SERIES | FROM HOUTONG TO HIGHRISE

 

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Hutong Entrance
Hutong Entrance

32" x 32" Print onto large Aluminum Sheets Hutongs are often marked by a modest entrance to a siheyua. This is community living - small dwellings stacked beside and upon one another. They facilitate communal and traditional living. With the mass removal of Houtongs in the cities, being replaced by Highrises, China has seen a historical shift as residents become isolated from one another.

Pan Jia Yuan Market
Pan Jia Yuan Market

32" x 32" Print onto large Aluminum Sheets Outside the entrance bicycles line the street. Bicycles are a common method of transportation. A family of four can be seen on one bicycle navigating Beijing traffic, clinging to traditional ways; child in the middle and baby strapped to a mother’s side. In the background looms a Highrise, a symbol of the disappearance of the traditional way of life in China.

Girl in the Red Shoes
Girl in the Red Shoes

32" x 32" Print onto large Aluminum Sheets In the park this young girl walks in her mother’s high heel shoes and poses for the camera. In the countryside girls are often “done” at birth until the first boy is born. In the city, the one-child policy often causes the end of a girl’s life in abortion, or results in abandonment. This has caused a dire shortage in girls in China, attributing to the alarming rise in the slave and sex trade.

Hutong Entrance
Hutong Entrance

32" x 32" Print onto large Aluminum Sheets Hutongs are often marked by a modest entrance to a siheyua. This is community living - small dwellings stacked beside and upon one another. They facilitate communal and traditional living. With the mass removal of Houtongs in the cities, being replaced by Highrises, China has seen a historical shift as residents become isolated from one another.

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I pulled out my newly purchased, faulty, cheap, plastic camera.

It seemed fitting for the streets of China, where “Made in China" lives up to it's name. After loading in a roll of film designed to accentuate the color red, I began to shoot. Yes, a roll of film; analogue for a country rooted deep in thousands of years of history.

China is a complex country, culture, people.

 

Where tradition and a culture of over 2,000 years clashes with the modern world –

a country in the midst of massive rebuilding as money flows in at a rapid pace. 

Where the Hutongs of the cities are demolished in favor of high-rise flats, destroying community living and creating isolation in place of community, where community is integral to the Chinese people.

 

Where good luck is purposed, passed on, a conscious effort.

 

Where girls are discardable.

 

Yet they are most coveted in a staggering shortage of them due to the One-Child Policy.

 

Where the old life is quickly disappearing as China has become a leading economic power. 

And where an ancient lifestyle meets the western world of today.