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Floating Bicycle Commuters 8

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

Riding a bicycle after a couple glasses of wine might make you feel as though you are floating. But until now I had never imagined what it might look like to actually float while riding a bicycle.

Chinese photographer/artist Zhao Huasen’s “Floating” exhibit shows exactly that: regular everyday people floating while riding invisible bicycles.

Huasen digitally erased the bicycle out of photos of people riding bicycles, but left the bicycle’s shadow and the people.

A few things stand out for me in this exhibit. First of all, the shadows of the bicycles illustrate that these people are using everyday city bicycles – several of which are equipped with baskets.

Similarly, the people on these bicycles are dressing for the destination, not for the ride. You will see a girl dressed in her school uniform, while the adults seem to be dressed for work. It is very difficult to find bicycle commuters wearing “cycle gear” in China.

The photos also illustrate the upright nature of the bicycles. Upright bicycles provide a more natural and comfortable sitting position, while elevating the rider to be able to better see her surroundings. They also foster a more relaxing pace and help remove ourselves from the feeling of being part of the “rat race”.

Lastly, this exhibit illustrates how intimate bicycling can be. Unlike sitting in a car, you can see the man and (presumably) his daughter in the following photo are cozy and the father is embracing and protecting his child while riding.

Being in a car fosters a more distant, disconnected experience between a parent and their child, while bicycling often encourages closeness.

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

Chinese bicycle commuters - by Zhao Huasen

“Floating” series – by Zhao Huasen (photos posted with permission)

This exhibit was spotted on the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain’s Bike Blog Roundup.

James D. Schwartz is the Editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

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  • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

    These are awesome photos…thanks for finding and sharing them. As always, I’m loving your blog.

    Darryl

    • http://www.theurbancountry.com James Schwartz

      As always, thanks Darryl :)

  • http://lovingthebike.com/ Darryl is Loving the Bike

    These are awesome photos…thanks for finding and sharing them. As always, I’m loving your blog.

    Darryl

  • http://www.theurbancountry.com/ James Schwartz

    As always, thanks Darryl :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.rubbo Mike Rubbo

    I like the info you glean from the doctored photos, the type of bikes etc. I wonder if the artist intentionally selected out hunched over riders in Lycra.

    Perhaps he felt that their postures and clothes would give too much away, say to strongly, “cyclist” He wanted to keep it more ambiguous and let the shadows do the talking

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.rubbo Mike Rubbo

    I like the info you glean from the doctored photos, the type of bikes etc. I wonder if the artist intentionally selected out hunched over riders in Lycra.

    Perhaps he felt that their postures and clothes would give too much away, say to strongly, “cyclist” He wanted to keep it more ambiguous and let the shadows do the talking

  • Tkeen

    People floating in mid-air should be licensed and have to obey traffic laws like everyone else.

  • Tkeen

    People floating in mid-air should be licensed and have to obey traffic laws like everyone else.