My Shanghai
‘I don’t like Shanghai, I love it!’ Author: Jenny Hammond
For Shanghai Daily Publishing House
Created: 2007-10-9
German photographer Thomas Fuesser captures the very human, unadorned faces behind Shanghai’s glittering facade. The subjects in passport-type portraits wear no clothes, no signs of status – and look straight into the camera, writes Jenny Hammond. Shanghai’s iconic skyline, dazzling facade and fashionable people are known to all, endlessly photographed. But a German expat photographer wants to strip away the externals and gloss, reveal the essentials and “give Shanghai its human touch” – the faces of human beings. Thomas Fuesser’s ongoing project “188 Faces of Shanghai” features celebrities and prominent figures in the arts, entertainment, business, civic affairs and other fields – as well as ordinary people who have made special contributions to the city. Twenty-eight subjects have been photographed so far. The subjects in passport-type portraits are naked from the shoulders up, unadorned, without signs of status. They wear little or no makeup, no jewelry – and they look straight into the camera. The requirements and format are the same for everyone. The simple portraits are striking. Fuesser says he chose the number 188 “because it’s a lucky number” in Chinese. The numeral “eight” is lucky because it can be pronounced to mean “wealth,” double-eight is very lucky. The numeral “one,” pronounced “yao” could mean “I want.” He decided to do this project as everyone knows Shanghai’s skyline but not the faces behind it. Shanghai is a story of success and Fuesser wanted to give that story the faces of normal human beings… “I don’t know for sure what will happen after I finish my project but I do know for now that Shanghai is my new home.” © 2001-20014 Shanghai Daily Publishing House