Lens-Artists Challenge – East Meets West

It’s no secret how much I love Japan. There’s always been something about Japanese Culture that attracted me. Going there only made those feelings stronger and I’m still longing for a chance to go back again. Amy’s challenge is all about the differences and similarities of East and West (or North and South) and as soon as I started thinking about it, I realised that they meet everywhere. There’s a constant presence and influence of both cultures, past and present.

You can click on the galleries for a better look and more info.

Firstly, we’ll have a look of when the East comes to us, on the Western hemisphere. The Chinese Lanterns exhibition at the Edinburgh Zoo a few years ago was a magical experience. And then, obviously, every time there’s fireworks display, a little bit of China is on show.

When I started looking for images for this challenge I’ve noticed this love affair for the East is an old one and even had its own name: chinoiserie.

I cannot resist a Japanese style garden and the thing I enjoy the most is seeing how the ones here end up being a soft mix of east and west. The traditional aspects are there but there’s a bit of less control over the finer details and that is what makes them unique and interesting.

If there’s an influence of the East here on the West, does the same happens there? We went to Japan for the first time 11 years ago. The cultural shock was bigger than I anticipated and I was awestruck.

So, when you see something written in Portuguese, on the other side of the world and when you least expect it, the warm feeling in your belly is exciting and comforting.

Suddenly you notice how small the world is and that no man really is an island. The exchange in cultures is ever present. The different imageries are interpretated within new contexts, things are now slightly different. The Hibiya Garden in Tokyo is a Western style garden, the only one we found while we where there. It’s obviously different from the other gardens in the city and although it looks like any garden in Europe, there’s something not quite the same.

East meets West in people too… Because of Love or, because they are attracted to the western culture…

Or even when my name is written also in Japanese (I think!)

Finally, it’s a small world in our gardens too, where most of my favourite flowers are originally from, yes you guessed it, the East!

Last week we had an amazing challenge with Patti. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone’s take on it. This week Amy is hosting with a challenge with the potential to be as wide as the world. Her post is brilliant, as always. I invite you to have a look and to join us. Remember to link back to her original post and to tag Lens-Artists so we can find you.

Next week we have guest host Bren from Brashley Photography with “Lowering That Clarity To Bring Softness” as the theme.  Until then, take care.

You can find more information about the Lens-Artists Challenge here.

Posted for Amy’s Lens-Artists Challenge


35 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge – East Meets West

  1. I love your post, Sophia. Beautiful photo selections and stories for this East meets West theme. The Chinese lantern displays in Edinburgh are so very special. I know “the warm feeling in your belly” when we saw the lion dancing in Bangkok and the Chinese garden in Portland… East meets West in people is very cool!! And, these flowers are so sweet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a clever idea Sofia – you juxtaposed the challenge very cleverly!! It never occurred to me to include American-isms (like McDonald’s) in China or Chinese food in the US (altho actually they don’t have much in common LOL). Anyway, loved your approach and all of the images. The flowers are especially beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful photos as always, Sofia. The idea you shared about one culture influencing another is so true, whether in positive or negatives ways. The world is so much smaller today due to technology so the idea exchange and influences can go even more quickly. In times past, the spread was much slower. Food for thought.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have created a very nice post. A few days ago we discussed with my sons the possibility of visiting Japan, although we will have to wait until retirement to be able to make a leisurely trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post and liked seeing your name on the scroll
    Also, good point about fireworks and china connection!
    Your post really did show “how small the world is and that no man really is an island.”
    Such a pleasant thought to keep with us

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Stunning. I loved the comparisons you made that make our connections to the world closer. We are not worlds away like we sometime think. I love that you found the word to identify your feelings for the East. chinoiserie. Always stunning photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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