|The Chinese are fond of making irrigation trenches and canals, diverting the water from streams and rivers for greater use. Here, in the Pearl River Delta region, when we go south to Zhuhai, on the ocean at one of the mouths of the river, ponds and irrigation trenches, and canals can be seen, everywhere along the way. This water village is, actually, in Guangzhou, China, on Guangzhou's university island, one of the larger islands in the river, in the Guangzhou greater metropolitan area. What we really love about this particular painting is how Shen has captured and honestly portrayed the the reality of life in China. To us, beauty is not equated with perfectly painted houses and perfectly manicured lawns but in the enterprising spirit of humankind. Along this back canal of the village you can enjoy the beauty of old homes that have stood up against the forces of nature for a long time and have survived. It reminds me of the places I have seen when I lived in the Chesapeake Bay area and on the Saint Laurence Seaway, and it is typical of life on the water.