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  • Daoist Temple (1 of 1)
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Daoist Temple – Western China

My yearly visit to our local daoist temple...

About once a year I head over to one of our cities Daoist/Taoist temples for a visit and a look around. The place is fantastic for so many reasons.  Mostly it’s the people amazing people.  I’m such a sucker for interacting with people.  Religion in western China is a blend of just about everything.  For example, at a monastery like this you will find symbols and practices that fall more squarely into Tibetan Buddhism and simple animism than Taoism.  These contradictions make it worth an annual visit.

For now, I simply wanted to share these images.  There are some amazing stories in here that I’ll share in the next few days.  Really hope you enjoy.

*just fyi, that’s literally the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen in my life.




Ramadan in China, 2012

Islam in China: Western Chinese Muslims celebrate the breaking of Ramadan

Every year I make it down to our local mosque to shoot the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid. One of the things I love about my job is I get to educate western photographers on the cultural makeup of western China.  Most think it’s only Tibetans, however, there are huge (really huge) blocks of muslim minorities throughout the west.  I’m totally enamored with the uniqueness of the the Chinese Muslim Culture.

This year was a bit small due to rain – I was cold, tired, and frustrated so I didn’t get many shots this year – but check out previous posts on Ramadan in China


  • China_Workers_Brian_Hirschy_Photography (6 of 6)
  • China_Workers_Brian_Hirschy_Photography (22 of 1)

My Home: Part 2

Stories from western China: Part 2 - The Jobs

In the last post (a long time ago) I made a statement to the effect that things were kind of returning to normal in western China.  Since making that statement we’ve seen almost five violent protests in the region – mostly involving flaming bodies, sadly.  If you read the news, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If not, the phrase ‘flaming bodies’ should be enough to make you do some research.

Alas, another month where the local foreign photographer isn’t allowed to leave the city for political reasons.  Nonetheless, I’ve kept busy in the city that I live trying to work on capturing the working class culture of this city. The thing I love about living in a city that has one foot in the modern world and one foot strongly in the traditional world is that all sorts of strange jobs start to pop up.  Visual contradictions, if you will. Blind massage parlors with people that aren’t blind.  A Sichuan cook from Gansu who isn’t old enough to legally work in America.  Muslim women wearing full on hijabs and bucket hats that will wash your car (or rug) for a few RMB.  A woman selling mountain bikes that knows way more about making traditional noodles that bikes… and is willing to tell you about about it.  How’s that for a selling point – buy a bike, get some noodles.

These are the kind of jobs you see popping up in these minority border areas of China, and I think it’s fantastic. I wanted to share just a few of this series with you as I work on it.

Hope you enjoy!