Chinese Culture in Shades of Grey

posted in: Beijing | 0

In the United States, when we say something is “black and white” we mean clear and decisive.  This is right and that is wrong with no middle ground.  I’m not sure if Chinese has a similar idiom, but I sort of suspect not.  Chinese culture can certainly not be explained in those terms, because it would be impossible (see this article for examples of this point).  Of course, not even black and white photography really consists of black and white.  The beautiful thing about black and white photos is that they are full of grey.  Black and white doesn’t mean clear and decisive, it means full of bright highlights and shadows and full of texture.  These photos are of traditional Chinese items and give a glimpse into the varied textures of Chinese culture today—it is a country that is impossible to understand in black and white terms.

 

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