Guangzhou Blue

Blue is a rare color in nature. Even with artificial pigments it’s still tricky to observe. The color blue is an excellent accent to natural greens and warm yellows. See how blue creates a stark appearance when compared with natural surroundings.

Southern China reflects different hues than other provinces. The first picture shows downtown buildings shimmer in dawn light. Their bluish tint form harmony with the clear sky. A pleasing cityscape unlike stone or brick. 

The second picture shows ancient style doors. In guangzhou they have three openings. The first being an open door. This is an invitation but closing the wooden bars will keep intruders out. And still allow the fresh air to circulate in the home. The wooden doors feature the door gods Shen Lu and Yu Lei. Tasked with protecting the home they feature strong symbolism. Ancient armor and gestures denote their strength as warriors. 

The fifth, sixth and seventh pictures shows the blue tiled roof behind Sun Yat-sen Memorial hall. This monument to a revolutionary man mixes traditional architecture with modern materials. The tiles, woodwork and furnishings follow this vision. A blending of ideas to create a beautiful building. 

The eight picture is a small bluish piece of glass. It appears rather humble. Especially in a museum of wondrous artifacts. Come to learn its the earliest example of blue glass anywhere in all China. The ancients had a fascination with this unnatural color like we do today. 

The final picture reflects the local peoples love of food. One block from the hospital there is a street market for the dinner crowd. Makeshift tables and chairs are setup to accommodate the neighborhood crowds. People finishing work or patients in gowns all survey the vendors. Fresh fish or BBQ chicken seem to favor the god of outdoor dining. The most natural blue sky is a calming canopy before dusk. 

Guangzhou Yellow

It’s easy to find yellow in a bright city. Often a city will neglect using vivid colors when the weather is sunny. Take a look at the different ways yellow appears in these everyday scenes. Observe how yellow provokes action. Find examples of how yellow can createe visual movement. 

The first picture is looking down a street. You see a brick sidewalk against a white wall. One thin stripe of yellow etches the middle of the sidewalk. It continues unending to the vanishing point. The yellow divides brick from wall. It connects the sidewalk to the treetop. The next picture shows a sidewalk and a much larger yellow stripe. This time its outside an elementary school. The parents stand at the school fence. Watching as their child walks inside. Making sure their beloved makes it safe.  

A picture outside a temple building. The gray temple adorned by gilt trim. The breeze flows between the window slits. The door painted with gold lace. The refined temple gold contrasts with the earthen bricks of the building. Those rough bricks served as warmth and protection. The gold gives assurances of a spiritual kind. A comfort for those in need. Inside the temple there is a pantheon of deities. Each gold statue gives a silent story of a buddha. The candlelight gives visitors a chance to meditate.

The next picture is taken on the mountain behind Sun Yat-sen memorial hall. On this peak there is an obelisk. Erected in the days of China’s rebirth. Its proud structure has yellowed. The stone has collected generations of sun. Absorbed decades of hot summers. Created during times of high emotion it has aged like the generation.

The next two pictures are walking along Shamien Island.  There are many european style buildings on that small piece of land. A glance inside gives sights of stately rooms, restaurants, and shops. One window reveals a lantern shop. Its merchandise suspended on the ceiling giving a view of this traditional art. The warm glow offers an invitation to those outside looking in. 

Red is often a compliment to yellow. The sausage shop reflects this well. The yellow lighting does not repel the sight of dried meats. Instead, it draws visitors like gold and red decorations. 

The final picture shows three small alters for burning incense. Cantonese people are more observing of spiritual festivals. They make room for display. It becomes a small place for exercising spiritual health. 

Guangzhou Green

It can be hard to spot green in modern cities. But one a recent visit to Guangzhou I found it everywhere. Take a look at the different places you see green. You can see how people use this color to bring harmony to daily life. 

The old downtown shows its elegance with many tree-lined streets. These trees have endured many rush hours and they show little age. The bright foliage gives a peaceful canopy to citizens. The stress of city life diffuses through the trees. 

This temple is a haven for nature in the busy downtown. Trees, shrubs, bonsai are all thriving in this small courtyard. The visitors bring flowers as an offering to the various deities who inhabit the temple. 

This street features many small jewelry shops. Apartment complexes encircle the shops. You notice the tile roofs are dark green. Perhaps an allusion to the jade jewelry sold inside. 

At an old house there is a well connected to the river. The top of the well sits a small dragon statue. Dragons in Chinese culture are masters of water. This green tinted dragon is watching over this houses and its source of life. Across from the well there is a collection of chairs. These kiln fired chairs are in the old style. Placed in a courtyard they would serve as hardy furniture. Often you will see them depicted when having tea with guests. These simple chairs were once used for gazing at gardens. Now they become part of the adornment. 

Colored Refuse

The rice stalk shimmer yellow hues. A sesame plant outstretchs it's bloom. Soft mud nurtures plant and bug. The concrete comes alive with garbage. These foam scraps burst with color. Left out to dry for a sun's day they shine. Amongst the fields this would be fitting for a Van Gogh. The palette of natural and refuse are both given equal time in the sun.