Freezing Land

{"id":14725,"grant_id":10,"user_id":25081,"grant_submission_status_id":4,"grant_result_type_id":null,"cover_block_id":null,"story_id":18417,"place_id":null,"title":"Freezing Land","excerpt":null,"excerpt_raw":null,"body":"<p>Freezing Land is a series of photos made, on the road, across northeastern China\u2019s countryside that mixes landscape photography with environmental portraits. It is a story about about the shrinking cities in northeastern China and their lonely young people.\r<\/p><p>The northeast was the wealthiest area in China, bordering Russia and North Korea. With the help of Soviet Union, it developed heavy industries and stayed prosperous for years. This land represented China\u2019s communist roots and authoritarianism. But now, it has become the most recessionary land in China, with shrinking cities and declining population.\r<\/p><p>Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping started a campaign for the \u201cChinese Dream.\u201d But what does this mean to the young people living in the northeast, the once prosperous land? What\u2019s the story of today\u2019s northeastern China? I set out to see for myself.\r<\/p><p>It is difficult to encounter subjects on the street in an environment of minus 30 degrees centigrade. Therefore, I used a social media app \u201cKuaishou\u201d looking for young people who were willing to share their stories. The young people I chose were experiencing a sense of uncertainty. They were facing a choice to leave for challenges in bigger cities, or stay behind and embrace their fate. Their voices were sparsely documented by Chinese media or through other mediums. Few people knew about their stories.\r<\/p><p>I photographed environmental portraits for these young people. Their stories are colorful, but also full of loneliness. I photographed the derelict landscape \u2013 places that are once lively but now forgotten. During this process, the emotion expressed by these young people \u2013 a mixed sense of hesitation, loneliness, and hope \u2013 has brought me resonance.\r<\/p><p>This made me realize that I\u2019m not just photographing the lost \u201cChinese Dream\u201d on this freezing northeastern land, but also the uncertainty we young people, as individuals, are facing under today\u2019s collectivism in China.<\/p>","body_raw":"Freezing Land is a series of photos made, on the road, across northeastern China\u2019s countryside that mixes landscape photography with environmental portraits. It is a story about about the shrinking cities in northeastern China and their lonely young people.\r\nThe northeast was the wealthiest area in China, bordering Russia and North Korea. With the help of Soviet Union, it developed heavy industries and stayed prosperous for years. This land represented China\u2019s communist roots and authoritarianism. But now, it has become the most recessionary land in China, with shrinking cities and declining population.\r\nMeanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping started a campaign for the \u201cChinese Dream.\u201d But what does this mean to the young people living in the northeast, the once prosperous land? What\u2019s the story of today\u2019s northeastern China? I set out to see for myself.\r\nIt is difficult to encounter subjects on the street in an environment of minus 30 degrees centigrade. Therefore, I used a social media app \u201cKuaishou\u201d looking for young people who were willing to share their stories. The young people I chose were experiencing a sense of uncertainty. They were facing a choice to leave for challenges in bigger cities, or stay behind and embrace their fate. Their voices were sparsely documented by Chinese media or through other mediums. Few people knew about their stories.\r\nI photographed environmental portraits for these young people. Their stories are colorful, but also full of loneliness. I photographed the derelict landscape \u2013 places that are once lively but now forgotten. During this process, the emotion expressed by these young people \u2013 a mixed sense of hesitation, loneliness, and hope \u2013 has brought me resonance.\r\n\r\nThis made me realize that I\u2019m not just photographing the lost \u201cChinese Dream\u201d on this freezing northeastern land, but also the uncertainty we young people, as individuals, are facing under today\u2019s collectivism in China.","is_shortlisted":1,"is_strong":0,"is_ongoing":1,"is_unpublished":0,"sent_first_email_reminder":0,"started_at":"2016-01-01 00:00:00","ended_at":null,"created_at":"2019-02-20 01:34:40","updated_at":"2019-03-06 21:07:29","place":null,"publications":[],"categories":[],"tags":[],"blocks":[{"id":165513,"grant_submission_id":14725,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":279549,"position":-1,"created_at":"2019-02-20 01:46:00","updated_at":"2019-02-20 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00:00:00","profession":null,"bio":"Ronghui Chen is a Chinese photographer and storyteller based in Shanghai, whose work focus on China\u2019s urbanization in long term projects. ","long_bio":"<p>Ronghui Chen (b.1989) is a Chinese photographer and storyteller based in Shanghai, whose work focus on China\u2019s urbanization in long term projects. He has devoted himself to the study the relationship between China\u2019s urbanization and individual\u2019s experiences. Known for his specific interest in these social issues, he had published his first collection of photographs named Chen Ronghui, which is one of the book among China\u2019s Contemporary Photography Catalog. His projects have brought him many awards, including World Press Photo prize, Three Shadows Photography Award &amp; AlPA special prize and Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award. Outside of his own professional practice, Chen also acts as the head of the visual department in Sixth Tone, which is a Shanghai local English-language digital publication.<\/p>","long_bio_raw":"Ronghui Chen (b.1989) is a Chinese photographer and storyteller based in Shanghai, whose work focus on China\u2019s urbanization in long term projects. He has devoted himself to the study the relationship between China\u2019s urbanization and individual\u2019s experiences. Known for his specific interest in these social issues, he had published his first collection of photographs named Chen Ronghui, which is one of the book among China\u2019s Contemporary Photography Catalog. His projects have brought him many awards, including World Press Photo prize, Three Shadows Photography Award &amp; AlPA special prize and Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award. Outside of his own professional practice, Chen also acts as the head of the visual department in Sixth Tone, which is a Shanghai local English-language digital publication.","twitter_handle":null,"facebook_handle":null,"skype_handle":null,"google_plus_handle":null,"pinterest_handle":null,"instagram_handle":null,"vimeo_handle":null,"youtube_handle":null,"telephone":null,"show_explicit_content":"0","created_at":"2016-12-18 09:49:31","updated_at":"2019-02-20 01:51:48"}}}