The special relationships that people and animals have in different cultures fascinates me.

My last project, “Crickets”, deals with a thousand-year-old tradition that lives on in China: raising crickets to hear them “sing” or involve them in tiny fights. After a first discovery trip and months of research, I set off again in 2019 in the footsteps of this culture. There, I spent weeks browsing the largest insect market in all of China. I followed cricket hunters in the darkness of remote cornfields in Shandong Province and met mafia members buying millions of yuans’ worth of crickets for illegal fights. Immersing myself in this tradition, I learned the symbolism of flowers in traditional Chinese painting to compose my still life and I went for a walk in the streets of Shanghai – as amateurs traditionally do – with a singing cricket in my pocket.

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