Some of the pictures in a photo exhibition at Salon Vogue in Citic Square zoom in on a group of Shanghai women going about their daily lives.
Three local photographers - He Zhaoya, Zhang Weimin and Zhu Fan - give their individual interpretations of the city and its people through their pictures at the exhibition, entitled "Shanghai Mood."
Among the works are some 50 photographs featuring a group of local ladies and they are the most eye-catching in the show.
"In my definition, Shanghai women are well-educated females who have good taste in life," says He, a 40-something female photographer. "They usually have delicate white skin, slim figures and soft facial features. They can be ordinary but when seen with women from other regions, they just stand out."
He's pictures feature women she knows. When chatting with them in her small apartment, she began to approach their inner world of feminine sorrow and joy. Soon their charisma was captured by her camera.
The women are not glamorous cover girls or fashion queens. When seen in black and white, they radiate a romantic air whether walking on the street, sitting at a bar or standing in front of a church. Most of them, He says, are ordinary white-collar workers, lawyers or teachers.
He says she prefers to capture her subjects in a state of waiting, although what they are waiting for differs from woman to woman. This adds a somewhat melancholy emotion to the photographs.
"Some say that my photos are unique and have a narrative touch and I am glad to hear that," He says. "At least, I have made my voice heard in the mostly male-dominated photographic field."
Perhaps she is too obsessed by the bygone era of the 1930s, as the ladies she depicts are reminiscent of those in Eileen Chang's novels.
Like Chang, He also dwells on the downside of women's lives.
"Most women are fragile and easily touched. But when the years go by, they find little fun in life and their passions fade with the erosion of time," she says.
He confesses that she also feels pessimistic about life sometimes but her camera has enabled her to push away depression.
"I am still in a struggle to acquire permanent harmony in my life and to conquer my age," she says.
Apart from He's pictures, Zhu's photographic series on Shanghai's old shikumen (stone-gate) houses offers a new way of viewing this often repeated subject. Zhu uses computer graphic skills to process the photographs, as though they were created by brushstrokes in a painting.
Date: through January 23, 10am-9pm
Address: LG/F, 1168 Nanjing Rd W.