by Yan YaDing © 2013
For several years I've set myself the delightful task of photographing Sichuan landscapes and villages. In so doing I have anticipated the changes that were to come. Through conversations with local inhabitants I gathered information about the significance of buildings and streets.. Part of my photos are from areas that are now flooded. Soon these places will only be marked on old maps, easily deleted and forgotten.
The stories behind my photos are valuable local history. Once upon a time the forces that shaped today's China swept through such places and changed the fortunes of individuals profoundly. For instance, the house behind the lovely buttonwood tree belonged to he local Kuomintang 中华民国 leader.The owner of the second house was killed in battle. He was famous for a very short time during the Kuomintang reign. He was killed by the communist forces not far from his house.
The third house was the administrative headquarters of Pinyi Tusi, read more on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tusi.
Click images below for panoramic view - Java required.
Architectural styles changes. Take a look at these two buidings. The first building was built in the 20th century, the second much earlier. You can easily see the impact of foreign cultures at the time China was transformed from monarchy to republic.
I learned, when talking with local people, that a street barely a hundred meters long, had been an important commercial centre. For this surprising fact to make sense, one had to understand the geography and the administrative structure of the entire area. Farmers from near and far came here to sell their produce and buy equipment. This tiny street was as vital to them as Hong Kong and Shanghai are to business men today. They traded their crops to buy textiles, tools and even books. Thus the elements of a modern economy reached its tentacles far into the high mountains of Sichuan and along the Yangzhe valley.
The theme is the same throughout my series of photographs - change.
Lost Sichuan Cavalcade