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Rainy in Zhouzhuang 雨中周庄



30cms (W) x 40cms (H)

Oil on Panel

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There are loads of "Water Towns'" near Shanghai; old towns build next to waterways, that attract a lot of tourists who sample the crafts and local foods as well as walk around the very atmospheric streets, occasionally taking a gondola ride on the waterways.

On the day I visited it was very drizzly, so every visitor was sheltering under either a mac or an umbrella. It made most aspects of the town not especially photogenic, as plastic overcoats or large umbrellas obstructed the usual shots of traditional architecture. I didn't get many good images, but then I managed to take some images where the colour of the rain covers was 'contained' and could be contrasted with the more neutral town scenes. Here the main challenges were how to represent an atmosphere of light rain, getting the right amount of detail in the people's faces (it's not about their faces but they need to have the right amount of detail given there's detail behind them) and also choosing the right arrangements of shapes and colours on the bridge. So it took a while to decide where to place umbrellas and also make sure the light/perspective worked.

The town here is called Zhouzhuang. In the end I hope that i've been able to communicate the atmosphere of what the town is like (buildings and infrastructure), the weather but also this stripe of people noise that runs through it and brings it to life.




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