Wang Yuanling – Eighteen Stairs
Shibati (Eighteen stairs) is an area of 38 million square meters, the population of 7000, per capita income of only $ 1,000 a year – a typical slum in Chongqing, a model metropolis which is the youngest municipality, the most populous city that is over 30 million, and the fastest growing cities of China. It used to be the central neighborhood of the city and now replaced by the glamorous new downtown area only one block apart.
The evolution of the region reflects the urbanization process now observed in every city around the country: old town centers were replaced, abandoned, demolished, and eventually reborn from the ashes. As an observer, the photographer would like to document the transition by a series of portraits of the residents in Shibati, who are experiencing the pain of this great rebirth. And for some of them, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a solo portrait. Therefore I attempt to establish an emotional connection with each subject so as to bring out their true characters.
The purpose of this collection is to pay a tribute to the unpredictable future with some shared memories of grassroots in this magnificent city – Chongqing.
More images and other projects on www.wangyuanling.com. Wang Yuanling was born in 1980 in China. He graduated the Southwest China Normal University, Chinese Language and Literature and worked for Chongqing Times as a photojournalist.
Currently he is a freelance photographer and he’s living in Chongqing.