Drawing of Street Views in Italy

I posted some drawings of churches before. Here is another series of street views.

This is a street view of Cannes, France. The only drawing in France.

Below: The mall near the Milano Duomo. There are many luxury stores there.

The square of Venezia – the building of a hotel.

This is the San Macro Plaza in Venezia. The tower is the symbolic sign of the city.

The San Macro Plaza – the most magnificent square in Europe.

Obviously, the drawing is in very simple form, and I didn’t spend enough time to really draw the scene. We were always on the go, and time was so limited.

THese are the river view of Firenze and Venezia.

Electronic Power Towers

I have a mixed feeling toward the electronic power towers.

It is obviously not pleasant to get close to it, but it is not completely lack of artistic feeling.

I don’t know how many of you feel the same as myself – I have to admit that I enjoy watching and shooting the scene of power towers when I am on the highways…

People are Basically Good

What is the true meaning of this sentence:

People are basically good

That is the founding principle eBay was founded. Someone said it was John Locke (a person I am having strong interest in today) said that, although I suspect that. It is the base of many faith.

My naive question is: what is the true meaning of it? What is the philosophical meaning of it?

Anyone wants to point me to a good book about this?

Shi Shi Shi Shi – Chinese Pinyin

As many people knows, there are many different characters mapping to the same pronunciation. Thus, it is very hard to directly tell from a pronunciation what the original character is. Here is an interesting example, written by Zhao Yuan Ren in 1930.


If you directly use Pinyin to translate the article into something people from other countries can at least pronounce, just like people translate my name from my Chinese name to Wang Jian Shuo, here is the translation:

Shi Shi shi shi shi

Shishi shishi Shi Shi, shi shi, shi shi shi shi.

Shi shishi shi shi shi shi.

shi shi, shi shi shi shi shi.

Shi shi, shi Shi Shi shi shi.

Shi shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi shishi.

Shi shi shi shi shi shi, shi shishi.

Shishi shi, Shi shi shi shi shishi.

Shishi shi, Shi shi shi shi shi shi shi.

Shi shi, shi shi shi shi shi, shi shi shi shi.

Shi shi shi shi.

I know it is nightmare to read it.

Here is my translation of the article (well, just roughly)

A poet with last name Shi living in a room made of stone,

loved lions, and sware to eat ten lions.

Shi often go to market to see lions.

At ten o’clock, it happened that ten lions came to the market.

At thsi time, it happened that this Mr. Shi came to the market.

Mr. Shi looked at the ten lions, and used the power of arch, killed the ten lions.

Mr. Shi picked up the body of the ten lions, and got to the stone room.

The stone room was wet, Mr. Shi asked servant wipe the stone room.

The stone room was done, Mr. Shi started to try to eat the body of the ten lions.

When he started eating, he found out the ten lion body were actually ten stone lion body.

Try explaion this.

Another Drawing – Zhangsanfeng’s Milk Tea Shop

When I find some spare time and especially there is a cup of nice milk tea before me, I love to draw something. It was inspired by the Art of Travel, and other related books. By drawing, you observe the world more closely than you glance it. The actual result of the drawing is not important at all. It is the ACT of drawing that makes a difference. Here is my embarrassingly bad drawing, but I’d be happy to share.

Photograph by York

Photograph by York

Photograph by York

You can safely ignore all the characters above the photo – it was not mine. There are 30-50 sketch books like this in the shop, all full of essays and drawings. I could not find a bigger space than the one I found, so I shared the page with another stranger.

Another Drawing and Yifan

In Beijing, when I waited for a dinner to start, I brought out my notebook, and draw the following sketch. What is it?

I hope you can recognize the object from the embarrassingly bad drawing. It is the cover of a man-hole in Beijing.

Yifan and Camping

After the long and delayed Beijing trip, whole day of SJTU 113 Anniversary Gather on new Minhang Campus, and a full series of meeting on Sunday, I finally had the time to setup my camp on the same grand again (although I know most of my readers don’t think it is a camping, but for me, it is). Yifan loves it. Look!

It is a very big tent for Yifan. He can walk in and out without bowing.

Later, he found an extremely interesting thing to do – to put sand onto his father’s new 299 RMB shoes.

It IS very interesting that I ware the dirty shoes all day in my office, feeling that I do not belong to this space.

P.S. Wendy and I had slightly different opinions on Yifan’s behavior. Although we both agree that Yifan has the right to play sand, and we both agree that it is a little bit dirty for him to play the sand on the road, but I feel, it is not that dirty, and Wendy said, it is not acceptable… :-)

Facebook Friends

Long time ago, I have gave up Facebook. I know I am abusing Facebook, by accepting friends I don’t really know in real world. I know that, but today, I accepted another 76 new friend request. Oh. Before, I forget, I just had Matt Cohler. But it is one way street, and it is not easy to get back to the “normal way” to use Facebook with about 1000 friends.

Rob’s Skateboard Journey

Rob left a comment on my blog, and I learned about his amazing journey. He used 800 days to skateboard from Switzerland to Shanghai two days ago, and here is his journey.

I have shot an email to Rob asking whether he has time for a meetup in Shanghai. It is very like many of my crazy project, but his is much more crazier.

Enjoy these boundless thoughts and actions in this world!

P.S. Matt’s dance was another amazing piece:

Damian Woetzel showed the video to the audience during the YLF 2008 session.

My Drawings in Hong Kong

Alan de Botton suggested people to draw picture when they travel. Drawing picture helps people to focus on beauty and learn why it is so, and discover the unique beauty in the scene, then, try to explain it with drawing.

In the character named “Procession of Beauty”, he quoted Ruskin’s saying:

“I believe that the sight is a more important thing than the drawing ; and I would rather teach drawing that my pupils may learn to love nature, than teach the looking at nature that they may learn to draw.”

So, encouraged by Ruskin, and Alan, I started to draw with a hard-to-use ball pen on the back of the hotel notice. Here are two.

The United Center

Above is the view I see when I was waiting for check-out. I sat there, and spent about 10 minutes or more to draw this one.

Here is the photo from the same view:

Gate 15 of Hong Kong Airport

When I was waiting at Gate 15 of the Hong Kong Airport for my China Eastern Airlines flight, I took another hotel notice, and draw what I saw on the back. Due to time limitation, I didn’t draw the roof well, and the relative size of the ticket counter on the left is also wrong. Anyway, this is what I got:

Here is photo from the same view:

The Difference between Drawing and Camera

There is no way anyone can draw a picture as complete as a photo, or even more impossible to be exactly the same as the nature of itself. But as suggested in the Art of Travel, nothing (either camera or simply be there) can substitute the process of observing. Only after observing the nature for long enough, careful enough, and pro-active enough can someone really keeps the nature in his/her own mind.

Personally, the difference between draw a picture of a place and taking a photo is that, if I draw a picture, I can draw pretty much the same one later without looking at the picture or the scene itself (it is in my memory); while if I take a photo, there is no way that I can draw it out. It is just in the photo, not my heart.

I also encourage people to draw. Well. I don’t feel too embarrassed when people see how bad my drawing is. It is just a way to reach better observation of the scene.

P.S. Below are the bigger versions of the same two drawings.

Look at my Drawing

In the 5G Review Shanghai meeting yesterday night, I spent 1 hour drawing two pictures. I didn’t learn drawing before, so they are the first few “real” drawing I created. Check if it is good.

Original object

Hand drawn by Jian Shuo Wang. April 06, 2006

Hand drawn by Jian Shuo Wang. April 06, 2006

Don’t take me wrong. I found drawing can help me concentrate to the topic – just like staring at scene outside the train window helps deep thinking; listening music can inspire one’s mind, drawing in meeting can help fill in the consciousness with something, so to cultivate deeper think.

Drawing itself was inspired by Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

I can Recognize Orders Now

I’m reading Shi Jian’s The Soul of the Land (《大地之灵》) (Chinese book, ISBN 7-80603-252-5). I learnt the three orders or organizational systems of classical western architecture. I am very happy about the new knowledge. Whenever I look at a western style building now, I can quickly recognize the language they use – it’s like a secret code between the architect and me, so I get more information about the building.

I browsed my old photo gallery on my computer. Many buildings in Shanghai borrowed the orders from Greek. I admire the small country who spread its culture to the world.

Photo 1: The transformed Doric Order of the Shanghai Exhibition Center:


© Jian Shuo Wang.

Photo 2: The Ionic order of the Shanghai Concert Hall:


© Jian Shuo Wang. The Shanghai Concert Hall before it was moved to the new location

The Shanghai traditional resident buildings are mixture of both Chinese and western architectural style. I took the picture below on Oct 21, 2004 in the area near Xintiandi. Look at the Ionic orders on the second floor. It is a resident building with traditional Chinese roof and Ionic orders. This should be the last photo of this beautiful house. It was tore down about one month later. It is the typical fate of nice Shanghai traditional houses. When one small apartment of the building on the same land raises to 7000 USD/sq. meter, who can resist the offer to tear them down and build something new? When I was interviewed in New York, I talked about this issue.


© Jian Shuo Wang

The area in Luwan District still remains large areas of such houses. Take of the picture below. I hope after 2 years from now on, they are stil there.


© Jian Shuo Wang. Large area of old houses in Shanghai. Taken from the top of the Corporate Avenue Building

Next time, I will visit the Bund again. I believe it will no longer be the previous Bund I saw.

I will continue to read about the Chinese traditional architecture part and hopefully, be able to read more from the silent houses. Maybe I will visit the Zhuo Zheng Yuan for the third time with the new knowledge.

Art? Art!

I don’t like art – actually, I like art but cannot understand it. I am always puzzled when I am left before a painting or anything that is created by an artist. That is bad.

But it seems changed. Tonight I took some very good photos that give me the feeling that it is a piece of artwork. Why? Since it gives me the same feeling as others – I cannot understand, but looks like artistic.

Take a look at this, what it is?

I name it “Red! Red! Red!”

Another one:

Don’t call it “Blue! Blue! Bule!”. I need a name for this one. Do you have any suggestions?

This should definitively called as DNA.

What is this then?

I actually using the digital camera and set the shuttle speed to about 8 second. Thus I capture the lights in the dark that I can never see with our own eyes. They are beautiful, aren’t they? The last picture is taken using the Neg. Art function, which reverse the color.

Also on today

  • Raymond invited to be an co-writer for his Tiger Cafe. It is a pleasant surprise. I accepted the invition quickly.