Click for full-size image

This is Part 5 of a  six-part photo essay by Beijing-based student and artist Liu Qilin, who recently finished his freshman year of undergraduate study at Beijing Normal University. Liu, who goes by the English name Jady, is founder of the Beijing Hutong Team, a loose collective of artists and creatives united in a desire to document Beijing’s inner-city alleys (胡同, hutong), which are currently undergoing a process of “renovation” that many feel is stripping them of their historical and cultural charm.

Liu Qilin says about this photo:

One day while walking in the hutong I came across these very delicate stone carvings, a vivid and lifelike tableau of bird feathers and foliage. The four characters at the top, 百鸟朝凤, are a Chinese idiom translating to “all birds look up to the phoenix” — this is both an image and phrase common in traditional Chinese art, and also the name of a recent Chinese film about the traditional musical instrument, suona.

Follow Beijing Hutong Team on Facebook or WeChat (@BeijingHutongTeam)