Tag: Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: The Taiping Rebellion

Photo of the Day: The Taiping Rebellion

Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Street Graffiti

The name of the 太平天囯 (Taiping Tianguo), the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom is invoked on a street sign on Salisbury Road in Hong Kong. The Taiping were a rebel faction led by Hong Xiuquan who carved out a nation in southern China from 1851 to 1864. At odds with the ruling Qing Dynasty, the so called Taiping Rebellion was the costliest civil war in history, with some estimates placing the death toll at 25 million.

Photo of the Day: The National Palace Museum

Photo of the Day: The National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum in Taiwain

In the 1930s Chinese Nationalist authorities removed the the bulk of the collection of art and antiquities located within the Palace Museum inside the Forbidden City to prevent them from falling into Japanese hands as hostilities and tensions began to escalate between China and Japan after the Mukden Bridge Incident. In 1948 the decision was made to take the best of the collection to Taiwan as the Civil War between the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek and the Chinese Communists under Mao Zedong continued. Ultimately, over 600000 pieces of the finest examples of Chinese art and artifacts including books and paintings were sent to Taiwan and with the Nationalist retreat to the island in 1949, the collection would come to be housed in the National Palace Museum. As a result, the museum is widely considered to house the best examples of Chinese art in the world.

Photo of the Day: The Shanghai World Expo

Photo of the Day: The Shanghai World Expo

Crowds form beneath the illuminated Expo Axis structure not far from the China Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Photo taken on October 16 2010, which set the record for the highest one-day attendance in world expo history with 1.03 million visitors. Naturally, that was the day your intrepid Wired History crew decided on for our third foray to the Expo grounds.

Photo of the Day: The Statue of Brothers

Photo of the Day: The Statue of Brothers

The Statue of Brothers at the War Museum of Korea

The Statue of Brothers at the War Museum of Korea depicts two brothers, one a South Korean officer and the other a North Korean soldier, who encounter each other on the battlefield. The two brothers are shown falling into each others arms as brotherly affection and forgiveness overcomes the political realities of war.

Although usually not categorized as a civil war, the Korean conflict drove more than just a political wedge through the heart of the country and the continuing sentiment of a people divided is starkly exemplified in this statue.

Photo taken July 22, 2010

Photo of the Day: The 9:18 History Museum

Photo of the Day: The 9:18 History Museum

A massive sculpture at the 9:18 Museum

The 9:18 Museum in Shenyang is devoted to the Mukden Bridge Incident. On September 9th 1931 Japanese troops detonated explosives near a Japanese controlled railroad line in a “false flag” operation in order to blame Chinese agitators for the act. With the explosion as a pretext, Japan launched an invasion of Manchuria resulting in the formation of the puppet state of Manchukuo. The museum itself sits upon the exact spot of the explosion.

Photo taken in Shenyang on 6/5/2011.

Photo of the Day: Panmunjom

Photo of the Day: Panmunjom

The border between North and South Korea at Panmunjom, the small village where the armistice was signed in 1953. The small concrete line running between the two blue buildings is the border itself. Two South Korean soldiers watch from the corners of the UN buildings while a North Korean guard is visible in the middle left. The large building in the center of the photo on the North Korean side is the site of the original signing.

Photo taken July 26th 2011, one day before the anniversary of the treaty signing.

Photo of the Day: Stephen the Lion

Photo of the Day: Stephen the Lion

Stephen the Lion

Stephen is one of two bronze lions that guard the front of the HSBC Building in Hong Kong. Along with his companion Stitt, Stephen has been a fixture in Hong Kong since the two were installed in front of the original HSBC headquarters in 1935. Local lore holds that rubbing their paws and nose brings good fortune.

Stephen is marked by deep gouges and shrapnel holes, the result of damage sustained during the Battle of Hong Kong in 1941 when the Japanese invaded the city. In the waning days of World War II, the two lions were taken to Japan to be melted down for the war effort. Fortunately, the war ended before that occurred, yet the lions might still have been lost were it not for an American sailor who recognized the two sitting on a dock in Japan, far from home.

When the original HSBC Building closed, the lions were eventually moved to their current positions outside the new building. Moments after I snapped this photo, a well dressed trio of young men in business suits walked by. Without breaking stride, one of the men veered towards Stephen and quickly rubbed his paw. In an era where faith and tradition is often conflated with superstition, it was good to see some traditions continue. After the young man had rejoined his companions, I rubbed Stephen’s paw and continued on my way.

Photo taken December 24th, 2010.