February 12, 2013
Chris Cherry, a photographer loosely based in Beijing, has undertaken a photographic project on China's migrant workers.
Chris Cherry, Wang Jia Yi and Gao Tian Ci, Dalian to San Li Village, Anhui Province, 2011
Cherry's says that:
Each year, millions upon millions [of migrant workers] untie themselves from the rhythms of rural life to chase down a future in the prestige cities and sudden boomtowns of the eastern and southern coasts. In doing so, they begin a dramatic journey from farmer to worker; one marked by a profound shift from cultivating land they own, to producing goods they don’t...On the factories and construction sites where they will find work they are considered lower still. Here migrants are merely human capital, valued for their sweat and energy — the raw materials of capitalist growth.
The project is a set of portraits taken at various train stations across the country — the most obvious place to locate a transient population, and what seemed a fitting backdrop for a people in flux. Subjects are either on their way to cities, or are returning home to their villages.
Chris Cherry, Chen Jun, Tianjin to Shahe Village, Henan, 2011
It's an interesting project.