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The Bro Code

James Palmer
Turning down an after-dinner invite to a brothel is always a social minefield. But the city’s Party Secretary, a 50-something man with baby-soft hands, had been gently fondling my thigh underneath the banquet table for the past 45 minutes...



The Strangers

James Palmer
In the winter of 2009, I was spending my weekends in the northeast Chinese city of Tangshan, and eating most of my food from the far-western province of Xinjiang. Like many minorities, the Uighur, the native people of Xinjiang, have made...



Portraits of the Faceless

Katharina Hesse & David M. Barreda
Nine years ago, photographer Katharina Hesse began to make portraits of North Korean defectors. To protect their identities she asked only that they “give something” of themselves to the photographs. Her subjects bury their faces in their...



Yak Butter Tea for Eight Hundred

Michael Yamashita
The monks in this photograph were preparing tea to serve 800 at Shechen Monastery. It is in these kitchens, where monks are brewing yak butter tea, where I have made some of my favorite photographs. They work at these huge cauldrons, and...



In the Footsteps of Pilgrims

Michael Yamashita
One of my favorite pictures collected in the book Shangri-La: Along the Tea Road to Lhasa is of six pilgrims coming down an empty stretch of the Chamagudao, the Tea Horse Road. They are going to Lhasa, performing the chak tsal, the Tibetan...



In Longshang

Chien-min Chung
Beijing-based photographer Chien-min Chung recently traveled to the village of Longshang, near Lin’an City in Zhejiang near Hangzhou. He was there to rock climb. Longshang, whose surrounding bamboo forests have long been central to the...



Where to, China?

Sim Chi Yin
The windows of buses and taxis going by Tiananmen Square have been taped shut. The paramilitary police stand at attention at all major traffic intersections—even near the old alleyway where I live some five kilometers away. Those are sure...



Wenzhou’s Italian Uncles

Ilaria Maria Sala
0039 Ristorante Italia sits in the middle of West Jiangbin Street, one of many long and large stretches of concrete that cross Wenzhou east to west, parallel to the Oujiang River, running next to some of the city’s visible wealth—in the...



Desperately Seeking City

Michael Meyer
At the world’s only International Sister City Museum, located in far northeast China, a guide leads a group of Harbin middle school students past displays for each of their hometown’s twenty-seven “twins.” “Our government’s friendship with...



The Lesser Wall

Michael Meyer
There is no such place as Manchuria, but the word still resonates like a bell struck a century before. The region is now more prosaically called dongbei—the northeast—yet its contemporary toponyms sing of its imperial past, when it was the...