Tao Keming is a resident and a celebrity of Dagongyuan Community, Shuangta Subdistrict. Over 40 years this photography enthusiast has taken photos of Suzhou’s gardens and streets, recording ordinary people’s lives and the changes within the city.
On September 25 Tao Keming brought his collection of photos to the community hall of Dagongyuan Community for an exhibition.
“These photos I preserved are precious old photos. The oldest one was taken in the 1930s, and the latest one was taken over 20 years ago. I have nearly 100 of them,” said Tao Keming.
Tao Keming especially likes a photo he named “Two Dragons Play in Water”, an image depicting the Precious Belt Bridge and another bridge, which is no longer there, lying parallel alongside the Grand Canal. Tao said he took this photo in 1984, when he was entrusted to take photos to mark the development of Suzhou. “I spent a whole day on the roof of a building in the chemical fiber plant by the Grand Canal. I used a whole roll of film that day.”
Some of his collections are family photos. “This photo of Tiger Hill was shot in the 1930s. The person in the photo was a relative of my wife. He was in a gown and a mandarin jacket. He took a trip to Shanghai in order to get it printed out,” said Tao Keming.
“I am growing old now, but photography is still an important part of my life. I can’t sleep well if I don’t take a few photos during the day,” said Tao.
Tao Keming plans to donate his photo collection of Suzhou Gardens to the Suzhou Gardens and Greening Management Bureau.