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Reg Murphy

A Visual Essay

Cristina Raszewski

on 22 June 2010

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Transcript of Reg Murphy

Double click anywhere & add an idea For decades the Chinese culture has been shrouded in secrecy and protected by walls, both literal and figurative. The militaristic and academic achievements of China throughout history have created a society little understood by the rest of the world. Many fail to look at China and see individuals that laugh and participate in sports; they instead see a society controlled by conformity and tradition. While these are moral imperatives of the Chinese culture, there is also a pull, particularly by the younger generation, to bring certain elements of globalization within the walls of China. These individuals want the opportunity to reach out and become a part of the greater global world, while also encouraging other cultures to gain a greater appreciation of the amazing virtues of the Chinese culture. The rest of the world is tentatively being offered the opportunity to view the attributes that make China unique and follow the Chinese as they head down the path of becoming a global power. China is no longer surrounded by the great wall of secrecy they have had in the past, nor are they shunning (running from) interaction with the rest of the world, yet they are not cheering and accepting a world in which everything is westernized. Rather, China has begun to cautiously allow other cultures to explore their rich heritage and have curiously viewed the progression taken by other countries allowing certain elements deemed acceptable to seep into Chinese society. It is in light of this that we are able to truly see the multicultural and global nature of the world we live in and just how much China has to add to that abundant diversity, both past and present.

Visual Essay: An Exploration of China -- Past and Present through Reginald Murphy's Photos This visual essay attempts to explore present day impressions of China through the historical photographs of Reginald Murphy. There is much that is misunderstood about the Chinese culture, both historically and in the present. When viewing these images from the early 1970’s I was struck by the symbolism that could be drawn from many of them in relation to today’s China and our increasingly global society. The argument between the so-called “panda-huggers” and “dragon slayers” can be seen through these images, as well as the incredible similarities and differences between the people and culture of China and the United States. These images illustrate the importance of acknowledging similarities and differences in both the past and present and finding ways to understand cultures different from our own in this global age.
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