Tag Archives | Photography – Shanghai

Merry Christmas! Here’s a gift for everyone, the free iBook ‘ASIA’ with my best photos from 2005-2010.

Check out a preview from the book:

You can download the iBook version for the iPhone and iPad free of charge right here:
You can download the book directly if you open the link from an iPhone or iPad. If you download it with a computer, just import it into iTunes afterwards and sync it to your device.

You can also order a beautiful hardcopy through Blurb:
I recommend the premium paper, it really makes a difference.

Merry Christmas, and a happy new year!

– Jakob


Alchemist Cocktail Kitchen Shanghai: Digital Poster Outdoor Advertising.

A unique molecular gastro-lounge by prolific restaurateur Kelley Lee. Expect creative cocktails deconstructed, turned inside out, frozen with liquid nitrogen and garnished with vapors. There is also a menu of bar bites featuring some exotic snacks like crispy sweetbread and truffled oxtail sliders and popcorn pig brain with jalapeno-gribiche emulsion.
This video was directed, shot and edited by Jakob Montrasio for an outdoor advertising screen.


Going Home: So Long, and Thanks for All the Chickenfeet.

Jakob going homeStarting March 15th, I will be working as a video producer for a large advertising agency based out of Saarbrücken. It’s really a win / win situation, not only for me, but for us, my family, my friends… Not only will we be able to enjoy living in Germany and Europe, but we’ll also live near my parents and near my friends, they are in my hometown, and just an hour away. Also, I should be able to get back to Shanghai and Asia every once in a while for video jobs, as the agency wants me to keep doing those here.

So how do you sum up the experience of over five years of living in China in a blog entry? It’s nearly impossible, unless I make the longest entry ever written by me out of this. I would really like to go into detail and explain very clearly what is making me move out of China by remembering the past, but it’s just too much right now. There’s some unfinished business, we have to pack, deal with Shangdown: The Way Of The Spur and other things. I will only quickly mention the main reasons.

The first and biggest reason of them all is our sweet daughter Emily, she deserves a safe and peaceful childhood, and I can offer her that. Looking at her growing up here in Shanghai reminded me of my own childhood, and China simply stands no chance against Germany in many aspects: Sanitation, insurance, society, safety, honesty, weather, quality of living, education system, politics and much more. What disappointed me recently the most was the Expo 2010 and the fact that the slogan “Better City, Better Life” was nothing more than toxic hot air. Don’t get me wrong, Shanghai is a fantastic city in many other aspects, especially for young people and singles, but as soon as you hit the family road, you realize just how terrible it is to live here with children. There is barely any nature, at least nearby, most venues are not family friendly, people in the park spit all the time and ruin it one way or another, the roads are dirty and all that… So many reasons.

Another reason is the increase of cost in Shanghai. Our apartment price went up by almost 15% last year. This year, the landlord is raising it by another 20%! Food is getting more expensive. Services of any kind are. Everything is getting more expensive. But it’s hard to charge customers so much more to compensate, and there is more and more and cheaper competition. Less productions, more bargaining. I think we are at the point where China got on it’s feet, and now it wants to try walking by itself.

There will be many, almost countless things that I’m leaving behind happily, but there are also things I will miss a lot, friends, food, work… And so on. It will be quite a challenge for us to get back and used to the life in the western world, especially for my wife. But she wanted it, learned German B1 at the Göthe Institute in Xi’An and looks forward to moving to Germany. And on a professional level, I feel I have learned as much as possible here, and will develop more skills in Germany.

I look forward to our new home, and to keep revisiting the city that both formed and changed my life.

So long, Shanghai!


Moving in Shanghai – Shanghai’s biggest guerilla event ever.

Media Markt opened it’s first store in Shanghai last week, and they did it with a bang! 40 trucks drove all over the city and delivered boxes to 1.000 movers, who then walked through Shanghai, raising the attention of the opening. In the evening, there were 3D shows on the giant building on Huaihai road as well as a uncountable amount of spectators and customers. What do I have to do with all this? I was one of the camera men hired by DVP China who captured this crazy day on camera. Enjoy the video!


Goodbye Shanghai – Adam Christian Clark’s award-winning short film now online!

While embezzling $14 billion from a Chinese bank for the US government, two Western bankers grab $15 million in cash for themselves. They store it in an upright bass case and wander the streets of Shanghai, waiting for their morning departure. When the more experienced of the two insists they spend their last night partying in a local club, the night takes a wild turn. Goodbye Shanghai explores the negative effects of Western imperialism on modern Chinese culture.

Being the assistant director on this short, it’s my pleasure to be finally able to share it with the world. Enjoy!



Bund Panorama.
Wide. I’ve gone wide.

Not only physically – I stopped smoking for good 3 months ago and ate a bit too much afterwards – but also here on this very blog. I’ve pushed the pixels around a lot, and raised the width from a lame 500-something to a W I D E 900! Yay! Now you are able to see my photography in much better quality, as I embed them in the next higher resolution that flickr allows now. Let’s be honest, nobody’s using a 56k or ISDN line anymore, and I really think pictures deserve to be published in a size that allows to see more detail. Why do I have a 24 megapixel camera if I squeeze the picture into a tiny 500 pixels? Doesn’t make much sense to me.

I still have to adjust font sizes a bit here and there in the next days, make them a bit bigger so that the word lines run shorter, but all in all I’m pretty happy with the new layout. And I took the annoying twitter updates off the home page, so that you won’t see anything but Jakob generated content here. I’ve let the blog down in the last months, I’ve been too busy, but I’ll try to write a bit more again, especially since my wife Jiajia and I are going to become parents next year. Cool?


Streets, Houses, Skyscrapers, Shanghai.

Streets, Houses, Skyscrapers.
I took this image from the far west side of the Nanpu bridge in Shanghai, China.
I have shot and edited this image sometime between 2007-2009 for the ‘China Prophecy: Shanghai’ exhibition in The Skyscraper Museum in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Due to the limited space in the museum, only a dozen of images are showcased. This is one of the ‘lost’ images. You can order prints from this photo here.


In the middle of the Huangpu.

Huangpu Panorama.
Puxi (left) meets Pudong (right). Old meets new. In the middle: Huangpu river. In the background you can see the three talles buildings of Shanghai: The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, the Jin Mao Tower as well as the new japanese-financed World Trade Center (still under construction). Taken from the middle of the Nanpu bridge in Shanghai, China.
I have shot and edited this image sometime between 2007-2009 for the ‘China Prophecy: Shanghai’ exhibition in The Skyscraper Museum in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Due to the limited space in the museum, only a dozen of images are showcased. This is one of the ‘lost’ images. You can order prints from this photo here.