Haoyuan Ren – China in Black and White


Haoyuan Ren

My good friend, and master photographer, Cary Wolinsky recommended that I take a look at the work of Haoyuan Ren. Knowing that I have a love of street photography, Cary mentioned that he felt Haoyuan’s work is strong and that he has a slightly different perspective on street photography. I agree.

Haoyuan sent me the following information about these photos.
“This series took place during my second visit to China after leaving the motherland at the age of 11.  In my previous series on China made during the first time, I explored loneliness in ways that I felt both spoke to me and easily communicated the universal ideas of alienation.   I aligned myself with the migrant workers, people not native to the bustling metropolis.  To seek new opportunities, the migrant workers set aside their home, friendship, language and culture in order to provide themselves a better future in a city where they’re always looked down on.

In this series, I focused solely on my unique reaction as an individual, giving insight into how different things can trigger feelings of loneliness in different people.   My understanding of the culture and the country grew as I became once again reconnected with it, and thus I was able to discover a new form of loneliness.  These photos are less concerned with the formal elements of loneliness.  They are more raw, stolen in quick moments and reveal a tension between the “viewer” and the “viewed.” The “included” and “excluded.”  During the process of documenting these rushed snapshots that triggered personal reactions of loneliness, I also found fleeting moments of intimacy, connection, and hope.

I’m no longer an outsider, but the world is just as bleak from the inside.”

The facts:
You can see more of Haoyuan’s work here.
All photos: © Haoyuan Ren. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.