January 1, 2013

Pictures of China from around 1920

Bonus Post

China then and now

These are pictures of pictures from my uncle Jim Welling. I saw them over Thanksgiving break when I was preparing to come to China. I showed them to Chao and he thought I should post them on the blog, and since I have some downtime this New Year’s Day in Changchun, cur non?

They show a lot of history that neither of us are very familiar with, but it is interesting to be in a new place and be able to see the past in some pictures and look out now and see the present. I believe most of the photos were taken in and around Tientsin. Hopefully I’ll find out more later. It is really cool to learn about stuff by word of mouth, books, and pictures. It is even cooler to learn about stuff by experiencing it and seeing it yourself. I have learned a lot about China in school, from others, from secondary sources. Nothing, however, could quite convey the experience and education that I have gained while living in China for a while.

Nothing like the real thing. Just like in Mt. Putuo. I was around all the ancient temples and architecture. It was intricate, beautiful, and exciting. The attention to detail was amazing. The fact that many of the structures were built so long ago was even more cool. This is to be compared with my previous experience with such architecture which is the artificial, quickly made, mass produced, theme-park variety of Chinese atmosphere. Way cooler to be in the real thing.

My old adage was to say a photoshopped image is as good as a real one, a purchased picture is as good as one taken yourself, replicas can almost be as good as the real thing. I used to say “let’s not and say we did”, just see the stereotypical reproduction and thats good enough. Now I can say that, while yes, sometimes it may be good enough, the real thing is better than the replica. This is in no way a hard rule, but to a pretty good extent I think it’s true. I enjoyed the real China better than the stereotypical reproductions I had previously experienced. I would have never known that if I had never came to China! Go project Boma! Many thanks to all who make these opportunities possible!



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1 Comment

  1. Interesting stuff! Uncle “Dutch” Summe (Aunt Judith’s uncle) could never have imagined his pictures would someday be posted from China by a Lafayette student for everyone to compare. He loved China, and he always wished he could have returned.

    says J Welling
    January 1, 2013 at 11:58 am

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