As to Zhu Langqing’s work it was for me personally not only a well-balanced reflection on her hometown on how to use several expression forms of photography. While being a reflection on the past and the present it avoided self-centered sentimentalism and came across as a general statement of what photography can mean to all of us when we use it as a reflection on change in our visual environment. That this was a Chinese environment is at the same time essential because of her being Chinese and accidental as such relationships to home environments are general experiences.
—— Canida Hofer (Photographer, The Judge of 2014 Three Shadows Photography Award)
Just like most Chinese students, as soon as she finished high school, Zhu Lanqing left her hometown and started a new life journey somewhere away. During her days of studying and living in Beijing, hometown had become pieces of photos in her heart. Her thinking about hometown had made her know about Dongshan Island much better. Years later, she started to use camera to record the hometown she’s been thinking about day and night.
Book of Hometown is a hand-made book Zhu made in the past two years. Most photos in this books were shot in Ju’s hometown Dongshan Island, which is an unspoiled natural island located in the South West of Xiamen Island in Fujian Province. Having a pile of random photos, Zhu still is not sure if her hometown has a definite connection with her. At last, she finished the editing and producing of the book in Taipei and started this hometown book in the order of ‘Eight Feet Gate’, ‘home’, ‘food, land and god’ and ‘sea’.
‘Unstoppable urban development let people get amnesia, because they often forget what used to exist here before. I can only catch up with its pace, with the camera to ‘fight’ the changes in my hometown.
As the beginning of the book, I was dressed in clothes from grandparents, which was found in their room. The effect seems to be a mutual process between my hometown and myself. What I have seen is what it wishes I could see. Shooting hometown seems like a journey in the reverse direction, leading to the dark memories and our original heart.’
Having graduated from Photojournalism course in the People’s University of China, Zhu is now doing Visual transformation in Institute of Practical Fine Art of Taiwan Fu Jen Catholic University. Book of ? X ? was once nominated for Best Photographic Book awarded by French magazine Photo-Eyes in 2012 and once again, Ju has been selected as the winner of 2014 Three Shadows Photography Award.
To see more of Zhu’s work, please check: