long hairs

September 16th, 2007

I didn’t mention the photographer in that long-winded post about the Shadow Building, probably because he wasn’t immediately relevant to my musings. Anyway, yesterday we had a different photographer from the one who did our outside shots at Shidu. This one came with two assistants (can you tell the rank of the photographer from the number of assistents?). Yesterday’s photographer wasn’t as humourous as the one at Shidu, but he was just as professional and he and his assistants were amazingly patient. I can’t figure out how a person could be so completely patient. But no, these guys were incredible- it was like having Buddha as your photographer and two boddhisatvas as assistants.

And why is it that all Chinese photographers have long hair?

2 Responses to “long hairs”

  1. John Says:

    Back in the Song Dynasty, the Suzhou Comb and Charcoal Briquette Company needed to sell more combs after the bottom fell out of the briquette market because that was when the edict banning warmth south of the Yangzi in winter came into effect.

    The head of the company petitioned (well, financially advantaged) the governor of Jiangsu Province to pass a law decreeing that all artists had to have long hair so that they’d buy combs from the Suzhou Comb and Charcoal Briquette Company, and the emperor thought it was such a great law, he extended it to the whole country. When photography was invented, the law was amended to include photographers.

    In 1949, the new government decided to keep that law because that way it’d be possible to identify subversive, artistic hippie types without all the bother of asking for ID cards.

    And if that’s not true, let me teach English to a bunch of revolting school children from rich families.

  2. wangbo Says:

    I suspect your story is true, but I’m still going to let you teach English to a bunch of revolting school children from rich families anyway.