postcards from chaozhou, guangdong

One of my favorite aspects of China, especially smaller towns in China, is the ingenuity to create or modify items to more effectively suit it’s very specific function.  A great example is the double watering can system, close up below.

One recurring theme I am always drawn to is the wearing away and contrast created by time.  The door frames are ornate, but the surrounding space is now overgrown.  What did this place look like in its heyday?
Can you see the cat in the photo?
This door’s beauty is in its frequent use, and its slow wear over time.

A close-up of the village wall that has a new pattern created by weather & time.  The pattern reminds me of the rice terraces found in other areas of China.

Another aspect of smaller Chinese towns that I love are the handmade objects, especially the baskets.  Baskets are everywhere in Chaozhou: carried on shoulders of farmers & attached to both sides of a motorcycle.  The density of the weave changes with the function.  For example, baskets meant to use as a cage for chickens or to hold large items are a very large-scale open weave, while baskets meant for holding small items have a very tight weave.  The patterns created are beautiful.

A Chinese truck…it reminds me of Mad Max, very makeshift!

After a six-hour bus ride from Guangzhou, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Chaozhou, but was very happy to be there to visit my good friends and their newborn baby.  Chaozhou is a fairly small and quiet city (by Chinese standards), and I was grateful for the chance to visit the farmland and old village within the city that may soon be demolished in China’s push to modernize.

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