Putting together my presentation at TEDx Shanghai gave me the chance to take a pleasant stroll down memory lane when I dug out some long-neglected photos to add to my slides.
Here’s an image of an article published about me in my local paper, the Spalding Guardian, as I was preparing to venture “into the depths of China” to study Chinese in Chengdu. I just love the Conradian tones….
Probably because I am working in hi-tech myself, one particular presentation that sticks in my mind from the TED and TEDx events I recently attended in Shanghai is the one given by David Lee, who runs XinCheJian, the first Hackerspace in China.
In his talk, David explored the question of whether hacker culture can help China to shake off the copycat culture embodied by the country’s so-called shanzhai (loosely translated as mountain bandits or white box) manufacturers and help the country’s industrial base to develop true innovation capabilities.
Some scenes from the afternoon session of TEDx Shanghai:
Jasmine Chen: Jazz in China and me.
Here are some scenes from the morning session of TEDx Shanghai:
Famous Chinese artist Gu Wen Da: from China Red to China Green.
There was quite a colorful cast of speakers at TEDx Shanghai, including the inimitable Jimmy Choo, who reminisced about how he first learned to make shoes from his father while growing up in Penang, Malaysia.
Jimmy also actually made a pair of shoes for his mother while on stage, taking the audience through every step of the process in a highly entertaining demonstration of his sublime craftsmanship.
A few shots of the Shanghai Concert Hall, the wonderful venue for TEDX Shanghai.
Opened in 1930, the hall was lifted 1.7 meters out of the ground by hydraulic lifts and moved 66.4 meters to its current location in 2007 in order to make way for a new highway. Quite an amazing feat given that it weighs a reported 5,800 kilotons.
Tiger Hill (Huqiu) is probably the most famous sight of all in the city of Suzhou, and has a history that can be traced back over 2500 years.
According to the Records of the Historian, this is the spot where the King of Wu, Fu Chai, buried his father, He Lu, in 496 BC during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC), after He had perished in a war against the Yue.
Quite a contrast in architectural styles between the ancient graceful curving roofs of the Jing’an Temple (Temple of Peace and Tranquility) and the modern blocks surrounding it.
Like many temples in China, the Jing’an has undergone extensive renovations during the course of its long history. Indeed, the original temple was built on a different site in 247 AD and relocated to this one in 1216. Subsequently, it was rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty and has also just undergone a major renovation.
The Humble Administrator's Garden is located in the northeastern part of Suzhou, and with a total area of approximately four hectares is the largest private garden in the city as well as one of the four most famous classic gardens in China (the others are the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Mountain Resort of Chengde, and the Garden for Lingering, also in Suzhou).
The garden is representative of Chinese classical gardens built during the Ming Dynasty, which are focused on a central pond with pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers surrounding it.
This is the entrance to the Hanshan Temple, which in English means Cold Mountain Temple. The temple was first built in the first half of the sixth century but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since then, and none of its original structures have survived.
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