The warmth of Dalian: China through my lens with Dan Jones

Travel, Travel | by China Travel
Posted: August 19th, 2011 | Updated: August 19th, 2011 | Comments
China Photography_travel photography_chinese culture_chinese landscapes Dan Jones has spent a couple years in northern China, most recently in Dalian and he has been kind enough to share some of his pictures of that city with us. The B&W shots below seem perfect for a city like Dalian, which has a cold feeling associated with it. Dan's shots help show us the warmth and personality of the people and that's what this series is all about. >>> I have been living in China for nearly two years. Like a lot of expats I came here as a teacher. I spent my first six months living in Huludao and Beijing. Since then I have been in Dalian. Dalian’s appearance is the result of its recent history; two hundred years of occupation from Britain, Russia and Japan has meant that the city has been continuously demolished and rebuilt. You won’t find a lot of ancient Chinese architecture in Dalian, instead you’ll find parks, squares and beaches. What has kept me in Dalian is the people, the residents of Dalian are active and really love life. The majority of people are from other parts of China who have all moved to what has been voted numerous times as China’s most liveable city. The people flock to the open public spaces all year round, even in winter I went down to Xinghai Beach and found people practicing kung fu in the snow. The open spaces and the people who frequent them make Dalian a great city for street photography. Photography has also been a good way for me to meet people in the city. I used flickr to find other photographers, we meet up regularly and through them I met even more photographers. To challenge myself I like to give myself themes. Recently I have been shooting square photos in black and white, this puts more emphasis on composition and texture. This was taken in Dalian’s city centre which is based around the train station, shopping malls and the underground Victory Square. This was taken at Xinghai Park, each night it is filled with people dancing, playing games or just strolling.

Dalian doesn’t have a huge amount of beggars but I often see this man at Heishijiao.

This was taken from back stage at the Dalian music festival. Huge efforts have been made by locals to improve the Dalian music scene; the Dalian music festival and the opening of a live music venue called Hertz Bar has made live music more accessible. Two notable local bands playing at the festival were Spiral Cow shown here and Doc Talk Shock. This was taken during the same festival. As a foreigner it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with events that are happening in Dalian—I found out about the music festival by word of mouth, but I didn’t find out about the recent protests against the PX chemical factory until after it was over. To see more from Dan's lens, check out his Flickr Photostream here.
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