Featured Image: The wonderful Beauty Paddy of China by Photographer Thierry Bornier
A Family Album of the ethnic groups that create China.
Between 2008 and 2009 over 150 historians and anthropologists travelled across China to research everything from the most typical villages to the most extraordinary traditional dress. The project was documented by photographer Chen Hai Wen and a team of fourteen photographers in a book “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s Ethnicities.
Chen was born in Shanghai a city where a third of the 23 million population are migrant, people moving from Anhui (29.0%), Jiangsu (16.8%), Henan (8.7%) and Sichuan (7.0%) provinces. 79% of the population are from rural areas and although the composition of the population is approximately 98 per cent Han Chinese, there are 39 nationalities represented in that remaining 2 percent of the population.
It may have been the flux and uniqueness of this urban environment that enthralled Chen and led to photography as a career. In 2007 he heard about the travelling cultural anthropology project and applied to participate. He was successful and over a two year period between 2008-2009, the team of 14 photographers would fly, drive, walk and cycle across China, visiting 554 villages across 95,000 kilometres and taking 570,000 photographs.
The book is a marvellous testament to the way people across the Chinese landscape have learned to live in the cold, the snow, the hot southern plains and on the sea.
Below are the ethnic identities represented in the book the team produced. A fantastic document of life across China in the 21st century:
Achang, Bai, Blang, Bonn, Bouyei, Dai, Daur, De’Ang, Derung, Dong, Donxiang, Ewenki, Gelao, Han, Hani, Hezhen, Hui, Jing, Jingpo, Jino Kazak, Kirgiz, Korean, Lahu, Lhoba, Li Lisu, Manchu, Maonan, Miao, Monba, Mongol, Mulam, Naxi, Nu Oroqen Ozbek Pumi, Qiang, Russian, Salar, She Sui, Taiwan, Tajik, Tatar, Tibetan, Tu, Tja, Uygar, Va, Xibe, Yao, Yi, Yugar, Zhuang.
You can find the images here:
Harmonious China, Pictures of China’s 56 Ethnic Groups
Hardcover: 460 pages
Publisher: Shanghai Culture Publishing House (2009)
available on Amazon