Ronghui Chen: Freezing Land (Jiazazhi Press, 2020)

Ronghui Chen is a Chinese photographer and storyteller based in Shanghai/ New Haven, whose work focuses on China’s urbanization. Known for his interest in the issues arising from the position of the individual within the urbanization and industrialization of China, Chen published his first collection of photographs named Chen Ronghui, now part of China’s Contemporary Photography Catalog. He was won a number of awards including the World Press Photo and the BarTur Photo Award.



By The Way

Pan Daijing is a self-taught, self-proclaimed outsider who makes music, art, and tells stories. Born and raised in Guiyang, Southwest China, she has been hiding in Berlin since 2016. Rooted in noise music, her raw approach as a composer and performer takes many forms; primarily performance art, sound, dance and installation, hinging heavily on improvisation and acts of storytelling. (Link)

There were 15 million immigrants to northeastern China in the Mao’s era. Since the 2000s, the northeast has become China’s most recessionary land as resources dwindled and other regions caught up.

My project, Freezing Land, aims to explore descendants of immigrants living in the northeast. Meanwhile, China started a campaign called the “Chinese Dream”. But what does this mean to the once prosperous land?

It is difficult to encounter subjects on the street in an environment of minus 30 degrees centigrade. Therefore, I used social video app, Kuai shou, looking for young people who were willing to share their stories.

The young people I met 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.

Chen Ronghui

Publisher: Jiazazhi Press