Brunei Darussalam


The Louis Vuitton building in Guangzhou, China

Source: China Gallery |  © Jan Shim Photography

In Dec 2004, four months after I switched careers from IT to photography, one of the many exciting new possibilities that I looked forward to was Travel Photography genre regardless of whether it’s a paid-for shoot or just simply personal vacation time. One such work opportunity was my first ever trip to China where I visited Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou organised by Freme Travel.

Among the many places we had seen for the first time is this huge LOUIS VUITTON building in Guangzhou. Walking past a dimly lit alley after dinner, making our way back to our bus and puzzled by the familiarity of the LV mosaic patterns in the distance, I paused and looked up to find a breathtaking replica of their signature attache case. A few steps more and I found myself staring at the incredible LOUIS VUITTON building in Guangzhou.

This picture posted here was shot from the ground up against the night sky. If you click the link above you’ll understand. A year ago I posted this on a number of photograhpy forums, people made many wild guesses what it may be and some of the responses were just hilarious. Guesses included coffee table, luggage trunk, super chess board, photographic equipment case, Mah Jong case, caviar box  … the list goes on.

All I know is I don’t want my wife to find out what it is. ~ Jay

19 thoughts on “LOUIS VUITTON. A WORK OF ART.

    LV bags…. i tot of getting one small one though.. i am a poor trainee teacher at the moment. Can’t afford much.. But, from the shot that you took, it DOES look like a huge chess board though. haha…. but a designer chess board..

    It’s definitely exciting to choose photography over IT job. You can travel places!


  2. I thought of course it’s an LV luggage trunk, what else could it be – until I open your gallery.

    What an amazing architectural work of art.


  3. The interesting part of the evening isn’t so much the discovery of the LV building but rather what we were led to. A labyrinth of shops and escalators later, there was a highly secured door in one outlet behind which lies a room full of high end knock-offs. Funny considering the LV Building is just several blocks away!


  4. Stumble over page.

    I love that photo you posted as the first thing that came into my mind was, “Such a nice shot of a LV trunk!” but to realize it was the exterior of the LV boutique when I read further on.

    What’s the challenge you faced when you switched your career from IT to photography?

    I am studying business computing now and I am taking photography module as an elective. I honestly feel that I won’t be able to make it in the IT industry, at the same time, I am interested in photography.


  5. Like everyone else, I thought it was a trunk! What a wonderful surprise when I clicked on the link. I always enjoy looking at dramatic architectural statement, and this brought to mind a company here in the US called Longaberger. Its specialty is collectible handcrafted baskets. In fact, when you think Longaberger, you think basket. Its corporate office building is actually in the shape of a basket. Cool, huh?! Check it out on its website. 🙂


  6. After a few LV bags and wallets, I don’t think LV is really worth the money. It doesn’t seem like they have the craftsmenship that it should at the price per bag the retailer sells. Personally, I now prefer a Prada or Fendi bag. However, I have to admit the retailer does know how to market its product and provides a wide variety of bag selection in terms of style and color.


  7. @ Kel
    I just did and it’s incredible. Looks like someone went basket case and took the idea of living in a shoe a bit too literally. This is also the first time I hear about a basket business, a venture that would not survive or even take off in Asia unless it’s purely decorative. Asian shoppers still very much prefer the trolley/bag convenience all the way from the department store to their car!

    @ Jenny
    My take on designer products esp clothing is the prices are highly inflated based on perceived value. Knowing where to shop means you don’t pay the absurd retail prices that buyers in Asia pay. Case in point, a decade ago, when I visited USA, our first stop was Hawaii .. (back then Calvin Klein had just hit the stores in Asia and its line of clothing was very popular so prices were astronomical). What shocked me was how cheap these were in the States and that was during the good days of the US dollar too.

    Am I complaining? No. Not at all .. shopping is all about making one feel good. I am big on Esprit, FCUK (not limiting to these names, of course) and I know when I shop in Singapore, I am paying significantly more than if I had shopped in HK!


  8. I don’t want to mislead you by saying that Americans are not sophisticated. In fact, Americans are culturally enriched. While they have influences on new things, they also treasure specialty items such as hand woven baskets, and these baskets have since become collectible items as part of the American fabric. At an average cost of US$300-$500 (maybe more) per basket (depending on size), I doubt that the collectors are using these baskets for grocery shopping. I think we can learn a lot from them as we only treasure the new but we lack the maturity to learn and appreciate our past.

    For your information, we do have trolleys for our shopping needs but I guess you were taking a stab at making fun of my comments.


  9. we do have trolleys for our shopping needs but I guess you were taking a stab at making fun of my comments.

    Erm, no. Before you speficied the cost of the basket, I put myself in the shoes of an American and asked myself why I would need a basket if it were not for shopping or picnic (my imagination somewhat limited to TV and my weekly trips to the tamu). So I was right to have assumed that the baskets were strictly collector items.


  10. *stunned*

    THIS IS SUPER COOL, MAN! I thought it’s a trunk too! I always wonder why people love LV, blehz. Man, I need to work hard enough to afford one of this for my wife/mom next time, blehzz…


  11. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and this shot is brilliant! It looks like a well executed product shot with good studio lighting. I’ll never guess that this is a building.. lol..

    btw, i like your BW portrait. nicely done! 🙂


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