单铬 “single chromium”

Monochrome whites in Jiangnan style.

The monochrome  whites of a typical canal-side street in Jiangnan. Jiangnan is the area around the Yangtze River delta, where towns are characterised by their water-ways. People go about their daily lives, doing their washing in the canals then hanging them from their balconies – until the developers come along and gentrify, tourist-ify their homes.

a dance of red fills the evening at new year.

Red-coloured fireworks create red-coloured dust in the night sky, and reflect in the lake, turning it festive red for the New Year.


A  fiesta of  blues and indigos on a float at Hong Kong Disneyland.


Shades of beige in an elaborate carving depicting the story of White Snake.

Shades of green in a lotus pond

Green rails frame the lush greens of lotus leaves, the promise of pink in the emerging bud.

Bronze-worked dragons

My favourite monochrome in gold – dragons dance on the ceiling of a bronze workshop in Hangzhou.

单铬 -dan ge  is “single chronium” – or monochrome, in Chinese. What’s your favourite picture? Which one intrigues you the most?

Author: Debbie

immersed in the ancient culture of china, and its constantly changing facades.... a traveller through time and space landing in suzhou of the 21st century.... australian by birth, traveller by nature, mother of a beautiful ten-year-old

28 thoughts on “单铬 “single chromium””

  1. We did it again, neighbor 😉 What are the chances of that??? Your photos are stunning. I love them all, but especially ‘beige’ with the sages watching the white snake. Best wishes, WG


  2. WOW! I mean once was joyous synchroninity, but what are the chances of us posting at the same time twice? you beat me to comment this time! moreover – when i saw your comment come in, I went to check your blog. you are talking about a “pointed concentration on a single vibration at a time”. what’s that if not “single chronium” as the Chinese word is….. . I am in awe of the power of synchroninity! check out the link on ‘white snake’ you can see the beautiful story of the White Snake who turned human and fell in love with a human man…. only to be perscuted by those who should know better…… 🙂


    1. I never cease to not love that particular photo, and whenever I go to Hangzhou, I go back to the Leifang Pagoda and drink it all in again! Such a touching story!


  3. I love the lotus pond too. Its just so exquisitely green. When I found it this morning in my external harddrive, I had to think for a while of where I might have taken it! I’m pretty sure its down south in Yunnan, a rich tropical green state whose name means South of the Clouds. You don’t like the dragons? Aw, come on now! It seems everyone loves the White Snake, so I’ll have to make another post about her! You can check out the original by clicking on the link above. :0


  4. Wait a minute…there’s a Hong Kong Disneyland? REally? Where in the world did they find room enough to put it? On a barge in the ocean?
    These are all lovely shots. I really like the houses on the Yangzte. And what is that carving of the White Snake (hey, isn’t that a band?) made of…ivory? It looks big, but how big is it?


    1. HI Badfish, there really is a Hong Kong disneyland, and it’s out in the sticks somewhere, with a brand new Disneyland hotel to stay in ( we didnt) and a disney train to get there ( we took that).

      I’m glad you like the jiangnan style houses. They are everywhere, here. Let me clarify – all of the litle towns in the “delta region” are not necessarily on the Yangtze – they are usally situated on the many many lakes that dot this region. “Jiang nan” just means “south of the river.”

      You mentioned the band ‘white snake’ in the original post about white snake…. maybe the band took their name from Lady White Snake, she predated them by around 1400 years, add another 3,000 to get her true age. Sadly, the carving could well be made of ivory. It is part of a panel telling the whole sad story of Lady White Snake and the itinerant kind doctor she fell in love with , and the corrupt buddhist monk who imprisoned her. he didnt like snakes. so each panel is – let me guess – i dunno, about 3 metres across and 2 high?… and there are – didnt count – maybe at least 10 or more of them…

      Sure hope it wasn’t ivory that they were cared out of. Okay, I’m counting your vote for the Jiangnan houses. So far, thats 1, houses, 1, lotus pond, and 2 White Snake. The winner gets more posts about their chosen subject. So come on people, vote! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The song Whitesnake, was written by David Coverdale when he was in Deep Purple, and it’s about a kind of a woman he was with. Not sure beyond that. His answer to where the name of the band, White Snake, came from was, let’s say crude, but he fessed up and said it was a song he’d written in the last days of Deep Purple.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s a huge carving. If it’s ivory, it’s a bunch of different ones, as opposed to one huge tusk (I assume). Or it’s from a wooly mammoth! I wonder if a rock group new about Lady White Snake…makes you wonder.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. you know i never thought about what it was made off, i was too busy appreciating the exquisite carvings.. but i do recall seeing it wasnt.. i think..
        they have this new stuff now that resembles ivory but isn’t…. so – short answer – not sure, hope not! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much, Imedla! Indeed, there are so many exceptionally talented craftspeople over here, what you have seen in this post is just a drop in the ocean!
      Thanks for your visit 🙂


  5. Hmmm, loved the juxtaposition of them all, showing the whole is more than the sum of its parts, yet, each part of interest in its own right. If I have to choose, then it’d be the “Monochrome whites in Jiangnan style”. There is mystery in what lies beneath the water’s surface, behind the shutters of the homes, suggestion of life behind the stillness of the scene.


    1. HI Safar, I love the traditional white houses by the canal in Suzhou too. I love nothing more in my free time than just to walk around the old town. I’ve been meaning to make a post about the white houses architectural style for some time…must get around to it. Modern buildings have used the same architctural style also – a nice juxtaposition. Thanks for dropping by 🙂


      1. I’d love to see that Debbie, if you do. I’m quite interested to know if there is any cyclical water systems in operation. E.g. I came across a reference to a village in Japan where the water run between the houses was filled with koy fish (I think) and the villagers would do their washing up in the streams and the fish would clean their dishes for them! The fish got fed, and I’d love to be one of those who have such keen washer uppers!!
        I was wondering how the grey water from the houses is dealt with?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. stay tuned then! honestly though, the days and weeks seem to fly past and all the posts i have in my head dont get written and then there another photo challenge!
        i do have a number of photos of he suzhou old town though, so i will do it.
        regarding the water, yes, koi fish in ponds are a common sight over here, especially in the traditionsal gardens. in the old days people would do their washing in
        the pond, and in some places still do so.. these days too much pollution.

        if you are interested in water systems, there is this increbile 2,000 year old irrigation system in Sichuan, called Dujiangyan, here’s the wiki article and you can go from there

        its quite amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

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