Archives for posts with tag: China

Luke_Casey_Photography

‘Must see sites’ like the Eiffel tower and the Statue of Liberty are interesting in that they have become consumable commodities within themselves. People go to these famous places to take their photos, drink a can of Coke and then get back on their couch for the most part. This place took that idea to the next level, allowing the tourists from around mainland China to get their photo taken in these locations while saving the airfare. Everything was smaller than usual, but at the same time somehow over-exaggerated. All the expected souvenirs were readily available and there were also some dinosaurs added for good measure. It felt like a counterfeit version of the world.—Luke Casey

Shenzhen, China was designated as a special economic zone in the 1980s, transforming from a small fishing village into one of China’s mega-cities. It is located close to Hong Kong where English photographer Luke Casey currently lives. He said that despite being an hour away by train, it feels worlds apart. When Casey first heard about the theme park Window Of The World, which contains reproductions of the some of the most famous sites in the world and placed conveniently close for the majority of Chinese tourists, he knew he had to document it. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Luke Casey

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Eric_Leleu_Photography

The sleepers are a testimony to a China where workers wake up early, go to bed late and recuperate with short naps during the day, showing a respect for biological rhythms, and an awareness of the body and its needs. Workers escape from the present, taking a momentary time out, without fear of being seen. These candid siestas reveal the complex link in China between private and public spheres: private life overflowing onto the sidewalk; privacy integrating with the wider community.—Elsa Fayner

Shanghai-based photographer Eric Leleu captures various incarnations of the nap in a series he calls Day Dreamers. From factory worker to executive, Leleu shows us there is no wrong way to catch a snooze in the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Eric Leleu

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David Slijper

David Slijper photographed actress Fan Bingbing for Vogue China June 2012, with makeup by Lisa Houghton. Taken from Fashiontography

All images © David Slijper

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As concerns around the nuclear conflict with North Korea grow, British photo-journalist Sean Gallagher revisits his 2009 venture to North Korea on assignment for the Globe & Mail. Naturally, shooting proved difficult in the sequestered country. Posing as tourists, Gallagher and his colleague were accompanied at all times by a tour guide and government minder who were always a step behind them. He says of his experience: From our four days within the country, it was almost impossible to get close to the people to photograph. As much as I would have liked to, getting close to the everyday person proved to be almost impossible. Hence, my photographs from this journey have a sense of isolation about them. It is an isolation probably born from my own feelings while being there. People are dwarfed against the mighty, imposing communist-era architecture, small and insignificant against the overbearing size of the buildings.—Sean Gallagher

You can read more about this fascinating experience on Gallagher’s blog. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Sean Gallagher

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Martin_Parr_Photography
GB. England. Kent. Margate. 1986. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

You can read a lot about a country by looking at its beaches: across cultures, the beach is that rare public space in which all absurdities and quirky national behaviors can be found.—Martin Parr

We can’t say enough about British photographer Martin Parr‘s new book, Life’s a Beach, published by Aperture this year. Parr’s coastal infatuation started in the 1970s—you may recall his 1986 release of The Last Resort, a capture of the seaside resort of New Brighton, near Liverpool. He has since continued to document beach-goers from all corners of the world—Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and of course, the U.K. Compiling 100 sun-soaked images of intriguing and eccentric characters in sand and sea, Life’s a Beach is a true delight. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Martin Parr

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Italy. Lake Garda. Riva del Garda. 1999. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

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GB. England. Mablethorpe. 1992. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

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GB. England. Weymouth. 2000. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

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Japan. Miyazaki. The Ocean Dome. 1996. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

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Belgium. Knokke. 2001. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

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Italy. Lake Garda. 1999. from Life’s A Beach (Aperture, 2013)

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Ian_Teh_photographyTwenty-two- year-old steel worker. Tonghua, China.

A thick layer of grey ash covers the road leading to an industrial site. The air in the city is acrid and dense. Industrial plants and factories loom out of the haze and disappear once more as one travels beyond the city. Further into the mountains there are sounds of explosions as workers use dynamite to extract limestone for the steel plants. In another valley, not too far away, miners go deep into a pit shaft in the early hours of the morning.—Ian Teh

London-based photographer Ian Teh describes Dark Clouds, his project investigating China’s most industrialized cities, as “an exploration of the darker side of the economy’s bright, shiny facade.” Teh follows Chinese workers in the coal industry, giving us a glimpse into the lives of those that are integral in the development of a nation, but are rarely seen or recognized. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Ian Teh

Ian_Teh_photographyWorkers return home after a days work at a nearby coal power station and steel plant. Behind in the distance is a new cooling tower that has just been erected, the station is increasing its capacity. Tonghua, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyRailway tracks inside a steel plant. Snow mixes with fly ash that settles on the ground from the plant. Benxi, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyA worker stands outside his observation post at a sinter plant in an iron and steel manufacturing company. Workers at this plant earn 1000RMB (US$100) per month and have one day off every month. A 2007 World Bank report discovered that 750,000 people die prematurely from air pollution in large cities in China. Tonghua, China.

Ian-TehWorker in a small coal mine. China has a total of 28,000 coal mines, 24,000 of them are small ones. Small coal mines are the ones that have the worst safety record. The economy has been developing rapidly and does not have enough electricity to power its economic boom. Given this huge need for power and the existence of so many small private coal mines there are huge problems in regulating the industry. Datong, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyCoking plant. China has overtaken the US as the biggest producer of carbon dioxide, a development that will increase anxiety about its role in driving man-made global warming. However per capita China is still far behind the US and Europe with each person averaging a carbon footpint of 4 tons a year compared to the 16 tons and 9 tons per year by these respective countries. Benxi, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyWorkers having an evening off at a games hall. Tai Yuan. China.

Ian_Teh_photographyAn oil refinery in the near distance belches flames and smoke as dusk sets in. The ground is covered with a layer of ash and dust from this refinery. Linfen, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyMany miners are migrants coming from rural areas to take better paid jobs. Unlike countries who have a long history in coal mining like the US or Britain, these workers do not have a mining background and therefore have not a developed mining culture. Without this support, the experience can prove isolating for the workers and difficult esspecially in terms of health and safety awareness. The government has problems ensuring that mines adhere to the regulations that they have set out. Smaller mines tend to have the worst safety standards. Datong, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyMigrant workers at coal mine outside Datong in Shanxi Province. Datong is dubbed as the coal capital of China and the province Shanxi is the largest producer of coal in the country. China.

Ian_Teh_photographyCommunal baths. The grounds of this steel plant is covered by a layer of dust from the emissions of the factory. China is the largest producer of sulphur dioxide in the world, a major component of acid rain that comes from the burning of coal. Tonghua, China.

Ian_Teh_photographyCoal miner in a communal bath at a colliery. Linfen, China.

Ian_Teh_photographySteel Plant working through the night. On a global context, the manufacturing of steel, generates 70,000 pounds of total waste, all of which requires treatment, recycling, or disposal. Tonghua, China.

Li-Xinzhao

What do we lose when we see an ancient culture disappear and centuries of tradition being abandoned and forgotten? My creative urge was to capture the untainted simplicity of the tribe’s life and culture. Their culture along with the eco-environment are now endangered, being constantly eroded by the majority ethnicity. Unfortunately, there are times that we have to lose things before we can truly appreciate their existence.—Li Xinzhao

Since 2009, Chinese photographer Li Xinzhao has spent several months capturing the lives of Tajiks, the isolated people of Tashkurgan who live amid the snow-capped Pamir mountains in Western China near Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan borders. Tashkurgan is extremely cold and there are many places without electricity or telecommunication. There is no access to hospitals or medicine and nutrition is lacking. Xinzhao describes this complex place as an “unworldly world”, and one that has almost never been revealed before. Through The Unknown Tashkurgan is an expressive portrait of an undiscovered people that Xinzhao so beautifully captures. The photographs are undeniably bold, not just in the striking details that define this culture, but also in the bond that was formed between photographer and subject. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Li Xinzhao

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For her ‘Fruit & Vegetables’ series Heidi Voet uses nude pictures appropriated from Chinese magazines, sold at local corner newsstands in China. Distributed as ‘fine art photography’, these spreads contain photos of nude women and in actuality function as erotica.For ‘Fruit & Vegetables’ Voet cropped out the upper or lower half of the image, and filled in the missing body parts with vegetables. The resulting collage is a subtle pictorial joke, whereby the organic material will age and rot over time to reveal the lie -enduring youth, beauty and desirability- inherent in these images. Heidi Voet is a Belgian artist living and working in Brussels and Shanghai. She re-creates scenes and fragments from our daily encounters using unlikely yet common materials. Voet transforms the banal into something wondrous, and in the process unearths concerns, connections and consequences that underlie the moment. Her pieces function like a prism, they show us the spectrum of experiences that re-awaken us to more nuanced understanding of the present. Taken from iGNANT

All images © Heidi Voet

 

christo-geoghegan photography

In 1991, with the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakh Prime Minister Nursultan Nazirbyaev set out to try and reclaim the Kazakh culture and tradition that had been lost after years of Russian rule and its resulting colonisation. Border agreements and forced collectivisation under Stalin were just a couple of many factors which led to mass Kazakh migration across regions now known as Bayan-Ölgii (Mongolian’s westernmost state) and Xinjiang (China), where Kazakh culture and tradition are practiced the same way in which they have for hundreds of years. This migration has led to a cultural crisis in Kazakhstan where Soviet rule had all but wiped out cultural traditions. ‘Displaced’ is an ongoing project documenting the shift of Kazakh culture out of its country of origin and into Mongolia and China. Christo Geoghegan is a freelance documentary photographer based in London specialising in documenting remote or vanishing communities. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Christo Geoghegan

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Taylor Glenn is a Jackson Hole, Wyoming based editorial and advertising photographer who shoots portraits and places. His recent personal project ‘Far Chang’ was shot on 4×5 large format camera over the course of two trips to China in 2009 and 2010. Taken from Feature Shoot

All images © Taylor Glenn

How did you get the idea to do this project? Did you tour this factory beforehand? ‘My family has been doing business in China for the last 15 years, specifically in the artificial flower industry. I had traveled along on several of the buying trips and after seeing a wide variety of factories I realized I had a pretty amazing opportunity. I approached the owner of the factory seen in this series and explained my intentions to return with a camera. He was very open and accommodating.’

There are a lot of projects going around showing mega factories with their huge impersonal assembly lines in China. Did any of this work inform your decision to photograph this project?
Nadav Kander and Edward Burtynsky are probably the two artists who put China on the map for me in terms of photography. I discovered their work about the same time I started working in large format. The scale of their images is so amazing. So this definitely got me thinking about taking advantage of my opportunity to work there. And yes, there are a lot of projects that show an impersonal pulled back approach which really overlooks the people. This certainly pushed me to get closer and use portraiture as a large part of this project. I think a lot of the work you refer to in your question comments on China as a whole and its place in the modern world. While there are similar conclusions you could draw about that in my work I would prefer to think of this project as more about this particular place, these people, and their daily life there.’

Can you talk a bit about the image of the man holding the semi-transparent screen?
‘The man in that image is holding a screen printing pattern for foliage. Artificial flowers are incredibly labor intensive and take many many steps to get from raw materials to a finished product. Because manufacturing has rapidly gone overseas I believe we are so less aware of what goes into making the products that most of us use, whether it be flowers or a toaster. A lot of it is still made by hand in places like this in China. Its mind boggling when you look at how much work goes into production of things that are really so meaningless in the scope of things.’

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