Snorre Moen

© Snorre Moen

Shangrila | Zhongdian | China

The town is split between Tibetan and ethnic Han residents, as well as a fair smattering of Naxi, Bai, Yi and Lisu, with the surrounding countryside entirely Tibetan. While the crass name change in 2001 was a sign of the desire for increasing mass tourism a la Lijiang, the town has got nowhere near Lijiang's crowds, and it's still possible to experience the area's Tibetan heritage and see gorgeous countryside in almost near isolation. Zhongdian was renamed Shangrila for marketing reasons. Signs in bus stations still use Zhongdian. There is also a third name in Tibetan, Gyelthang. The original Shangrila, from James Hilton's novel The Lost Horizon, was a (fictional) hidden paradise whose inhabitants lived for centuries. Hilton (who never went to China) located his Shangri-La in the Kunlun Mountains. However, elements of his story were apparently inspired by National Geographic articles about various places in eastern Tibet (including Zhongdian); hence China's rationale for claiming the name. A big part of the "old town" was burnt down on 11 January 2014. Luckily enough I was there the autumn of 2013 so I was able to capture the spirit and feeling of the original old town before it was gone forever.

Norway | Nature

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. A. Einstein

Norway is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I am not a nature photographer, but as a Norwegian I enjoy nature and usually I bring the camera. Here are some pictures from trips and places where I was more than happy that I had brought the camera - and because of this I´m able to share these moments.


Beijing | Cityscapes

The development of Beijing has been on high speed drug the last 15 years. The city is rapidly changing with modern architecture and foreign influences. But to me the city still has a genuine soul and the modern contrasts the old in an interesting way. It is a city that will add another 10-20 million inhabitants the next 10-15 years to it´s already +20 million - so no wonder the rush… I like to just walk around in the city - I don´t cover much area, but what I see is more.

“Walkers are 'practitioners of the city,' for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Beijing | People

In a city with more than 20 million people there is no shortage of people to photograph. The challenge is to capture people and their expressions in a brief moment there and then, because the moment never comes back. Beijing still has a lively street culture and people are generally friendly. Here are some moments from Beijing which I hope gives an impression of the street culture and the people who live here.

Beijing | Backstreets

You are never many meters away from an interesting backstreet in Beijing. The hutongs are the most famous alley environment in Beijing and is one of the few things that Beijing has that you can´t find anywhere else. But a backstreet with homes, shops and restaurants from the last two centuries can be equally interesting and lively. Here is a mix of images from the hutongs and some newer backstreets.