Fujifilm travel documentary photography in China: The Thousand Pillar House & Bifeng Study
SIZHAI VILLAGE, ZHUJI, CHINA
The Thousand Pillar House was built in 1798 during the Jiaqing Period of the Qing Dynasty.
It was the home of Si Yuanru, a wealthy businessman of his time. Si Yuanru constructed the Bifeng Study at the same time, and the building that sat behind The Thousand Pillar House served as a school for his children and grandchildren. Today, The Thousand Pillar House continues to house residents but the Bifeng Study is no longer operational.
The Thousand Pillar House (千柱屋)
Complete respect for this elderly lady who still has the energy and strength to transport bulky goods the manual way.
A resident soaking up the morning sun.
A resident lays out vegetables for drying.
This elderly man was very welcoming and wasn’t bothered even though I was pointing my camera right at him.
Meals are home-cooked with fresh produce everyday. Lunch is served at 11am, and dinner at 5pm.
A resident chopping wood while his wife looks on.
The villagers’ daily life involves a lot of manual work. Chores like this is something we will never have to do in Singapore.
Most homes have the portrait of Mao Zedong up on the wall.
Most of the residents are elders who live alone. There are only a handful of elders who still live with their children and grandchildren. Many of the younger generation have moved to the cities.
A young boy playing with a toy rifle.
A friendly game of cards to pass time. The pace of life is slow, and human interactions are sincere.
A resident going about his chores.
A resident prepares tea leaves for roasting.
Laying them in the machine for roasting.
The end product!
The hazy atmosphere was caused by the roasting of tea leaves.
Walked past this unit and was intrigued by the juxtaposition of modern-day balloons against an old building that was centuries old!
Peeked through the windows of an empty room and saw chickens running around.
A resident taking a break.
A resident examining his tools while his wife looks on.
He could still bark at me although he was muzzled.
I have no idea what breed this is, check out those teeth.
A pleasant sight that greeted me upon stepping out of the school.
The pathway behind The Thousand Pillar House leading to the Bifeng Study.
The same pathway, but this time, leading back to The Thousand Pillar House.
A poetic sight just outside the main doors of the school.
The main hall where students used to gather to study.
A lookout spot within the school building.
Another lookout spot, and probably the kind of view that inspired good poetry.
History of the Bifeng Study.