Chasing dreams in Shenzhen City: Street Photography by Yu Haibo

Kevin WY Lee PROJECTS, Street Photography 1 Comment

Deng Xiaoping under the brush of a painter from Dafen Village. 2005 © Yu Haibo

Deng Xiaoping under the brush of a painter from Dafen Village. 2005 © Yu Haibo

Take the city seriously and those seeking dreams here as well


China’s Shenzhen city has always been close, yet far for me. Growing up, I remember my father and mother speaking fondly of the city, and of the many young men and women they knew from their village who migrated there for a brighter future. My parents once lived in a little village of rice farmers called Zhaolong Li, not that far off from Shenzhen, but left the country. I visited the city briefly years ago as a kid and do not have much memory of it. So it was great for me to chance upon and connect with Chinese photographer Yu Haibo’s photography from the streets of Shenzhen.

Shenzhen is a southern coastal city filled with migrants from the neighbouring countryside. Under Deng Xiaoping, Shenzhen became the first and one of the most successful ’Special Economic Zone’ in 1980. Most of the city’s population are young and ambitious seeking a big city, bright lights life.

On Yu Haibo‘s images of Shenzhen, Chinese art critic Wang Luxiang comments “Take the city seriously and those seeking dreams here as well”.

A man making a phone call at Luohu Street. 1990 © Yu Haibo

A man making a phone call at Luohu Street. 1990 © Yu Haibo

Bus ticket conductor soliciting passengers. 1994. © Yu Haibo

Bus ticket conductor soliciting passengers. 1994. © Yu Haibo

Prostitutes detained by police. 1996 © Yu Haibo

Prostitutes detained by police. 1996 © Yu Haibo

Provincial women waiting for job opportunities in Futian industrial zone. 1990. © Yu Haibo

Provincial women waiting for job opportunities in Futian industrial zone. 1990. © Yu Haibo

Anti-prostitution campaign by police. 1996 © Yu Haibo

Anti-prostitution campaign by police. 1996 © Yu Haibo

 

Shenzhen stylist Ding Chang working. 2003 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen stylist Ding Chang working. 2003 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen's "Yijiao" band. 2003 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen’s “Yijiao” band. 2003 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen's new weathy hunting outside the city. 1994 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen’s new weathy hunting outside the city. 1994 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen women trying free facial care. 1998 © Yu Haibo

Shenzhen women trying free facial care. 1998 © Yu Haibo

Born in Henan province and graduated from Wuhan University BA Photography, Yu is now the chief photo editor of Shenzhen Economic Daily and the Director of Shenzhen Professional Photography Association.

 More from Yu Haibo on his website: http://www.haiboyu.com

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