Changing China: A decade of transformation captured by Singaporean photojournalists

Waitresses dressed up in Qing dynasty costumes share a light moment while waiting to welcome customers outside a Chinese restaurant in Beijing, China, 14 November 2011. The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, they ruled from 1644 to 1912 and were Manchurians. Photo: How Hwee Young/epa

In just the past decade, China has undergone massive socio-economic change — from the evolution of its cities and countrysides, to the prevalence of technology seeping into the lives of its people. In the midst of this transformation, two Singaporean photographers, Chua Chin Hon and How Hwee Young, have captured the country’s metamorphosis through their lenses.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Olympics, so the photo series is a pretty timely reminder of how much China and its impact on the global stage have changed over the years.

 

Photo: How Hwee Young/epa

Both photographers, who have observed the country’s development over the last 15 years, are exhibiting over 50 images in their first major showing in Singapore. Non-profit arts space Objectifs will host the showcase, which opens in June with a talk by the artists.

How, a veteran photojournalist, is currently the European Pressphoto Agency’s Chief Photographer for China. She has been based in Beijing since 2010, covering events such as the 2013 earthquake in Lushan (Jiangxi province) and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

 

Photo: How Hwee Young/epa

Chua is currently the supervising editor at TODAY and also works as an independent documentary photographer. He lived in Beijing and Washington DC as a foreign correspondent for 10 years before returning to Singapore in 2013.

In addition to the shots on display, Objectifs is also spotlighting a line-up of short films by young Chinese filmmakers shown here for the first time. These videos examine the impact of China’s urban and economic change on its people, with diverse perspectives including those from school children living in Inner Mongolia and a Chinese student studying in the United States.

Photo: Chua Chin Hon
Photo: Chua Chin Hon
Photo: Chua Chin Hon

 

Changing China: The Defining Years is on from June 21-July 22, Tues-Sat noon-7pm, Sun noon-4pm at Chapel Gallery, Objectifs, 155 Middle Rd.

Artist talk: June 23, 2pm; film screenings: June 21-July 8. Free admission to all events. 

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