Why did I love this book?
This vast book in 500 pages broke new ground in publishing and photojournalism circles in China. Edited by the visionary curator Wang Huangsheng this extraordinary collection of colour and black and white material from hundreds of photographers both professional and amateur remains unmatched in scope. With unflinching courage to show both the brightest and darkest sides of life in the People’s Republic Wang selected many previously unpublished images along a range of themes from ‘desire’ to ‘time’, existence’ to ’relationships’. Crime and punishment, rural schools, and worker demonstrations - all sorts of subjects that were rarely seen in the state media, even the anal inspection of army recruits. Never before and rarely since, particularly in the last few years, has such a daring serving of so many slices of life been served. This important book is a reminder that despite the limitations of China’s state media and the much denigrated Western coverage of the country millions of talented eyewitnesses are out there keeping a record. I look forward to many such books in the future.