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Migrant Hair

Stéphanie Borcard & Nicolas Métraux
This photo series of Chinese hairdressers was made in the spring of 2012, in the city center of Chengdu in Sichuan province. There, some 16 percent of the city’s nearly 12 million residents are recent immigrants, like the individuals...

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Eats on the Street

M. Scott Brauer
It doesn’t matter how many times you tell the cook not to add hot peppers, anything you order in Chongqing is going to be mouth-numbing and hotter than anything you’ve ever tasted before. It will be good, but it will be hot. From hotpot...

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Rolling In It

Lauren Greenfield
How one might best translate “Bling Dynasty” into Chinese, I have no real idea. (Maybe “A Possessor of Uncouth Wealth,” Tuhao wangchao (土豪王朝), “Era of Dazzlement,” Liangxia shidai (亮瞎时代), or even the more straightforward “Bling Dynasty,”...

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Seeing China in 2014

David M. Barreda
In 2014, ChinaFile published great original work in photography. As always, we worked to look beyond stereotypical images of the country to find nuanced representations of the new and ChinaFile contributors’ commentary on it. Still, many...

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Silent Spring on the Huangpu River

This past July, Shanghai’s Huangpu River—known for more than a few incidents involving dead floating pigs—played host to artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s ark-like menagerie of decrepit animals, “The Ninth Wave.” The vessel was destined for the Power...

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The Hong Kong Protests in Pictures

As thousands of people remain on the streets of Hong Kong, even after local police tried to disperse their protests with hoses and tear gas, here is a collection of images of how the protests—that are calling for greater democracy in Hong...

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A History of China and U.S. Leaders Meeting Through The Years

When the first U.S. President visited China, he was no longer president. Ulysses S. Grant traveled in Asia in 1879. The Qing empire was embroiled in a dispute with Japan over territorial claims to the Ryuku Islands and wanted the U.S. to...

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Ian Teh
One in five people in the world get their water from great Asian rivers linked to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau in northwestern China. Here, beneath a gently undulating landscape, spring the headwaters of the Yellow River, which sweep three...

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Xinjiang Unsettled

Gilles Sabrié
My first trip to Xinjiang was in 1995; it was also my first trip to China. The UN’s World Conference on Women was taking place in Beijing and I could only manage to secure a visa for China on the condition that I would not go to Beijing (...

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Soccer on the Silk Road

Zhang Xinmin
As the World Cup draws to a close, we present a photo essay by Chinese photographer Zhang Xinmin exploring the game of soccer along the Silk Road in Xinjiang, where it has a special place in Uighur education and culture. China’s forays...

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Tim Franco
It’s a feature of the landscape one sees throughout China. On the sides of roads, at the edges of construction sites, on the steep banks of rivers, and in pastures that wrap around the fat pylons of future highways, Chinese people are...

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Sunflower Protestors Open Up

Chien-min Chung
On March 18 some 200 Taiwanese, mostly college students, stormed the offices of Taiwan’s legislature, beginning a protest over a proposed trade agreement between the self-governed island and mainland China, which considers it a “renegade...

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First Comes Love, Then Comes...the Photo Shoot

Guillaume Herbaut
The wedding banquet comes later. For many Chinese couples, married life really begins in the photo studio where, basted in glitter and hair gel, the brides dressed for a debut at La Scala or night out with Fabio, they gaze upon sets so...

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Katharina Hesse
Nine years ago, photographer Katharina Hesse began to make portraits of North Korean defectors. To protect their identities, she allows them to conceal their faces, asking only that they “give something” of themselves to the photographs....

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The Floating City: Inside Hong Kong Now

Mark Leong
Hong Kong rose up as the essential gateway into Communist China over the second half of the twentieth century—a British-run laissez-faire playground whose bottom-line pragmatism proved lucrative for all, maintaining a fluid, delicate...