China from a train-workers’ eyes

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Wang Fuchun creates intimate portraits of Chinese people crossing massive distances by train. He started photography whilst working on the trains, and the unique position his role gave him – walking back and forth through crowded long-haul journeys – gave him a chance to capture the atmosphere of hundreds of strangers temporarily living in close quarters.

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He chooses his subjects with a wide eye: young and old, male and female, of a variety of colours and religions, they reflect the remarkable diversity of the Chinese populace.

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Intimate and often revealing, the images are nonetheless respectful to their subjects and show them in a tender light. Even when shaving or helping a young child pee, the people he captures are confident, calm, relaxed. The alert but unselfconscious attitude of most of his subjects reveals a warm and respectful personality behind the camera.

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Wan Fuchan’s images are an inspirational starting point, as they show how a relatively unglamorous job has its own unique perspective that can be shared through the medium of photography. I am inclined to wonder how differently we might view our local area if we were to see it photographed, for example, by our street-cleaner or postal worker.

All images © Wang Fuchun and shared here for educational purposes only.

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