Faces We Love Shanghai

Capturing Honest, Human Moments

Non-Fiction - Art/Photography
240 Pages
Reviewed on 03/24/2022
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Author Biography

Derek Muhs is an entrepreneur, and has been investing in real estate, health care and media. Derek was a producer on two award winning documentaries, and then founded Human Touch Media. As a world traveler and 25 year volunteer he enjoys capturing the stories of everyday people through visual storytelling. In 2022 he launched Faces We Love, a private collection of photographs capturing one of his favorite cities in the world, Shanghai. Human Touch Media projects have been featured on Netflix, along with international film and photography festivals including TriBeCa.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Marie-Hélène Fasquel for Readers' Favorite

Faces We Love Shanghai by Derek Muhs and Marisa Tarin is an extraordinary compilation of photographs starring the people of Shanghai. Each picture is complemented by a short description, a sentence, a thought which is shared with us and which we can choose to read after having seen the photograph or before studying it. I personally preferred to start with the picture and try understanding what the aim of the photographer was. Moreover, it is mentioned in the foreword that, "the function of the artist is to disturb". I am not sure this is about disturbing the persons being photographed, but more for us as the audience; to make us think, to make us reflect on customs, traditions, differences.

Faces We Love Shanghai by Derek Muhs and Marisa Tarin is a fabulous work of art mixing writing in its conciseness and straightforwardness with the art of photography. Two different ways of expressing ideas, thoughts, but also of sharing emotions. The whole work focuses on the people who are making a country, who are the real pieces of a puzzle, of a specific, unique community. The pictures are magnificent, the texts are telling. The questions make us doubt what we see and dig deeper. We feel immersed in another community as we examine this superb collection of snapshots. The artists share multiple views, pictures, places, instants, thus giving us a hint of a deeper, stronger message and diverse lifestyles. A great job and a perfect gift for your loved ones.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

When we think of visiting Shanghai as a tourist, we might first think of seeing the historic sites, like the Bund or the City God Temple, or the Yu Garden. Even the extensive Lujiazui skyline is a sight to behold. But do these sites hold the heart and soul of the community itself? Like anywhere else in the world, to fully appreciate the real Shanghai, one must discover it, look beyond the posh tourist sites, explore the backstreets and alleys and look into the eyes of the local people. For it’s in the people that one will discover the untold stories that make a city a community full of life, more than a mere tourist destination.

Derek Muhs and Marisa Tarin have compiled a collection of stunning photographs in their book, Faces We Love Shanghai. The book, the photographs, reveal the true heart and soul of Shanghai. The book shares photographs of people: smiles, tears, their faces marking the breadth of time and the intensity of a life well-lived. These people are what makes a community come alive, but these people are also what so many ignore or miss. We often hear the profound words that a “picture is worth a thousand words.” This collection reveals a compendium of images that each, on their own, is worth more than a thousand words. This is a book to be savored and enjoyed many times over. Beautiful, heartwarming, compassionate photographs.

K.C. Finn

Faces We Love Shanghai is a work of non-fiction in the art and photography subgenres. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was compiled by creative team Derek Muhs and Marisa Tarin from contributions made by numerous photographers. The book is a collection of photographs taken of the people of Shanghai, focusing on the everyday lives of ordinary people as they come together as a community to support each other through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The book takes us on a journey of emotions to celebrate the people of Shanghai through the photography of their most authentic moments.

This collection of images is a beautiful look into the lives of real people captured during fascinating and mundane moments that demonstrate an understanding of the human experience that makes life such a beautiful and worthwhile experience. Derek Muhs and Marisa Tarin both have gifted eyes as photographers and curators to have sought out and recorded these moments in ordinary strangers' lives. The images are each familiar and yet unfamiliar, taking experiences and relationships that we recognize but showing us in the context of strangers to remind us that every perspective is different, every story unique. Overall, Faces We Love Shanghai is a powerful celebration of the real people who live their lives in the nooks and crannies of the world’s great cities, the individuals who make up the cultures we love and recognize around the world. An absolute essential for the photography fan and for students of the human condition.

Angela Yang

上海我日日夜夜想你 ! As a Shanghai native who had not been back for many years, this book brought a tear to my eyes. Normally when I mention Shanghai to people, they think skyscrapers, bright lights and traffic, OR cramped back alleys with steamy noodle shops. Now, they may think of serious pandemic lockdowns and just what they see in the news recently. The pictures here are a reminder of all the humanity in between. I love to see those smiling faces, the people at work, the children playing, just normal human life. 谢谢 to the photographers for capturing my home town so well!