Modern China is a country in flux. In recent years we’ve seen a large number of photographers explore the country’s changing landscape with images that document the socioeconomic impact of its emergence as a superpower. Shen Wei’s series ‘Chinese Sentiment’ is a refreshing change from these sorts of images. Instead of cliched pictures of towering skyscrapers and sprawling new cities, Wei’s photographs avoid a Western interpretation of the country and present a more human portrait of modern China.
“My goal is to appreciate the real China without its political and economic influence” he says, “[the aim is] to reveal China from an internal and intimate perspective”. There’s something particularly romantic and even poetic about Wei’s series. Born in Shanghai, he moved to New York at a young age and this series feels very much like a photographer attempting to reconnect with his homeland. Through this Wei offers us a glimpse at a part of the country which is all too often left unseen.
Photographed between 2008 and 2010, the series is filled with intimate pictures of small cities, tender portraits and images of communities that create an honest portrait of the new China. This collection was published as a book in 2011 by Charles Lane Press and features 75 photographs from the series. A large selection of these can be viewed on Wen’s website here.