Not a project in the conventional sense, these images were more a way for me to take the pulse of the Beixinqiao/Dongsi district I had begun living in; using the camera and photography as a talking point to break the ice with my new neighbourhood and cross the cultural divide.

The traditional lanes or "hutongs" that make up Beijing's old city are currently undergoing rapid changes. For a few decades the only change is that they were gradually disappearing, and indeed an estimated 70 % of Beijing's original hutongs have now been cleared. In recent years though, Beijing's land prices have risen exponentially and subway lines have made access to Beijing's old city more convenient, leading to widespread gentrification and renovation. Conciousness regarding conservation has also grown among Beijingers, as has their ability to influence government policy online. It seems likely then that remaining Hutong will not disappear completely, but in what form will they remain, and for whom ?

Beijing's hutong in 2010 are a patchwork of contradictions, meeting place of the pre-modern and post-modern: old damp homes without toilets next-door to rebuilt air-conditioned courtyards, bohemian coffee-shops across from sex shops, fruit-carts plying their trade outside French wine importers, black Audis trying not to get scratched by old rusting bicycles, migrant workers sleeping in the shade of tattoo parlours, old women collecting waste bottles from net-bars, and a chuanr stand on every corner...

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