Picture of the Day: The clown of Sanlitun


This photograph dates back to May 2014 and was taken in the heart of Sanlitun, Beijing — just next to the Apple Store. Around that time I would often see a clown riding through town on a 三轮车 (sānlúnchē, three-wheel bicycle) with an oversized yellow duck in the back. Perhaps he’d been inspired by Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck, which first came to the Chinese capital the previous year.

Anyhow, my understanding is that this guy delivered flowers. Dressed as a clown. I’m not sure if there was just one clown or a whole crew of them, but I spotted this particular chap while on my lunch break. He may have been enjoying some time off, too, but there was just something a little sad about his demeanor and card game for one. Tears of a clown, perhaps.