When Deng Xiaoping ascended to the throne in late 1978 and then began to initiate a whole series of economic and political reforms that soon transformed the face of China, many people blithely assumed that time had come and gone for China’s...
In rural northern China, the kang is the heart of the home. The two meter wide brick platforms, heated beneath by a coal, wood, straw, or corn cob fire, are hearth, family bed, and living room all rolled into one. Especially during the winter when...
Coal miners in Huaibei, in northern Anhui province, pose for photographer Xie Zhengyi, a member of the photo agency CPressphoto. This city of two million sits atop an estimated 2.726 million tons of coal, as well as other mineral reserves.China is...
In 1999, photographer Willem Wernsen spent ten days in the small city of Kengzi, in Guangdong province, about 30 miles northeast of Shenzhen in an industrial zone. This was part of a longer, five-week trip, Wernsen’s first to the People’s Republic...
Stéphanie Borcard, Nicolas Métraux
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 photographed in...
M. Scott Brauer
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 joints and...
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,” Buling-...
David M. Barreda
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 of our...
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 Station...
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 Kong—have...
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 mediate...
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 thousands...
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 (the...
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 into...
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 farming,...