Guo Xiaohan She likes panda and all other endangered animals. She does not know why people take delight in killing all kinds of animals and even human beings themselves. War, perhaps, is everlasting, while peace is temporary.
Born in ‘80s
This photography project is about the portraits of those born between 1980 and 1989 who studies, works or lives in Beijing. This is a rather special generation.
The year of 2010 has a special meaning; to those who born in the year of 1980, this is the time they have stepped into their thirties where they would become parents, experience the happiness and the bitterness of the families and carry on more responsibilities than before. Yet to those who born in the year of 1989, in this year, they are 21 years old – it is the time to jump into the great whirl of the society and to experience the cruelness of this world.
This generation in China, is a group of people whose bodies and minds are seduced by countless lusts created by the newly born consumerism society, simultaneously, they are seriously suppressed by these lusts. The generation shares special identities; a generation that is born and raised in the peaceful time of opening and reform; a generation of one-child policy. These people has their unique value systems that never occur in other generations (eg. 50s, 60s, 70s or 90s). In a society that changes severely they are under great pressures from life, and experiencing the deep gaps between ideology and reality through which their strange life philosophies are originated. They are so young that their voices can be barely heard, so the choose to focus on their own individualism, wishing there is an ultimate answer to the world we are living in. This has made them so identical, and this has also made them misunderstood by the public opinion.
Nevertheless, this generation is getting older and having more autonomy in shaping their own value system, finally they become highly motivated in solving the problems that belong to their own.
I can still remember, that when I was a child, I was taken by my parents to photo studios. It was just like the Chinese New Year – you shall always wear the smartest clothes you have, although I didn’t have any clothes that can be called smart at the time. When taking a photograph, I always looked so serious. In the time of Cultural Revolution, taking a photograph in the studio is a experience of a ceremony, I borrowed this concept in my works today. I asked all of my subjects to have a deadpan face and look into my lens. They brought their own outfits and their own make-ups or not, at this point I attempt to approach my project within a documentary mean. On the other side, I asked my subjects to bring one or two things, these ‘things’ could be a pet, a toy, an object of one’s memory, a book that influential to oneself, or, an object that represents one’s great dream of his/her life. It would be even better if this ‘thing’ is an unique object. When my subjects appeared in front of my lens, each of them is playing a performance.
This is a project has a strong individuality. I am not paying any complimentary to anyone else. Thesephotographs are the facets of this group of people, which belong to a special Chinese generation. These images could have appeared to be not so aptly depicted a generation’s picture, however these images would be the most precise pictures of the generation. At the same time, these facets are also my personal comments to the Chinese society of today.
It is a great thing to work with the “special generation”. Each one of my subjects are so creative, so do I, then ‘BOOM’ , we have these pictures done so well. This is an enjoyable working style for me indeed. I would say thank you to all the boys and girls who have joined this project, I do appreciate your inspirations and generous helps. Thank you all for sharing your stories with me.
An Xin She likes to be with the criminal policemen and to watch them catching the criminals who endanger social stability. She longs for social justice, harmony and popular kindness and love.
Ao Quan His augury is well known among actors and entertainers and many stars went to him when they hesitated in making a decision. He says augury is the mysterious magic arts that will never be explained by science.
Bai Xiao After graduated in the USA, she returned to Beijing to start her career. She likes to ski in different places all over the world and to stick her traveling experiences onto her skis. She likes the rebel of the talented designer Alexander McQueen and has obtained a silk scarf designed by him. What distressed her was the fact that the designer committed suicide in 2009.
Cao Yun She has kept all the certificates she has been honored with, including this opened one for an exemplary young pioneer cadre. This displays her active outlook on life and it is also a way with which she tries to prove her ability. She is conscientious to herself and in her work. Whatever she does she must do it well.
Guo Tianming He is confident that he is a past master in interior decoration. He and his girl friend came to Beijing to make a living. Unfortunately they broke up because he does not have enough money to make her happy. He says one must learn to reduce self pressure to live in Beijing. And the best way to do so is "being natural".
Hu Zhexing each one has his own life. When people are young, they have a lot of choices. She chose to become a Kunqu opera "Dan" (female role), which is not very popular. She always enjoys it and is never bored with it.
Jia Zheng He graduated from a military academy and then worked in an army unit in XinJiang province. He was transferred to civilian work in Beijing in 2007. He tempered himself in the army and learned what were responsibility and duty and a lot of other things one can't learn elsewhere. He is grateful to the army and will never forget the days and nights in the army because the army had nurtured and educated him a lot.
Li Tao He is handsome, fashionable, wearing an ear-nail in his left earlobe. He says what he lacks most is money. He came from his hometown to Beijing to make a living. For sure, he needs to earn money.
Liu Yu The set of matryoshka is a gift given by her exboyfriend. The love between them was once engraved on her bones and heart. She tossed the doll in the air to show the lot and instability of love.
Liu Yu She extremely likes the song Gone with the Sin of the Finland band HIM. When she plays the song in her office, her colleagues almost fainted. She uses this image to show her dream: bitterness is hidden in her eyes; under the cover of the black lace skirt, her body sends out attracting fragrance; holding red roses in her hands and waiting for intimacy in front of the bed, she is about to make the man's heart her captive.
Ma Yuanzheng She likes the big satchel fit for travel. She is a dancer in a cheer team and often travels along with the sports matches. A big functional satchel is a necessity for her. Her dream to carry her pet dog in the satchel and travel all over the world would never come true.
Mao Jingqi She wears the dress designed by herself. Scissors are essential for a designer. She sprayed her hands and the scissors red to show her own view about clothing.
Pen Jing Wearing her middle school dress and playing the small accordion given by her mother, shegets nostalgic for her childhood life.
Ren Liang His 5-month-old son is his dearest and is the masterpiece made by him and his wife.
Su Ya All the newspaper pieces on her are about the housing price. She uses this action of performance art to express her complains to the high house price in Beijing.
Wang yi He says Chairman Mao was his fellow-townsman. He wants to hold Mao's statue to have his picture taken. He hopes the belief, cohesion and values of the Mao times would return and continue.
Wei wei In her early youth her parents sent her to live and study in Spain. She returned in 2008 singly to start her career and face up challenges in life. Completely europeanized, she finds it hard to adapt to the ways of speaking and acting of her countrymen. She feels lonely. Her dearest and spiritual sustenance is her beautiful American Shorthair.
Xiao Wukong Whatever you do, you should do it like a professional and achieve ultimate attainments.
Yi Dandan All the electronic appliances she uses are copycat. She thinks it is quite all right for a girl like her to use these products of such prices, as she has to bear big pressure in work and life in Beijing.