Friday, June 17, 2011

Faces of China: Chengdu Youth

I think it's useful to put a face to the many stories you may hear about "youth" in China.  Here are just a few from Chengdu, Sichuan that I saw at the large and central Tianfu Square and at a nearby popular shopping street.

I can't resist pointing out that in several of the photos you'll see people holding their mobile phones.  As I've mentioned before (such as here), it is not uncommon for Chinese to have their mobile "out", even when they're not using them.

However, I think the photos express something much deeper.  In conducting my research and explorations across China, I am continually amazed by both the commonalities and uniqueness of the various youth I meet  -- whether it is in how they use the Internet, what they think about their government, or how they express themselves.  I think these photos help capture some of that.

Look at the fashion.  Look at the body language.  Look at the expressions.

In some cases you may immediately think of "stories" for the photos below.  Some of what you're thinking may be accurate.  Some of what you're thinking likely more reflects your own biases and assumptions.

Regardless, looking can help inspire questions you may not have thought to ask otherwise.

The answers to those questions won't just tell you more about other people, but yourself as well.

Friend visiting another from afar

College student with her photography tutor

Irresistible photo opportunity 

Snack time


Taking a break to chat


  1. I'd love to take a photo near that statue too! Nice Pix! W.C.C.

  2. Thanks, W.C.Camp! I hope you have a chance someday to take a photo with the same statue. Many great things to see in Chengdu.