En­voy cap­tures images of New York

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By HEZI JIANG in New York hez­i­jiang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

On week­days, dressed in a suit and tie, Deputy Con­sul Gen­eral Zhong Ruim­ing does what he can to pro­mote USChina re­la­tions from the Chi­nese con­sulate in Man­hat­tan over­look­ing the Hud­son River.

On week­ends, he straps on his cam­era bag, hops on a bike and delves into the lives of New York­ers.

Tak­ing pho­tos of lo­cal peo­ple and land­scapes takes up most of the spare time of this over­seas diplo­mat.

“It helps me un­der­stand ev­ery as­pect of the coun­try where I am posted,” he wrote in the fore­word of his new book New York Through the Lens of a Chi­nese Diplo­mat (Asian Cul­ture and Me­dia Group, 2016), launched on Tues­day at the Asian Cul­tural Cen­ter in New York.

Framed by the same tun­nel in Cen­tral Park, he shows the green-and-orange of early au­tumn and the snowy white of winter. He cap­tures the ro­man­tic mo­ment of a man in a Wolver­ine cos­tume propos­ing to his girl­friend at New York Comic Con.

Timed to co­in­cide with the 2016 China-US Tourism Year, the book is a cel­e­bra­tion of cul­tural in­ter­ac­tion.

“State-to-state re­la­tions thrive when there is friend­ship be­tween the peo­ples,” said Zhong. “We are also see­ing more for­eign pho­tog­ra­phers go on to the streets of China and share their works with their peo­ple.”

Zhong has taken tens of thou­sands of pho­tos in the Big Ap­ple since be­ing trans­ferred there from the em­bassy in In­done­sia in 2013. The book fea­tures more than 300 pho­to­graphs or­ga­nized to six sec­tions: City Land­scapes, The Four Sea­sons, Home of Birds, Di­verse So­ci­ety, Fes­ti­val Pa­rades and Chi­nese Cul­ture.

With his Asian looks and big cam­era in hand, Zhong is eas­ily mis­taken for just an­other tourist. His pho­tos pro­vide the dis­tinc­tion.

He has got­ten up at dawn to see the city be­fore it awak­ens, tak­ing a shot of a san­i­ta­tion worker clean­ing the de­serted TKTS stairs in Times Square that would be crammed with tourists in a few hours.

He snapped a photo of a mom, with a baby tucked at her side and a young son by her side, beam­ing with pride af­ter tak­ing part in the Cli­mate March. He cap­tured the real New York as a boy snoozed away on a stroller while his par­ents cheered on marathon run­ners.

On the cold­est day of this year, he went out to the Lu­nar New Year Pa­rade to take pho­tos of the clouds of peo­ple’s breath next to the Year of the Mon­key pup­pets.

Once in a while, he also cap­tured the per­spec­tive of a diplo­mat. From the bal­cony of the con­sulate, he took a bird’s-eye­view photo of peo­ple pack­ing the river­front for the Fourth of July fire­works.

To re­veal the com­plex­ity of the city, he shot the ar­ti­fi­cial limb of a home­less per­son with three young women jump­ing in flip-flops.

“I pon­dered how dif­fer­ent lives can be,” he wrote in the cap­tion.

Zhong’s works will be on dis­play at the Asian Cul­tural Cen­ter through May 5.

PHO­TOS BY HEZI JIANG / CHINA DAILY

A photo of Cen­tral Park in the fall taken by Zhong Ruim­ing (be­low), China’s deputy con­sul gen­eral in New York, is shown on Tues­day at the Asian Cul­tural Cen­ter, where Zhong launched his new pho­tog­ra­phy book NewYorkThroughtheLen­so­faChi­nese Diplo­mat.

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