I didn’t notice it until our second year in China, as we hit the outskirts of Zibo on a bus ride back from Jinan, the capital of Shandong. But once I did notice it, I could stop seeing it—Zibo was made up of a very definite palette of colors.
First and foremost were the deep red and lemon yellow of flags, banners, and signs. “Red China” is still an appropriate name, but not necessarily because of Communism. Since it’s considered the most auspicious color, you’ll see red everywhere in China:
Then, there was the gray of concrete:
The dusty black of cars and clothes:
The primary blue of construction fences, tarps, and street signs:
And finally, the dusky pink and mint green of the sidewalk tiles. These aren’t limited to just Zibo, either. We visited close to twenty other cities in China, and Amanda was the first to notice that these same tiles were used in almost every city. Even now, when I think of China, everything always has a pink tint:
None of the other towns I’ve lived in—Cranberry, Edinboro, Puerto Vallarta, or Erie—evoke any specific colors. Why do you think that is?
In other news, after a six-month hiatus I’ve started on a new project with my new Holga. This is the first time in over five years that I’ve shot film, and as much as I love digital, I still love the element of unpredictability and expectation that goes along with film.