I’ve never believed in fate. We live the life that we do based on our experiences within our environment. The choices we make, right or wrong, guide us through life, connecting our past with our present, pointing us in the direction of our future, but that’s where it ends. Our future isn’t set. It’s an unknown. There are no leading lines showing us where to go next. We stand, looking out toward the abyss, filtering millions of decisions, hoping that the lessons we learned from our friends and family were close enough to the truth. It’s exciting to think about all the possibilities that lie ahead.
In a country that never sleeps, a man works through the night while his assistant stands idly by. I watched, mesmerized, as the slag rained down, rolling over the scaffolding onto the city street below, where cars raced by in a never ending train of chaos.
Kunming, China- One thing that I love and hate about shooting voyeuristically is that I don't know what's going on in the situation. I can sit there and watch for hours and make my own assumptions, but at the end of the day, they're my assumptions, which aren't always correct. This is both a blessing and curse. There is a part of me that really wants to know what those men are talking about, what their lives are like at home, are they happy, sad, who their friends are, etc…, but the other part of me loves that I don't know, nor will I ever know. I've captured a scene that has endless beginnings and endings, but within the infinite there is this one moment, and to me, that one moment speaks volumes.
Bamboo scaffolding surrounds a section of renovation on a high-rise in downtown Hong Kong.
When I first visited China, back in 2006, I was 22 years old and completely in awe with how big the world had turned out to be. I wandered around for weeks, taking everything in. It was this experience, along with other subsequent trips that opened my eyes to how beautiful the world can be if we just take the time to look around.
Guangzhou, China- The faceless have names, but we don't know them. They have lives that we can only imagine. Their feelings and dreams escape us constantly, but within an image, we can see it, feel it. They feel just as we feel; heartache, happiness, love, desire. Each day we wake up in the morning, our eyes opening after a sleepless night. Scanning the ceiling, we make an effort to move. We consciously force ourselves out of bed. Why? Because every human being on the planet has an innate desire to be someone. We go to school, brush our hair, put on clothes, all because we want to be remembered. For some, though, it isn't about being remembered, it's about surviving.
Walking beside the wall that guards the old city of Xi’an, one notices a certain rhythm. Leaves litter the ground in anticipation for the cooler temperatures of fall. Coats and jackets are pulled from the closet. Young children scramble by, oblivious to their surroundings. The elderly, however, are veterans of the changing seasons. Years pass by unannounced. Fleeting moments turn to distant memories, and the cycle continues.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Chendu, China- When life starts getting chaotic and it feels like it's spiraling out of control, I always like to take an evening walk. At night, everything seems a little more subdued. The lighting, the people, the energy. Even when I was traveling through China, I could still take some time to relax and gather my thoughts. While I was on one of my walks, I noticed a bike taxi driver waiting for his next fare. I'm not sure what he was thinking, if he was relaxing, or just bored, but I found it interesting that he could stand out so well while the rest of the city rushed around him. He was a rock in the middle of a raging river. Over the last couple years, he has become my rock. A realization that sometimes it's best to stop and take a look around you, even as the world rushes by.
Xi'an, China - Lonely silhouettes pass in the night. Like wraiths they float by, their journey unknown to all.