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Photographer: Song Hui

Song Hui, born in 1974 in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, started doing photography in 2005. Song began to shoot scenes of Lanzhou, where he lives and works, in 2006, and felt that he became an observer of the city. Song captures the texture of Lanzhou's geography and its people, the dirty environment, roughness, poverty, culture as he wanders the corners of this northwest city. Song works as a civil-servant for the local commercial department.

About Photography

Song finished two photo series which themes are "Strange moving" and "In the Market".

Being called an innovative photographer, Song thought that the innovative photography meant that such works are based on personal views and they do not adopt some mainstream opinions. He believes it means "to insist (on my) own exploration and know well about why I do that".

His personal photography website is http://www.song-hui.com/, and his email is 3rdcolour@163.com.


The photos of "Strange moving" mainly present common and uncommon scenes of city life in Lanzhou, such as a young women in gothic clothing in a classroom, a lonely cat and a woman with a facemask. Song considered these scenes representations of his own mind, which tell about his mysterious spiritual world. Deep in each person's heart is a bizarre world that Song tries to depict. He also aims to demonstrate his unspeakable feelings towards society. The photos become a reflection of not only what he sees in reality, but mirror what he feels and dreams.


About Life in Lanzhou

Song Hui illustrates Lanzhou as a spot and a light on the earth.

"Its hopelessness pushes many people to leave it, like many of my friends do. Though I see that it is dirty, it is in a mess and some people are rude, but I have all my life here, so it appears that it brings me a warm feeling and feel of home." Song said. "I call it a spot for the pollution, people's poor life and the rudeness of someone, but it is a light when it makes people feel warm."

The rapid, sometimes shocking urbanization has affected Song. "Some changes are absurd and ridiculous, and make me sad."

"The unique, exclusive culture was a past, now it is replaced by a more individual-oriented, soft plurality." he said.

Song said his photography was influenced deeply by the film High Art.



The photos of "In the Market" are mainly the noisy, fussy scenes of fairs. Song shoots the salesmen, the saleswomen, children, buyers and the general environment. Song said that an environment full of mess – such as a fair – is not a disadvantage for photographers.

"It requires more concentrated attention, and people feel more ease there," Song said.

He rarely goes shopping in fairs, which caused his curiosity. During the process of shooting the fairs, he thought that Chinese people were all "born in fair", due to the adoptions of marketing, business and trading, since the country developed a market economy.