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Ian Teh December 10, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Chinese bosses and Russians, Suifenhe, China 2009

Ian Teh (b.1971, Malaysia) is a freelance photographer based in London. His book, Undercurrents, was published in conjunction of his solo exhibit in Beijing. Additional works have featured in art publications such as in Elena-Ochoa Foster’s C-International Photo Magazine and archived in the permanent collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A retrospective of his work in China for the past ten years was recently published in the summer issue of Granta Magazine. His photographs were highly commended for the Prix Pictet prize in 2009. Ian is currently working on a project called Traces.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in a bar near the Sino Russian border. The bar was called Wanda. It was a Russian bar for Russians but was owned by Chinese businessmen. The town, Suifenhe, means ‘Little Moscow’. It was an out of the way town where, everyday, busloads of tourists and traders come to shop in the markets for cheaply manufactured Chinese goods. The Chinese in these market stalls spoke enough Russian to cut deals with their guests and the Wanda was one of the venues that Russians would go to for a night out to get away. Russian prostitutes would visit later in the night and sit and wait for business.” (more…)

Shen Wei September 24, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Ming, China 2010

Shen Wei (b. 1977, China) is a New York based photographer. Shen’s work have been exhibited and published nationally and internationally in many private and public collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of Chinese in America and the Kinsey Institute. He has received numerous fellowships, including the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Creative Artist Residency, the 2008 Urban Artist Initiative New York City Fellowship and the Light Work Residency. Shen was named one of the fifteen new generation of photo pioneers by American Photo in 2007, and was also part of PDN’s  30 list in 2008. He holds an MFA in photography, video, and related media from the School of Visual Arts and a BFA in photography from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

About the Photograph:

“When I first saw Ming, she reminded me of drawings from the old Chinese textbooks of  the 1980’s, girls with plump red cheeks, high up ponytails, and clean crisp white shirts, an ideal image of innocence. Ming is 11 years old, being raised extremely spoiled in an upper middle class family in Shanghai; she has an unusual artless quality, pure and simple, unpolished. I took this picture in the tatami room of her home, with her grandmother holding a pink tutu ready for her to change. She was surprisingly calm and mature, lying on her pillow unwilling to pose. I especially like the exquisite shape of her eyes and her somewhat simple and reserved gaze. This portrait is part of my recent completed long-term project Chinese Sentiment.”

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Rian Dundon July 21, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Huang Ping and Mao Mao in their dorm room at the ‘Night Cat’ in Changsha, China, 2007

Rian Dundon (b.1980, USA) earned a B.F.A. in Photography and Imaging from New York University in 2003. Rian’s photographs and writing have been featured in publications including The Irish Times Magazine, Newsweek, OUT, Time, Stern, and Swindle Magazine. He is a contributor at New America Media, the leading national advocate for ethnic media in the United States. In 2007 he received a Tierney Fellowship in support of his work on fringe youth culture in interior China. Rian has exhibited in solo and group shows at Beijing Photo Spring, The Camera Club of New York, The New York Photo Festival, and The Angkor Photography Festival. He has lived in Mainland China since 2005 and is currently based in Beijing.

About the Photograph:

“This is a picture of Huang Ping (sitting) and Mao Mao in the employee dormitory of the underground gay nightclub where they worked in Changsha, Hunan province, China. Huang Ping was unsuccessfully attempting to wake Mao Mao for a rehearsal of their nightly dance routine. The club was called the ‘Night Cat’ and was Changsha’s first gay bar to open after homosexuality was decriminalized in 1997. Huang Ping, who I followed for about a year as part of a larger project on young Chinese, was at the time a pre-op transsexual. Six months later, after the bar had been closed, Huang Ping reemerged with a new, male identity complete with short hair and fashionable boys clothes. I think this story is an apt illustration of the transience in Chinese society. The kids who worked at the ‘Night Cat’ were all migrants, rural youth who had traveled to the city to find work as dancers or wait staff. They were also gay, which made staying in their hometowns unbearable. In the city they could be somewhat open with their sexuality. They could be free.”

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Scott Conarroe May 28, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Beijing, China 2008

Scott Conarroe (b. 1974, Canada) has a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.  His study of North America’s rail infrastructure is a touring show organized by The Art Gallery of Windsor.  He has work in the Canadian pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, and he is one of PDN’s “top 30 emerging photographers” of the year.  Upcoming events include a residency at Villa Strauli in Winterthur, Switzerland and a trip to the arctic as part of the Canadian Forces Civilian Artist Program.  Scott is represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto.

About the Photograph:

“I admire how the residents of Beijing use vacant space. Every evening ping-pong nets get stretched across the concrete landings of daytime shops, and each night a CD player draws dozens of people to the plaza above Shuangjin subway station where they waltz and jive and do jumping jacks and just enjoy the sensation of prancing around to music.  I especially love how the city is littered with pool tables; any few yards of waste ground where nobody has planted a micro-crop or parked their business seems fine for hanging out in Beijing.  This photograph was taken in a village on the city’s northern fringe in October, 2008.”

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Tomasz Gudzowaty April 14, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Wuqiao Circus School, China 2008

Tomasz Gudzowaty (b.1971, Poland) obtained a degree in law at the University of Warsaw. For the last few years he has been focusing on developing a style for shooting sports photography. He is particularly interested in non-commercial sports, and also those that are not present in the media, sports that are exotic, atypical or somehow outside the mainstream. His photos have been published in Max Magazine, L’Equipe, The Guardian, Newsweek, Forbes, Time and Photo and he is also the author of several albums. He is a multiple winner of the most important photography contests, among others the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, NPPA Best of Photojournalism. He works with Focus Fotoagentur in Hamburg and Warsaw’s Yours Gallery.

About the Photograph:

“The Wuqiao district in Hebei province is considered the cradle of Chinese acrobatic art. The tradition, dating back to the 5th century AD, is a way of life for the locals, but for some it’s also their main source of income. There are more than a hundred circus troupes and acrobatic schools here, with about 20,000 of Wuqiao’s 270,000 inhabitants working or studying there.  Parents send their children to these schools for the rigor and responsibility associated with this kind of education. The day begins at 5:30 a.m. with morning training just before breakfast. Students warm up by walking on their hands and standing on their head before moving on to more difficult postures. Each motion of an acrobat has to be repeated hundreds of times. Acrobats who finish four years of education can join local circus groups, but only the best will be accepted into the prestigious Wuqiao Circus School where graduates prepare for very promising careers.”

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Stefen Chow March 12, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Tiananmen Gate, Beijing, China

Stefen Chow (b. 1980, Malaysia) is a photographer based in Beijing and Singapore. Stefen is currently represented by Aurora Select, attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2008 and nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass twice in 2009 and 2010. Stefen has worked with publications and organizations including Geo, Time Magazine, Associated Press, Cartier, Nikon and Shell. His works have been exhibited in  Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore and Beijing. His versatility has garnered  awards in cross genres including documentary, corporate and fine art. An accomplished adventurer, Stefen has summited Mount Everest in 2005, becoming one of the rare individuals to climb and photograph the mountain.

About the Photograph:

“I have been trying to sum up my feelings about Beijing after being based there for the last 18 months. On this particular day, Beijing had one of the biggest snow falls, and I knew the picture I was going to get. I made my way to the Tiananmen Gate, and there were Chinese soldiers standing in front of the iconic giant Mao portrait. I stood there in the snow for more than an hour waiting for an expression that humanizes the whole situation. In the end, the instant captured spoke to me about bureaucracy, hardship, respect, beauty and humanity.”

Sheila Zhao September 7, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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A Chinese child extra waiting for filming to start. Yixian, Hebei Province, 2008

Sheila Zhao (b. 1983, China) grew up in the United States and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University in 2005. Immediately following graduation, she relocated to Beijing, China, and began a career in photography in 2007. That same year, Sheila was selected to participate in the Angkor Photo Festival’s workshop for young, emerging Asian photographers. Since then, she has worked on a variety of projects around China, including a three months stint as a stills photographer on a Chinese movie set. Most recently, Sheila just completed a six months photo editing internship with TIME Magazine’s Asia photo department in Hong Kong.

About the Photograph:

“In the summer of 2008, I spent some time photographing on a Chinese movie set. The story line was a period drama that involved love, mystery, and of course, kung-fu. Hundreds of extras old and young were cast during filming and one day, I saw this girl [pictured]. She was part of a group of child extras drafted from a nearby martial arts school. I noticed her right away because of her big, sad eyes, and kept an eye on her for the rest of the afternoon. At one point, while waiting for the rest of the cast and crew to start filming, she picked up the prop assigned to her – a dry gourd shell – and stood in a such a way that I thought accentuated her melancholic demeanor. Fortunately, I was close enough to capture this moment.”

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Stephen Voss August 12, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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First look at their adopted daughter, Nanchang, China 2007

Stephen Voss (b. 1978, United States) is a Washington DC based photographer. His clients include The Smithsonian, Business Week, Time, Stern and National Public Radio among others. He received the Creative Visions Foundation Grant to document homelessness in Portland, Oregon, with his photos subsequently featured in a national exhibit that continues to tour the country. His documentary work covers environmental and globalization issues worldwide, and U.S. politics. He is currently working on a project about his native state of New Jersey exploring the intersections of development and environment.

About the Photograph:

“Karen and Bob are a couple from southern California who allowed me to document their trip to China to adopt their daughter. The process of adoption is arduous and often is delayed for months at a time by the Chinese government. The little girls all have been abandoned by their birth parents, usually within the first few months after birth. This photo came on the day we flew into Nanchang where they would officially adopt their daughter and meet her for the first time. All of the adoptive parents gathered outside the hotel meeting room where the women from the orphanage held each baby. Once the doors were open, Karen and Bob were the first to be called and they both reached out to this small, crying 13-month old named Gan Xin Tian who they decided to name Kailee.”

David Degner July 15, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Xinjiang, China 2008

David Degner (b. 1983, USA) graduated from Western Kentucky University with majors in philosophy and photography in 2007.  He has interned at The Augusta Chronicle, The Press-Enterprise, and The St. Petersburg Times. His won awards in College Photographer of the Year, Hearst, and the American Diversity Project Fellowship.  His work has also been published in TIME magazine. David is currently  photographing weddings in Florida, saving up money and researching for his next project on Sufism.

About the Photograph:

“I was interning at the St. Petersburg Times when I stumbled across the story of Uighurs.  I knew the Olympics would be an ideal time for their separatist movements in Xinjiang to make a statement.  So, when my internship ended, with no jobs on the horizon, I flew to Beijing and took the long route to Xinjiang.  I lived there for about six months learning the language and exploring the oasis towns.  As the Olympics approached there were rumors of arrests, crackdowns, and protests. While confirming one of these rumors of a protest in a small village the police picked me up and kicked me out into Kazakhstan.  This particular photo is from the southern border of Xinjiang where it borders Tibet.  The teen was at a dried-up levee drinking with his girlfriend and screaming at the world.”

Richard Wainwright June 12, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Mongolia.
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The coldest capital city in the world. Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, 2008

Richard Wainwright (b.1973, England) received a degree in Documentary Photography at University of Wales, Newport Richard has been reporting on news and humanitarian issues. He has been a senior staff photographer with the Jersey Evening Post since 2002 and also works closely with aid agencies on assignment documenting their activities, writing stories and producing multimedia packages. Since 2003, he has been filing news pictures for Corbis. His work has been widely published including Newsweek, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Independent and The Irish Independent. His work has resulted in numerous exhibitions in Jersey, London and Australia.

About the Photograph:

“This assignment to Mongolia was shot for an upcoming exhibition in Jersey for the Amnesty Human Rights Film Festival. The trip resulted in two seperate stories and multimedia presentations Mongolia: Urbanisation & Effects and Mongolia: Surviving the Winter. This picture shows Munkhbat & Altangeret (both 15) who have lived in a manhole together for over three years under the streets of Ulaan Baatar, the coldest capital city in the world. I spent time with them throughout the weeks and witnessed what a tough, lonely and violent existence they have to endure in temperatures reaching -40c. They were forced into this situation by divorced and deceased parents but they still hope and strive for a better future. Despite the harsh conditions they haven’t succumbed to the cheap vodka like the many other street children.”

Stephen JB Kelly March 30, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China, Macao.
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From the series “Sin City”,  Macão, China

Stephen JB Kelly (b. 1983 , England)  spent his early childhood in Africa and the Middle East before moving to Hong Kong where he lived for ten years. He graduated in 2006 from the University of Wales, Newport. Stephen recently received a nomination for the 2009 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass and has won a number of awards for his work, including the 2008 Gareth Jones Memorial Traveling Scholarship (University of Wales) and a 2008 ‘Made in China’ award at the International Festival of Photography in Lodz, Poland. His work has been exhibited in galleries such as The Guardian/Observer Newsroom and The Getty Images Gallery in London and the Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande in Bologna, Italy. His work has been published in The Observer Magazine, D di Repubblica and The FADER Magazine among others.

About the Photograph:

“During the month of November 2008, I worked on a story documenting life in China’s self-styled ‘city of dreams’. Situated on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, this semi-autonomous region of China is the sole territory within the People’s Republic that permits gambling. In 2008, Macão is reported to have topped US $13 billion in gambling revenue, doubling that of Las Vegas. For the majority of my time I worked within the vast casino districts, photographing the huge explosion in wealth and trying hard not to get kicked out of every casino I walked into!” (more…)

Muge Tang February 25, 2009

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From the series “Silence”. Chengdu, China

Muge Tang (b.1979, Chongqing, China) graduated from Sichuan University in 2004. He began to seriously photograph the same year and is currently freelancing in Chengdu. His work has been exhibited in Japan (Mio Gallery, Osaka), England (Photo Cinema Gallery, Derby) and Germany GIM-Gallery, Bremen).

About the Photograph:

“This series of photographs were taken between 2006 and 2008. I don’t know how many persona’s a person may have, as I don’t know what the future of the life is. When I met those people, the only thing that I can relied on was the realities around me and my own intuition. Pressing the shutter release button became a ritual of understanding human beings and their lives. This is the epitome of people in society. This is my heart. A kind of reflection, understanding and contradiction.”

Scott Brauer February 9, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Duwei, drummer for the Nanjing-based punk band Overdose. Shanghai, China.

Scott Brauer (b.1982, Landstuhl, German) is currently based in Nanjing, China. He graduated with honors from the University of Washington with dual degrees in philosophy and Russian literature and language in 2005. Scott interned at Black Star and VII New York in 2005 and worked for daily newspapers in 2006 and 2007: the Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago, and the Flint Journal in Flint, Michigan. He is represented by Invision Images for European sales. Brauer’s stock archive is available at the Photoshelter Collection. His pictures have been published internationally and exhibited in London and Kosovo.

About the Photograph:

“This is Duwei, of the Chinese punk band Overdose, formerly of Nanjing, but now relocated to Beijing.  The band, especially Duwei and his girlfriend, the band’s lead singer Ruan Ruan, were one of the first bands I got to know while working on the punk story, and they’re pretty deeply connected to the entire country’s underground and independent music scene.  This picture was taken on a trip to Shanghai with the band. We spent a few hours just chilling behind the club, which opens out onto a beautiful big park in the middle of Shanghai.  The park closes to the public in the evening, but the bands use it as an unofficial green room, a place to get away from the mania inside the club.  Duwei’s covered with tattoos on his torso.  Like a lot of punk fans and musicians, the aesthetic is an important part of participation for him, and he’s particularly drawn to the Rockabilly or Psychobilly style.”

Justin Jin January 23, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.
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Garment factory in Zhongshan City, China

As a child Justin Jin (b.1974 in Hong Kong) yearned to see the world. He left for boarding school in England and went on to study philosophy and political science at Cambridge. Reuters hired Justin  as a correspondent in Beijing, giving him an entry into journalism. While working as a reporter, he became fascinated by photography and taught himself, soon after leaving the wire service to produce in-depth photo reportage. In 2002  Justin was selected for the World Press Photo Master Class. Some of his stories are self-initiated, others are commissioned. Having spent the previous seven years in Amsterdam, in 2006 Justin moved to Moscow.

About the Photograph:

“Workers take a dawn break after scrubbing jeans all night using a sanding machine in Mr Huang’s factory in Zhongshan city, China. The blue dust from the jeans is a heavy irritant to the lungs. China, the “factory of the world”, is also the major producer of blue jeans. To meet production demand, thousands of workers sweat through the night scrubbing, spraying and tearing trousers to create their rugged look. At dawn, workers bundle the garment off to another factory for packaging and shipping around the world. The workers are among the 200 million migrant laborers criss-crossing China looking for a better life, at the same time building their country into a mighty industrial power.”

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