Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NewYorkers | Shīfu Shi Yan Ming

Update: It appears the producers of this video belatedly decided not to allow other blogs to embed the documentary. I think it's a tad silly but it's their prerogative. As I mentioned at the bottom of this post, the video can be viewed on its Vimeo page.

It's not difficult to acknowledge that New York City is the repository of some of the most interesting and diverses characters in the world...and this proves it.

One of my very favorite multimedia projects was the well known 'One In 8 Million' series by The New York Times which was a series of personal profiles of New Yorkers presented as two-minute audio slide shows with photographs by Todd Heisler. I regretted it came to an end after only a year...but I used some of the audio slideshows in my classes at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop.

I am very glad to have found a similar and very well done effort by New Yorkers; a project conceived by the partners (all native New Yorkers themselves) of Moonshot Productions (a full service production company in NYC). They describe the intent of this effort is to "create a recurring short documentary series highlighting New Yorkers from all walks of life told through the prism of each person’s vocation."

I was interested in the story of Shīfu Shi Yan Ming, a Shaolin Warrior Monk, who defected to the United States in 1992 and established a Shaolin temple, teaching philosophy and martial arts to youngsters and celebrities. The Shaolin temple teaches Chan philosophy through the disciplines of martial arts or action meditation such as Gongfu (Kung Fu) Taiji Quan (Tai Chi) and Qigong (Chi Kung).

More details on the Shaolin Warrior Monk is on The Atlantic. You can watch the documentary on Vimeo as well.

Two footnotes: New Yorkers also features Colin Huggins, the well known Piano Man, who I see often playing his instrument in Washington Square Park, and Phil Mortillaro, the locksmith, whose tiny store is in my neighborhood.

Yes, very well done! And an inspiration for my own NYC street photography and multimedia.

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