I’ve been considering moving to China since my initial visit in 2012 and have now, after subsequent trips, begun the process of getting as much information as possible from the Internet and expats that live or have lived on The Mainland. I recently spoke with an entrepreneur, who after several years of living in China and running several successful businesses, decided to leave and relocate in Thailand where he feels the quality of life is much better. He apprehensively returns to China to ensure his operations are running correctly. The underlying message he imparted to me was not to live in China on a full time basis. He feels money has corrupted the national psyche and everyone is trying to make a profit and unequivocally putting profit over people.
After our phone call I took a few days to digest his lucid words. Here was a person that learned a complex language, set up several successful small businesses, married into a Chinese family, and was unwavering in his message: don’t live in China. I decided to turn to some of the images I recently made in Guizhou Province and this one came to mind due to the overwhelming sense of love and humanity it carries. A sister holds her newborn sister at an outdoor market and smiles while patting her bottom. The wheelbarrow in the background indicates a less developed environment and her overalls and minimal necklace with a single stone are a far cry from the ubiquitous big name design brands that are touted by the new generation of wealthy living in developed cities.
I could move to China and experience how greed and corruption are common symptoms of the culture, or I might continue to make photographs like this one and be reminded that humanity and family values are still present and easily accessible.