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Sheila Zhao September 7, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in China.

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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