I didn’t take may photos when I was in Shanghai but ‘Charging Ahead’ is one of the few shots I did take.
Shot from my hotel room into the street below, I’d wager the hotel is no longer there. Shanghai has changed so much in the last 20 years. I also think the tractor in this photo has long since been consigned to the scrap heap.
These tractors were everywhere back in the day. It’s as though the only engine you could buy in the late eighties and early nineties was the model in use on this tractor, and on this tractor in Beijing and on this boat near Suzhou. I’ve also seen this engine powering a cultivator in a field. One size fits all.
This one had just left what looked to me like a builders supply yard across the street. There are no supplies in the back so I’m thinking they’d either just dropped something off or were making a run to pick something up.
Either way, I think the motion in this image captures the energy that was the Chinese economy in the early nineties – charging ahead to become an industrial powerhouse and leaving the agricultural past in the shadows.
Incidentally, I processed this image in the new onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 8 (Beta 3 version). Perfect Photo Suite 8 will be released later today, November 26. You can order by clicking on the ad, below.