Double Take

Abbey Road
I took this photograph in Hanoi last summer, during my first trip to Vietnam, a brief but memorable one, the main purpose of which was to give lectures about the Journal of Asian Studies and the nature of scholarly publishing in the West.  Many things I saw there made me think of China (either as it is today or as it was a decade or two ago), including this store.  When I first took the photograph, I was reminded of a Danwei post I had seen a few months earlier that  featured a May 4th commemorative graphic (from the  Chinese edition of Esquire) that included a striking image of four heroes of the New Culture Movement filling in for John, Paul, George, and Ringo on a walk across Abbey Road.  Now, after having checked out “Art Factory,” the audio slide show featuring Peter Hessler’s insightful comments about and Mark Leung’s superb photographs of the export art market in Lishui, it brings China to mind in a totally different way.

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