PDN Photo of the Day

Hai Zhang: Lost in China

“Don’t Follow Me, I’m Lost” is a series about photographer Hai Zhang‘s unsettling journey through the “new” China, with its accelerated economic and urban development, cultural change, and social upheaval brought on by mass internal migration. Zhang shot the images between 2008 and 2012, and says they reflect his raw anxiety about a future with no certainty beyond the acute metaphysical awareness of one’s own fragility. “To me, it has become impossible to take a shot of today’s China without capturing contrast” on the fault line between China’s past and present, he says. “But what does it really mean?…Can I grasp a sense of today’s ‘Chinese-ness’ through a composite portraiture of my own society? Perhaps this is an impossible ambition. Looking at the pictures I have taken so far, I hate to realize that I am still dealing with illusions and fantasies.”

An exhibition of the work is on view at the Chobi Mela VII International Photography Festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is also showing at Gallery Voies Off in Arles, France through March 3, 2013.

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