Moving away from landscape, these portraits of Chinese workers are my first major project to modern China. Through these young people’s eyes, I study the value and identity with my 4×5 field camera and studio light.
Below is a review written by John Batten cleanly indicative what’s the work all about :
“Simon Wan’s portraits are at the other end of the worker spectrum: his black and white photographs show young men and women looking directly into the camera – they are relaxed, strong, confident and sexually assured.
Wan emphasizes the dignifying intent of each photograph by framing them in thick gold-gilt frames and bluntly titling each photograph with the depicted person’s own name; no faceless workers here.
Zhou Huihui stands under a factory sign that says: “No transmission of indecent messages” – this blunt sign admonishing gratuitous lewd language alongside his own confident posture indicates new attitudes; although he stands in front of a long production line, he is a reminder that each worker is still a vital individual person. And as an almost-rebuke to photographers everywhere: these portraits are people and not just parts in a photographer’s piece on Chinese factory workers.” June 24, 2007