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Deke Erh's bird's-eye view

TO capture Shanghai by air, a photographer needs sharp artistic eyes, daring and courage.

Veteran local photographer Deke Erh has all those qualities in abundance, as evidenced by his solo exhibition "Deke Erh's Shanghai - A Bird's-eye View 2010" on Taikang Road.

For 30 years he has recorded the changes in Shanghai from above, as well as ground level.

"Shooting from the air is not as terrifying as you think," he laughs. "For the past 30 years I have taken aerial photos of many beautiful cities in all kinds of small craft. When I look out upon cities from the clouds above, I get a very impressive perspective and I can see cities in transition."

He says Shanghai is the most impressive transformer of all.

In the 1980s when Erh photographed Shanghai from the air, the greatest part of the city center consisted of dark traditional houses and red-roofed shikumen (stone-gated) houses in longtang (lanes) along with some Western-style structures.

Pudong, at that time, was a beautiful countryside, crisscrossed by streams.

As the Expo approached, Erh again took to the skies.

"When our helicopter flew over the wetlands of Chongming Island, the rivers and grasses reminded me of what the city center of Shanghai was like 150 years ago," Erh says.

"Then the metropolis is unveiled with a stunning view of high-rises and beautiful buildings in different styles."

Erh says he was surprised by his latest aerial shooting expedition, calling it "a scenic explosion."

Most of the photos are in black and white, adding a documentary and historical touch.

Date: through June 22, 10am-5pm

Address: Bldg 2, 210 Taikang Rd

Tel: 6415-0675


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