Into Chinese Culture: Beauty of China through Greek eyes-Xinhua

Into Chinese Culture: Beauty of China through Greek eyes

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-08-31 17:44:03

With a deep passion for Chinese culture, Greek photographer George Doupas has been living in Beijing and traveling across China for the past decade. He wants to show you the beauty of China that you may have never seen before.

BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- For Greek photographer George Doupas, Beijing is home now. During the past decade, he has been photographing the city, capturing its beauty - from the historical monuments to the hutong neighborhoods and mazes of the streets - and sharing these photos online and in exhibitions.

"To me, this represents Beijing - the old and the new, nicely blending together," Doupas said while showing his photograph of the Zhihua Temple, a delicate Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) architecture, located in front of the Galaxy SOHO, a modern office building featuring weaving bridges and interlocking passageways.

Photo provided by George Doupas shows Zhihua Temple in front of the Galaxy SOHO building in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 14, 2018. (George Doupas/Handout via Xinhua)

"It is fascinating to see how the city is rapidly developing while investing so much effort in preserving its past," he said.

Doupas first visited China as a backpacker in 2005. Amazed by what he discovered, he returned on several occasions. He settled down in Beijing in 2009 after marrying Li Yixue, a local who studied history and has been engaged in cultural heritage preservation.

"I like to explore this beautiful city, full of history and culture," he said.

In this photo provided by George Doupas, a tourist visits the Forbidden City amid snowfall in Beijing, capital of China, March 18, 2022. (George Doupas/Handout via Xinhua)

With a history of over 3,000 years, including more than 800 years as the capital of ancient dynasties, Beijing has a rich cultural and historical heritage. Doupas often gets lost in the magnificence of the ancient architecture of Beijing with his camera.

"The Forbidden City is one of my favorites, and I go there frequently. That's why I have a year ticket. So I can go in different seasons, at different times," he said.

"I also go to the Summer Palace. I spend whole days walking around the lake there," he said. "I like the hutongs in downtown Beijing. There you can see the real Beijing life."

George Doupas takes photos in a "hutong" alleyway in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Wei Mengjia)

As for Beijing's diversity, Doupas said, "The central business district (CBD), in the eastern part of Beijing, is a different place from the old city."

Surrounded by foreign embassies, multinational and international organizations, the CBD coordinates high-end businesses as well as the media industry.

During his 13 years in Beijing, Doupas has noticed China's efforts to protect its cultural heritage. "The Chinese government protects and restores its cultural heritage. I have seen it in the Forbidden City, in the Temple of Heaven, and in the hutongs. The government takes care of the old buildings."

"Many historical sites have been renovated in Athens. It is something we have in common with China," he said.

Beyond Beijing, Doupas has also been traveling extensively across China. His home, located in southeastern Beijing, is cozy and decorated with photos and souvenirs from different parts of China.

Photo provided by George Doupas shows terraced fields in Yuanyang County, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Feb. 22, 2011. (George Doupas/Handout via Xinhua)

Rice terraces cascading down lush hillsides, snow-capped mountains under the blue sky, and people in traditional ethnic customs beaming with joy are some of the beautiful scenes in China, vividly reflected in his album of photos.

Doupas said he hopes to serve as a bridge between China and the West.

"A friend of mine, also a photographer, traveled to China in 2012 for the first time after seeing my photos," he said.

Many of his photos of Beijing were displayed in an exhibition held in Greece in 2018. Another exhibition showing off his photos taken in various parts of China was held in the Czech Republic in 2019, attracting a large audience and receiving accolades.

In this photo provided by George Doupas, a worker airs stretched noodles in Rui'an, east China's Zhejiang Province, Sept. 19, 2017. (George Doupas/Handout via Xinhua)

Doupas is determined to continue with his career in China.

"I call Beijing my home now," he said. "I will keep sharing my photos of China with the rest of the world."


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