Shenzhen & Tokyo – Viola Gaskell, Thursday, January 14, 2016. 6-9pm (Show runs through February 6, 2016)

| January 14, 2016

Understandably, China is often seen as an un-relatable place, yet it is exceedingly important to the global economy. I hope that these photographs impart some semblance of relatability simply towards the people, the individuals that create the aggregate.
Shenzhen was one of the fastest growing cities in the world in the 90s and 2000s. In 2014 the population was reported at over 10 million within he city limits and 18 million within the metropolitan area. It is known as the Silicon Valley of China due to its thriving tech industry. The city is a major manufacturing hub and financial center.
I recently spent a month in Hong Kong that included a brief yet memorable trip to Shenzhen in mainland China. I walked through multi-floor electronic markets where young men and women sat selling and soldering and de-soldering. I entered skyscrapers and took the elevator to the 49th floor without questioning. The air was warm, the metro was highly efficient, and the pork buns were delicious.
I spoke to a man in in Hong Kong who had been metal a worker for 40 years like his father, and whose daughter and son in law were in the process of taking over his shop. In Shenzhen I observed the new electronic shops that emerge from exuberant demand rather than generations of perfecting a trade. In China the old and the new exist side by side.
When I told people I was going to Hong Kong, which is now part of China under the 1 country 2 systems agreement, my decision was often met with concern. I am aware of the complicated situations in China regarding civil liberties, and as strange as it was to be unable to employ web sites like Google that I take for granted, my focus was on the individuals I encountered.

Viola Jean Gaskell is a photographer, originally from Maui, Hi who has created bodies of work from within the US, India, Eastern Europe, and most recently China, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Gaskell prefers the journalistic, the interactive viewpoints of life. Gaskell lives in Seattle, WA where she freelances and photographs for personal projects.

Artist statement 
I have a passion for capturing stylistic, intimate images of people, places, their culture and their stories. The intricacies of form, light, shadow, and motion inspire me to reproduce visual interpretations of the raw, imperfect beauty we are made of.

See more at her blog:

Category: Art

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