Posts Tagged 'Samuel Palmer'

Market Day

Friday is market day in Sideng. Villagers from all over the valley come wending their way along the narrow paths down the mountains, in-between the terraced fields, walking single file with woven baskets on their backs to fill up with a week’s purchases, or herding along quick trotting pigs, dainty-hoofed donkeys.

They remind me of the shepherds walking to church in Samuel Palmer’s pictures. South China is a world away from Palmer’s visionary Kent but there’s something similar about the sudden round hills and steep narrow side valleys of Shaxi, the courtyard farms and wayside shrines, the clouds of white blossom, the long golden light of evening that seems to coat everything in dust and honey.

Back they go from the market, their baskets full of pea sprouts and pigs trotters, giant radishes and miniature mangoes, green canvas shoes and bright stripy skirts, mouldy tofu and flapping fish and fat pink incense sticks and whirling windmill toys for children…


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