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Huang Qingjun & Ma Hongjie, Beijing

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Huang Qingjun and Ma Hongjie decided to collaborate on this project, ‘Family Stuff’ in 2005. They have visited a number of areas in China for this project looking for typical Chinese homes to photograph by bringing the domestic objects used in everyday life outside.  ‘Huang and Ma work as independent partners, Huang covering the North, Ma the South of the country. Convincing families to expose themselves to their cameras is the major challenge that both face on their respective expeditions. Building trust and laying the groundwork for the shoot can take months, again and again Huang and Ma have to explain why they want the families to empty their houses and let the artists decoratively arrange their belongings outside. Once they have agreed to participate, most families are happy to display their possessions, even more so since they receive financial compensation. In some cases, not all belongings are permitted to be shown, in others not all furniture fits through the doorways; but generally, the artists confirm, their portraits depict average Chinese reality as it is today: simple, unpretentious and compared to 20 years ago, strikingly void of political paraphernalia. In 2011 this project is scheduled to end with a total of 50 pictures and a book’. You can read more about this project on a mesa de luz.

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