Up the Junction in Beijing


Beijing on the move. Any time, any place, anywhere. In this sprawling metropolis, ordinary people are going from A to B, all day, every day.

Take any junction and stand there for long enough and you’ll see cameos of life played out. Small vignettes of existence. Slices of lives lived on the move. Where are they going? Where have they been? Are they late or on time? As the lights turn red, they are forced to stop. Pause. Wait. In doing so, we glimpse some lost in thought, some impatient, some carrying out mundane tasks, adjusting bags, making phone calls or in the case of the refuse collector, examining the damage to his cart, clipped by one of the all-pervading automobiles.

Pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes all edge forward in anticipation, jockeying for space mindful of the cars and buses which could appear from any direction. There are rules – of sorts – but there’s little time to obey them.

As the lights turn to green, they are off. They disappear from view forever, leaving nothing behind but a collection of pixels in my camera and a snapshot of a typical Beijing day. In seconds they are replaced by a new intake, and the cycle continues.













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