Huang Qingjun traveled through China and took these photos, meant to be a look at the impact of modernization on rural Chinese families. The project is called ‘Family Staff’.
I don’t think they speak much about the impact of modernization, at least not to someone from outside that context. That is mainly because I don’t have the means to judge whether they are doing well or a term of comparison to understand change in their lives as a result of modernization. They are probably better situated than previous generations. But I think more information would help make more sense of these images. Still, they are interesting for different reasons.
These photo have a certain feeling. What I find significant is that you’re not only looking at photos but at other people’s life, projected in those objects gathered together. This is what their surroundings are made of, they spend every day around these objects. Can someone’s life be gathered in a pile of things? Seeing these things all together, visualized as a bunch, gives a feeling of how tiny and vulnerable we are. And how impermanent.
Seeing these images made me think of the things I own. I believe the objects we posses somehow store up our stories and the life we lived with and through them. So if I would put my life possessions in one place, what would they look like?