I shoot to understand my country, China.
I used to mostly shoot people on streets with flash. I used to always fantasize about shooting in any other exotic places or countries because I thought my country is boring.
Until I went to Eric’s workshop last year (and this is absolutely not an advertisement but Eric’s workshop is just so great) and I met a aspiring Japanese photographer named Takashi Nakagawa then. Every once in a while he would go to China and shoot and he planned to make a book on China. Back then I still wondered: “How does this guy find China interesting?”
After the workshop, Takashi came to China and we went shooting together. Somehow I began to feel that actually my country was interesting enough to shoot. Even though I don’t really know or remember how I got passion to shoot my country again. But thank you Takashi 🙂 I think it was you that made me feel passionate about shooting my country then. Now I no longer wanna shoot any other country but my own country 🙂
But now I no longer shoot in the cities or any developed downtown area in China. I no longer shoot the busy streets because I think streets all over the world are the same. I live in Guangzhou, which is one of the most developed cities in China, is just 100 miles away from Hong Kong (where I was born and grew up). Even though in recent years China is rapidly developing but still there are many people left behind. There are totally 1.4 billion people in China. The population of China is larger than the total population of all the western countries. A lot of people begin to feel that China is already a developed country. But it’s not. A tons of people are left behind. The gap between rich and poor is increasingly larger. I know there are still many people living poor especially in those mountainous, remote area like the middle and the west part of China.
Guangzhou, where I currently live, is the center of the Pearl River Delta (which is one of the wealthiest and developed area in China but still there are many undeveloped places where I usually go to shoot). Now I’m doing a photographic project about this area even though the progress is slow. But I think this project is just a start of my photography career. Hopefully I can get chances to go deep inside China and do a project like what Matt Black is doing. It’s all about getting to know more about this giant country, of which I’m proud, but still has a lot of issues to tackle, to improve for a better future.
It seems I share too many personal stories. I’m not really fluent in English so thank you for enduring all the typos or grammar mistakes when reading this. I think this forum could also be a great platform for me to practice English. Thanks Eric 🙂