Now, a month later, I eventually arrived in my new home. Shanghai, Jing’ An District. I share my apartment with a bloke from England, and a couple from Iran and the Philippines. Very international as you can see. It took me a long time to relax and calm down from all the moving around stress. I met already a lot of different people and its great to get a little overview of Shanghai, a city I don’t really know very well. But for sure I can say that I have a good feeling here. I like this city. Today, the first time after 30 days I want to go out and take pictures again. I will try to just enjoy what I am doing and don’t think about how great the picture has to be. I don’t really have much more to say. The illustrations you see above is for an event in Hamburg, Knust. Ok.. I am not very creative in writing today. Take care people and make love.
I told you about my plan offering more illustrations again, so here we go.
Mr. Florian Ritter proudly presents his in 6 hours generated new for illustrations website
Some people probably already heard about my move to China. I moved here in order to expect better opportunities to live for less, eat better food, learn Chinese and find a job what finally gives me the chance to photograph or learn from photographers such as the guys from Rimagine, where applied for a photography assistant position. Let’s see what the future holds for me here in China. To be honest, I am obviously afraid, that nothing is going to work out like in Germany. Actually I had a plan which contains making wedding picture business with my friend James, get an apartment in Nanjing and enroll into the Nanjing university language program, so I do have a visa which allows me to stay in China for half a year. So far, I am not going to do any of those things. No wedding pictures, because I need to have a working license, no apartment, because I don’t really know if I get a job in Beijing or Shanghai or somewhere else in China. Shanghai has the best options though. Last but not least, I am not going to enroll, since there are definitely cheaper options like going to Hong Kong to apply for a one month F visa and extend it two weeks later for half a year for about 3,450 Yuan. The program would me cost about 9,000 Yuan, so I am quite happy I didn’t sign up yet, instead I will wait what happens with my applications I’ve send. So this is the most difficult time I had so far in my life. Yes, indeed. Since everything looks totally unclear and uncertain, I was happy to receive an Email from a visitor on my website from turkey who cheered me up with his words:
Dear Florian Ritter,
Great photos, I looked up your site, and great portfolio.
I ‘m an amateur photographer since 5 years in Turkey and searching photographers and portfolios, to learn new things.
But this portfolio is the greatest one for me. First time I ‘m sending an e-mail to a phographer. But I realy wanted to
present my regards. Thanks for these photos…
Especially Stories, Urban, People and Landscape.
Have a nice day…. and Regards
In this case, thanks to Gokcen
An Illustration I did for a children book cover. The second book will be published by the end of September, mid October.
After 8 months in Germany, living with and through the financial crisis I decided to emigrate from Germany and move to China. Who knows what exactly to expect there, but the chances to have lower expenses for daily life and the opportunity to take better pictures is higher and bigger than my love to Hamburgs Coffee shops. Not to mention cheap massages, good food, a beautiful language, beautiful landscape … . Nevertheless I’ll be in touch with contacts I made so far in Germany and try to update them with mailings, emails and other stuff.
First I’ll move to Nanjing, if its gonna be Nanjing for a longer time I don’t know, maybe Beijing. As long as people speak Chinese I don’t care much. I also decided to concentrate more on illustrations again instead of just ignore the ability I have.
So basically instead of being in Germany and go to China once in a while I’ll be in China and go to Germany once in a while.
Take care and enjoy your life as it happens and do what you need to do. Florian
After I spent a week in Xiahe, Gansu Province in China, I would like to introduce you to a new series of landscape pictures. Xiahe is on an altitude about 2900m and one of the Tibetan remote areas outside of the actual Province Tibet.
Xiahe (Chinese: 夏河; pinyin: Xiàhé; Tibetan: བསང་ཆུ་; Wylie: bsang chu; English: Sangchu) is a county in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu province, the People’s Republic of China. It is home to the famed Labrang Tibetan Buddhist monastery, one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The town is populated largely by ethnic Tibetans, as well as some Hui and Han Chinese. The area is highly rural and pastoral (including yak and other animal rearing). The geography is mountainous. In recent years it has become a tourist attraction. The town was named Xiahe in 1928.
Xiahe is found in the southern portion of Gansu province, along the western border with Qinghai province. It lies along the Daxia and Zhao rivers. It is on the northeast edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The average elevation is 2900 – 3100m with the highest being 4636m and lowest 2160m. (source: wikipedia.org)
Today on my bus ride from Guilin to Liuzhou I realized again that many Chinese people don’t read books. Newspaper they do and anything that contains information. But romances, love stories, travel stories, thrillers, fantasy and anything that gives your mind the chance to be reminded of your own life, a chance to dream, to be afraid, to think beyond your daily life, to get ideas, to be sad, to be happy or amused people don’t read about. Of course that’s what I assume. Maybe they read all at home, because the day should be there to work and not to read. I’m sure it has to do with the restriction in publishing books in China, too. While reading a book from Murakami, what makes me think a lot, I asked myself if reading books (as well as watching movies) is one of the reasons, I keep on thinking about my own way in life more. Its for sure not the only trigger for thinking about more abstract stuff, but it keeps your creativity and ability to imagine on a constant level. One of my wishes though I have in life is to live more simple: Don’t think too much about the dos and the donts. Don’t break my head in two parts when thinking about photography and stories I want to shoot. I want to go out and take a picture, whenever something appears to me, to talk to people, whenever i need to would be the ideal state of being. So far, to be thoughtful means to stop myself from transforming my ideas into pictures. To doubt if I am doing the right thing doesn’t transform anything, only the transformation from a full to an empty bottle of beer is for sure. Therefore it would be great to do something, because somebody told me to do so. Because its more simple to create something wonderful out of a small idea than creating something from scratch. Although this way seems to be the best, I can’t deal with it. That’s why I quit working in advertising and online design. I said good bye to this kind of life and welcomed the free spirit in my heart and head. The free spirit though doesn’t have any boundaries and you are able to do whatever your want to. And that’s exactly what stops me from growing: no tasks, no challenges, no problems to solve.
Its time to set my own boundaries to widen them from time to time. Somehow I learned today that its so convinient to do little steps and to go wild within the little frame you set yourself. In the end I am happy the way I am. To be insecure, doubtful and directionless actually goes along pretty well with my passion for photography and ensures me a special and great life. Hopefully interesting pictures as well. A life which is worth to tell others and great to think back. Thank you Haruki.
I want to start a new series and the picture above is the first one of it. About the idea: small and simple. Many people in the west wonder how chinese people can have such a long life. We mostly think about their food and chinese tea. Also chinese medicine is definetely a good reason for their high age. Who has been to China already, noticed people do the strangest thing where ever they are: Lifting Arms, circle their knees, dance, walk the stairs up and down and so on. In chinese cities you’ll find exercise places with many different kinds of equipment. Its free to use and people at any age are found at those places. This photo series will show the different kind of people who do their work out and introduces the equipment you’ll find.
After climbing the chinese Wall up and down we stayed another night in Beijing before taking the train to Nanjing. Now I am back in the city where stayed 3 months, a year ago. Funny to see that a random city in this world can look like home, because of your memories.
Yesterday I arrived in Beijing, the fourth time I am in China now. The next 4 weeks I am going to travel south to Guizhou. I hope to find interesting stories, meet old friends, take pictures, look for univercities to study. My idea to enrole into a program came a couple of days ago, when I realized that I can’t afford living in Germany anymore. I probably could somehow, but I would need to do jobs I don’t want to do. Here in China, its easier to get jobs to finance your life and on top of that I am in a good place to photograph. Lets see where this all leads. Probably to life. Just another different life, lived by decisions, hope and doubts. One more thing: its such a cool thing how much I remember my chinese.