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Saturday August 02, 2014
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Morath and Miller

 

continued

The fisherman on his lovely raft who poles himself along will doubtless welcome the outboard motor, even if it leaves a pencil-thin trail of spilled oil in the water, and the squatting women beating their wash on the banks can hardly be blamed for staring at magazine pictures of washing machines, as they must have done by now. I stare at them in their motorless silence along their crystal river and hope that they manage better than we have.



In contrast to these timeless rural images, a photo of two workers in Beijing's "fine arts factory" shows old culture produced by new methods. A young girl bends over a chunk of rock she is carving with a delicate electric drill. The drill bit, cooled by a steady stream of water, creates what a Morath journal entry calls "delicate chains of jade, lacelike bottles, and pendants of miniature coral trees."

Modern-day China's urban car traffic and pollution are evoked by their absence in a photo (above) of a bicycle-filled street in Bei-

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