Im­pos­si­ble is Noth­ing

Amateur Photographer - - 7days -

By Priscilla Briggs Day­light Books, £35.05, 116 pages, hard­back, ISBN 978-1-94208-433-4

AS CHINA’S in­flu­ence in the world ex­pands, so must the make-up of its cul­tural and phys­i­cal land­scape. Over a pe­riod of six years, US-based pho­tog­ra­pher Priscilla Briggs jour­neyed along the east­ern se­aboard of China in an at­tempt to doc­u­ment the bur­geon­ing in­ter­sec­tion be­tween Chi­nese so­ci­ety and Western val­ues. This has largely re­sulted in a gen­er­a­tion of Chi­nese peo­ple re­ject­ing the ide­ol­ogy of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist so­ci­ety and in­stead es­tab­lish­ing them­selves as a con­sumer class. With such a trans­for­ma­tion on the cards, Chi­nese so­ci­ety is be­ing re­formed as some­thing dis­tinct from its pre­ced­ing years. Briggs’ images work es­pe­cially well at cap­tur­ing what this so­ci­ety in flux re­ally looks like. We see the birth of a new mid­dle class, one that looks to mimic the West, even if it means go­ing so far as recre­at­ing no­table Western land­marks. Ul­ti­mately, Briggs’ book shows cap­i­tal­ism’s force as it pen­e­trates new ter­ri­to­ries. More than that, it shows the birth of a new era for China, and as such is a fairly vi­tal doc­u­ment. ★★★★★

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