The Lives of Others
The Lives of Others is a photo essay conducted in March 2014 in the city of Beijing. This photographic exploration documents the lives of Beijing subcultures. The winter swim, the ice challenge or polar bear swim as it called in other parts of the world, first started in Houhai Lake in the 1970s. Every day in winter, no matter the temperature, enthusiasts meet at the Houhai Lake to enjoy a brisk five minute swim in the icy waters. Tibetan street sellers are scattered in different location of the city. Having traveled from diverse corners of the Tibetan plateau, groups from the same regions generally cling together in specific turfs, selling Tibetan crafts, jewelry, and the occasional antique. Some have brought their families to Beijing to live in the outskirts and enroll in better schools. Others bring their children with them to help at selling crafts between homework assignments. But they all espouse the same dream, ‘to provide a better life and education for their children’. Pigeon breeding is a Beijing tradition that dates from the Ming Dynasty when they were trained to carry messages. The popularity of pigeon breeding decreased the Cultural Revolution but races took off again in the 1980s. Pigeon racing has been getting more attention recently because of increasing money to be made but with ongoing demolition in the heart of the city the tradition faces uncertain future.
An Intimacy Leftover is a visual ethnographic project started in May 2013. This photographic exploration documents the everyday lives of five families in the historic Dashilan district of Beijing. The charm of the myriad customs and traditions that meld with the rich structural tapestry of the ancient setting in a dynamic relationship inspired my interest to document the everyday experience of life in this iconic Hutong. This project is a social survey through the medium language of photo-reportage that analyzes the private relations between individuals, exterior and interior space, in their most intimate surroundings. It will be a tale of images composed to reveal the character of the subject through lighting, texture, contrast and shadows that bring out those details of the everyday that escape us when we rely on common ways of seeing.
Urban Scavengers is a photo reportage conducted in the city of Beijing.
The Village of Simulacra
The Village of Simulacra is a photographic project conducted in February 2013 at Florentia Village in the city of Tianjin. Florentine village spectacularizes the shopping experience with suggestions of travel and timelessness; Venetian facades, Florentine and Roman structures envelope shops that house the largest Italian brands and their international counterparts. In the face of these hyper-realistic landscapes the viewer is immersed in a timeless place where form and substance are lost in a disenchanted interpretation of history. The pastiche of classic Italian architectural styles come together as fragments of artifacts reshaped for the seduction of the consumer.
Generation Gap is a photographic project which began in May 2010 in Beijing with the objective of portraying two generations which live side by side but which have completely different hopes and dreams. They are opposites, distinguished by style, color and attitude. The protagonists are young models marked by extravagance and vanity- placed in direct counterpoint with portraits of the elderly captured in the everyday moments of their lives in the traditional “hutongs” of the city. The age-old conflict between old and new is reframed in Asian landscape.