This project was singled out for distinction among the submissions to the LensCulture Street Photography Awards 2016 by juror Marcel Feil. Each juror selected one photographer to be awarded a special $1,000 grant—discover why this one stood out. And don’t miss more inspiring work from all the winners, jurors’ picks and finalists.
After I heard that it is “one of the most crowded places in the world,” I decided to visit the beach in Qingdao, China, to take some photos. Qingdao in May was chilly and foggy—it was still off-season. I could sense that this place had at one point been full of exuberant people, and in the subsequent emptiness, I felt a sense of loss.
It reminded me of a slumber before the dawn; there was a spiritless comfort that I wanted to preserve. I tried to record that feeling in these photos.
Mankichi Shinshi’s enigmatic series of foggy landscapes, hazy skies and wet streets is characterized by its pale palette of modest grey tones in which the landscape drifts without apparent aim or purpose. The soft and vulnerable mood is somehow typically Japanese—slightly surreal with an appreciation of the value of discovering the marvelous in the ordinary. At its best, the series transcends the act of seeing into one of calm and peaceful receptiveness; a state in which one could experience the world as more complex and layered than the eye can usually grasp.
Deputy Director Artistic Affairs, Foam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands