2014年1月31日 星期五

A Last Look at Old Paris, Before Demolition

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Rue de Constantine in 1866. Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the massive construction site that was late-19th-century Paris, the photographer Charles Marville was just a few steps ahead of the wrecking ball. As an official city photographer working under Napoleon III and his controversial urban planner, Baron Haussmann, Marville recorded some 425 views of narrow, picturesque streets that were to be replaced by Haussmann’s grand boulevards.
Images from that series are among the 100 or so photographs in “Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and they will doubtless be the main draw for visitors eager for a glimpse of a bygone Paris. But this is a different kind of show, one that pays attention to Marville’s early career and to what little we know of his biography. Its revelations creep up on you, ultimately changing your image of Marville as a faceless, camera-toting bureaucrat.
The curators explore, among other things, Marville’s family history: He was born in Paris to a tailor and a seamstress, which suggests sympathies for the small-business owners who would be displaced by Haussmannization. At the very least, it lends itself to new interpretations of photographs like “Course of the Bièvre River (Fifth Arrondissement),” in which leather workers laboring at the edge of an industrially contaminated waterway around 1862 pause to acknowledge the camera.
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The banks of the Bièvre, at the bottom of Rue des Gobelins, circa 1862. Musée Carnavalet, Paris/Roger-Viollet
That’s not to say that Marville comes across as a secret preservationist. We may be able to pinpoint the coordinates of his tripod — the “Old Paris” photos were commissioned partly to help mapmakers — but figuring out exactly where he stands, on an emotional and civic level, is difficult. It’s possible to admire the cobblestones in a picture of the Rue de la Bûcherie while also noting the slick of raw sewage seeping through them.
Marville started out as an illustrator of books and magazines, specializing in landscapes and cityscapes. The tricks of that trade are apparent in his early photographs, which fill the first of the show’s three galleries and have a cloying romanticism: An open park gate beckons; a young man leans against the trunk of a sun-dappled chestnut tree. A few transcend genre, like the École des Beaux-Arts in the snow that’s too atmospheric to be an architectural study.
The science of photography was evolving quickly, from paper negatives to collodion-coated glass plates, and Marville’s art evolved along with it. By 1858, when he received his first commission from the city, he could produce crisp, technically adept images that embraced contradiction and complexity.
He had been assigned to photograph the Bois de Boulogne, Napoleon III’s first big building project. A public park on the edge of Paris that had once been a private hunting ground, it was the sort of constructed landscape that we know from Impressionist paintings of Sunday leisure. Marville was clearly hired to market its pleasures to the bourgeoisie, and, in a sense, he did just that, highlighting lush grottoes, English-style garden follies and meandering paths. But he also exposed the artifice of the whole project, in, for instance, a shot of a bridge connecting the park to the industrial district of Suresnes. A lone workman, sitting in the grass, directs our gaze to a not-so-distant smokestack.
Many of the “Old Paris” photographs use similar compositional devices, luring us deep into the background with glimpses of light coming through a doorway or including a flâneurlike figure as an invitation to explore an ancient alley. (Figures that appear in these photographs are often Marville or one of his assistants, as long exposure times made it impossible to capture most street traffic.)
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Rue Estienne, de la Rue Boucher, 1862-65. Gilman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Signs are prominent, some of them trumpeting “moving sales” or alerting passers-by to new addresses. The show’s curator, Sarah Kennel (of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where the show originated; the Met curators Jeff L. Rosenheim and Doug Eklund have supervised the New York presentation) calls attention to the posters and advertisements hawking paintings and collages in a shot of the Rue Saint-Jacques, then the city’s print publishing district. Ms. Kennel suggests, quite plausibly, that the former illustrator Marville had a special attachment to this soon-to-be-demolished corner of the city.
A photograph of a cylindrical kiosk, neatly shingled with posters, stands as a kind of “after” image to the “before” of the Rue Saint-Jacques. It belongs to another commission from the city, this one documenting the street furniture that the architect Gabriel Davioud designed for Haussmann. Marville’s shots of newly installed gas lamps, from this series, are justifiably famous; they have a kind of sly humor that undercuts the gravity of his official mission, as when he captures the strange interplay of a lamppost and a classical torso at the entrance to the École des Beaux-Arts.
Other photographs pull back to show a thoroughly Haussmannized Paris, with wide, flat boulevards. These were exhibited at the Universal Exposition of 1878 next to images from the “Old Paris” album, so as to flaunt the city’s progress to an international audience.
Here, too, though, are contemporaneous scenes that show things to be quite different along the city’s outskirts. A shantytown of displaced workers has materialized along the Rue Champlain, and areas newly incorporated into Paris continue to tell a tale of two cities (“the city of luxury, surrounded, besieged by the city of misery,” as the critic Louis Lazare wrote in 1870).
Marville, and not Paris, is the subject of this show, as Ms. Kennel makes clear in her texts and catalog essay. (Consider her title, with its subtle but significant tweak to the 1980 touring exhibition “Charles Marville: Photographs of Paris.”) But an installation in the adjacent galleries, “Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s-1930s,” revels in the city’s seemingly inexhaustible romance. It includes additional works by Marville, alongside some by Atget, Brassai and Cartier-Bresson, among others, and is worth seeing.
Many details of Marville’s career remain obscure; some records of his life and work were lost in the fires of the 1871 Paris Commune. But this show starts to sketch out a persona: that of a cleareyed cartographer who never quite let go of the illustrator’s imperative to make a beautiful, cohesive picture.
Marville also comes across as a striver, a tireless promoter of his talents and his medium. (See the picture in which he poses with an entourage of assistants and household members outside an impressively large studio.) You can tell that he didn’t just want to serve his employers, or to preserve the topography of old Paris; he wanted to give photography a permanent office in the modern city.

Nagasaki lights up for the Chinese New Year 長崎





1570年大村純忠開港的長崎港成了面向葡萄牙的貿易港口,因此大量的西洋文化流入了長崎。其後,荷蘭和中國的商人也來到長崎進行交易。 1641年以後,日本閉國自封,只允許荷蘭和中國在長崎通商,這樣的情況一直持續200多年。對馬藩在釜山也設置倭館進行朝鮮貿易。


Nagasaki lights up for the Chinese New Year

Enjoy the Chinese New Year celebration in style at the Nagasaki Lantern Festival 2014, which kicks off on Jan. 31 and runs for two weeks in the city’s Chinatown and surrounding areas.
After Portuguese ships arrived at its shores in 1571, Nagasaki became a major trading port in Japan, and parts of it remained open to foreign trade even during the Edo Period (1603-1868) sakoku (closed-country) policy. Today, as an international city, it’s home to one of the three biggest Chinatowns in Japan, the others being in Yokohama and Kobe.
The highlight of this new year celebration is a display of 15,000 colorful Chinese lanterns, which will line the streets of Chinatown and Chuo Koen park and light the way to the Kofukuji Temple.
On Feb. 1 and Feb. 8, a parade of people dressed in traditional Chinese costumes, including a palaquin carrying kids dressed as the Chinese Emperor and Empress, will walk through the city, while on Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, a workshop where you can make your own lantern will be available.
Don’t forget to also check out this year’s giant decorative lanterns, scheduled to go on display at the city’s Minato Koen park and other locations.
The Nagasaki Lantern Festival 2014 takes place between Jan. 31 and Feb. 14 at Nagasaki’s Chinatown in Shinchi and surrounding areas. Start times of events vary. For more information, call 095-829-1314 or visit www.nagasaki-lantern.com.

福建省平潭, Pingtan

China woos Taiwan with ‘common homeland’

Brochures tout island bursting with villas and skyscrapers


A few kilometers off the Chinese coast, Beijing has appointed a Taiwanese citizen as deputy chief of an experimental “common homeland” that is an unusually forward overture to Taipei.
Pingtan Island is physically China’s closest spot to Taiwan, and is now also being transformed into its nearest approximation of a unified country, as part of Beijing’s long-held dream to reclaim the self-governing neighbor it considers a rogue province.
New towers crowd the shoreline and the glow of construction sites fills the night, while Taiwanese are being invited to serve in government, drive Taiwanese-licensed cars and open Taiwanese currency bank accounts.
But the economic potential of the “experimental zone” has yet to be proved, and with Beijing setting the rules, its hints at political integration may well be rebuffed.
“It’s basically the Chinese creating what they see as what future integration would look like — without really much input from Taiwan,” said Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“It may help some individual Taiwan companies make some money, but I don’t think it’s going to promote the political goals that they seek,” she added.
“The political symbolism in all of this is seen as potentially threatening to Taiwan.”
China’s brutal civil war ended in 1949 with the Communist Party controlling the mainland and the defeated Nationalists retreating to Taiwan. For decades the threat of conflict loomed, with both sides claiming to represent the whole of China.
Beijing has described reunification as a “historical mission,” to be imposed by force if necessary.
But at the same time a “one country, two systems” model is on offer, similar to the arrangements with Hong Kong, the former British colony turned semiautonomous Chinese territory.
Beijing has sought warmer ties in recent years and in February a minister from Taipei will visit the mainland in the two sides’ first official contact in six decades.
Meanwhile, authorities have also sought to attract Taiwanese — along with their investment and know-how — with generous subsidies and fast-track business services.
Pingtan goes further, with Beijing promising it will be “jointly planned, jointly developed, jointly operated, jointly managed, and jointly profiting.”
The project has been allocated at least 250 billion yuan ($41 billion) since it was approved in 2009 — when it was an outcrop of humble fisheries that did not even have a bridge connecting it to the mainland.
Now shiny brochures promise an island bursting with gleaming skyscrapers, leafy villas and Asia’s largest private museum.
Taipei’s Mainland Affairs Council in 2012 distanced itself from the project and its claim to be a “joint” effort.
But Beijing is pressing ahead, recruiting Taiwanese to fill deputy posts across the local government, in what University of Nottingham lecturer Chun-Yi Lee called both a symbolic step and an effort to absorb outside experience.
A 50-year-old finance expert named Liang Qinlong, according to mainland Chinese transliteration, has been appointed deputy chief of the zone’s management committee, an official said.
Liang could not give interviews due to sensitivities with Taipei, he added.
Pingtan’s economy grew 16 percent in the first half of 2013, and as of November, 129 Taiwan-funded businesses had set up shop, the China Daily reported.
“The State Council has an overall policy of offering lots of benefits to Taiwanese and we are very happy to see those being gradually put into place,” said Shuie Chin Te, a 50-year-old Taiwanese businessman who recently recruited his son-in-law to join him on the island.
Still, Pingtan must prove it can become more than an overgrown construction site.
A new port has been built to receive ferries from Taiwan, but daily services have yet to begin.
A Taiwanese restaurateur surnamed Chang, sitting in an empty food court, said he was losing patience after nearly three years of bad business.
“Beijing is really promoting this, they want to make it even better than Hong Kong or Shanghai, so the opportunities are limitless — but the policies are coming too slowly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the onslaught of development has made winners and losers of the original islanders.
Some complained that construction work went to nonlocal crews brought in by developers while living costs had spiked, and a fisherman surnamed Chen said their seaside houses were being torn down.
“There have been no benefits at all,” he said.
But 28-year-old art entrepreneur Lin Ping said business prospects had soared and the new bridge and roads had slashed travel times.
“If it weren’t for Taiwan, Pingtan wouldn’t be all that it is today,” he said. “As for promoting reunification, that’s hard to say.”

Capital FM Kenya
China woos Taiwan with offshore common homeland
Capital FM Kenya - PINGTAN, Feb 1 – A few kilometres off the Chinese coast, Beijing has appointed a Taiwanese citizen as deputy chief of an experimental “common ...


根據新華網報導,據介紹,經過三年多努力,平潭綜合實驗區在開放開發... 相繼出台了支援政策,福建省政府賦予了平潭52項省級審批權限,44項省 ...



  • National Palace Museum
    Museum in Taipei
  • The National Palace Museum is an antique museum in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan. It is one of the national museums of the Republic of China, and has a permanent collection of more than 696,000 pieces of ... Wikipedia
  • Address11143, Taipei City, Shilin District, 至善路二段221號
  • Hours
    Sunday8:30 am – 6:30 pm
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  • 繆詠華 報告!陸客團隨時隨地都有...躲不了滴。中午時間和四點半以後或週五、週六的夜間開放時間,陸客團(連台客團都)比較少。

    Ring Shen 週五週六晚上憑身分證不用錢唷!此時間團客原則上只能出不能進,優游自在,就像以前的故宮一樣!