One of the most incredible things I saw while exploring Beijing was the Underground City, also known as Dixia Cheng. It is a series of tunnels compromising a bomb shelter that was constructed in the 1970s in anticipation of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Thank goodness it never needed to be used for that purpose. I spent an afternoon doing some urban spelunking and wandering the tunnels with my Hasselblad. The tunnels were dark and damp and filled with some odd artifacts, like a series of folding chairs with framed portraits of communist leaders, including Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Chiang Kai-Shek. There is even a portrait of Karl Marx that from a distance looks like Frederick Douglass.
Several years ago I went go Beijing. Like any other traveler I wanted to explore the streets, meet the people and experience the culture which is vastly different from my own. But as a photographer I also wanted to capture my personal experiences there. Everywhere I went my head swiveled from back and forth from side to side trying to take it all in. So I began wandering the streets with my Noblex 35mm panoramic camera. With this camera I was able to capture what I was seeing all around me. It's a trip I won't soon forget and I can't wait for the opportunity to go back.