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French photographer Christophe Jacrot's "La traversée" captures rainy scenes in different cities.

French photographer Christophe Jacrot’s “La traversée” captures rainy scenes in different cities.

LOS ANGELES — I love the rain, and especially the aesthetic of rain. I always think back to the work of Hiroshige, whose rainy woodcut prints famously inspired Van Gogh’s impressionistic landscapes.

“Le petit chaperon rouge”, shot in Paris.

A photo essay from My Modern Met tipped me off to the work of French artist Christophe Jacrot. Jacrot has spent time photographing two very different cities in the rain — Hong Kong and Paris — and he captures so well the feeling of rain descending on a city and the way it reshapes and reformats life on the streets.

Here’s what Jacrot said in his artist statement:

In my opinion, there are two ways of capturing the world for a photographer; on the one hand grasping its horror, and on the other sublimating it. I have chosen the second. More specifically, I like the way rain, snow and “bad weather” awaken a feeling of romantic fiction within me (climatic excesses are another topic).

I’m personally drawn most to his Hong Kong scenes.  The city, which inspired the 1983 sci-fi classic Bladerunner‘s futuristic aesthetic but where people still live in houseboats, is a lovely intersection of past and present, East and West. The addition of rain slows down city life and, in Jacrot’s photos, brings it to life. You can see more of Jacrot’s work on his web site.

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An Xiao

Artist An Xiao (aka An Xiao Mina) photographs, films, installs, performs and tweets and has shown her work in publications and galleries internationally. Find her online at @anxiaostudio...