click on the picture to enlarge).

The first day of my friends’ arrival we grabbed our bicycles and cycled to the Houhai area. The picture above was taken from the Drum Tower around 5pm and shows the view to the South.

We cycled back home through Donzhimennei Dajie a.k.a. Ghost Street where this picture (above) was taken in front of one of the many many restaurants that open 24h and have plenty of red lanterns hanging outside. It is called Ghost Street because it never sleeps.

This photo (above) is taken in the Forbidden City, in the area of the concubine quarters. The ox blood red of Chinese ancient walls, its different washed-out tones always fascinates me.

Main gate of the Forbidden City with Mao painting at Tiananmen Square is a must see at night. The picture was taken out of our driving car.

This is the oldest shoe shop in Beijing, south of Tiananmen. I like the reflections in the window.

Here ends the 'red series' and below starts Peter's 'blue series'.

This night shot shows one of the largest screens in the world at The Plaza shopping mall, just north of the Silk market.

Buddhas and monks at the Panjiayuan weekend market a.k.a. the dirt market. I like the photo composition. It is vivid and serene at the same time. It contains contrasts like eternity and erosion, mind and material. Sized-up and mounted it would be great photo art.

Panda at Dashanzi 798 Art District, sprayed on the wall by artist 'AP'. Beside red walls, I like grey brick walls in China. It is part of Beijing’s scruffy charm. Seldom there is graffiti, only in areas where its wanted. And 798 is one of my favorite places for a fun walk on a Sunday afternoon.

I also like Beijing parks where old people gather to play games or exercise hobbies. I like this picture because it shows that Chinese people do smile! It shows two happy women, one plays a traditional Chinese two-string violin, the erhu, and the other one likes her interpretation of a famous piece (I guess).

The photo above shows a food stand at night near Wangfujing. I like everything in this snap-shot: the expression on the young woman's face, the simple Chinese screen door, the steamy kitchen and windows - can you see the water drops on the window? Nice shot!

Chinese 'Plattenbau', the communist architecture for residential buildings. Very simple, very grey, very dull. Despite the new architectural highlights in Beijing, this is still the dominating landscape.

Beijing is a city with many faces, although many old faces vanish, some will remain and make every visit memorable.


Photographer: Peter Kurz, Munich Germany, email: perz(at)arcor(dot)com

Peter Kurz, born in 1968, works as a medical doctor in Munich. Beside sports and travelling (thereof many trips to Asia) his interest is photography since the age of 15. This passion began with a second hand Minolta XG1.

Peter Kurz, Jahrgang 1968, tätig als Internist in München, neben Sport und Reisen (darunter zahlreiche Asienaufenthalte) seit dem 15. Lebensjahr begeisterter Fotograf. Die Leidenschaft begann mit einer Minolta XG1 (gebraucht gekauft).

All above images source and copyright Peter Kurz, Munich.

1 comment:

Princess Haiku said...

This is one of your best posts yet, Suzie.

I can see your blog developing into a book about your experience of Beijing. You have a fresh perspective and artistic distance that comes from not being a native I think. It is hard for any of us to be objective about our own culture. My compliments to the photographer as well.


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