Between 2006 and 2008, I spent time making photographs in a small village area near the city of Chongqing. Like much of the rest of rural China, the area is undergoing rapid change, as many of the area’s residents between 18 and 40 have left to work in China’s southern factory towns.
In my visits to these villages, I became interested in the people that were left—the children, the middle-aged, and the old. Both the land and the people seemed dependent on one another, and in images, captive to a web of myth and story larger than themselves. I developed personal relationships particularly with a few children, for whom the earth is still wild and alive. At the same time, I became interested in the older people’s complicated relationship with the earth as a symbol of work and livelihood, age, healing, and decay.
The accompanying book for this project consisted of 50 photographs, made possible with a grant from Carrie Gordon Fellowship from Princeton-in-Asia.