What also drives me is that I like to share basic information about daily life in China with others—about the housing market, the salary of a shop assistant, problems with food safety or simply the price of clothes (we ask people on the street and create a series with the running theme of "street fashion"). Or stories about how to become a professional wedding host, about a boy's dream to become an NBA star and of course, the obligatory theme for foreign photographers: disappearing hutong where I am interested in the conflict found in our own minds of nostalgia vs. improved living conditions, or I present it from the perspective of an unemployed family.
I'll often ask questions related to people's income and though many people have no problem telling how much they earn, "how much do you spend on food every day" feels less offensive and also indicates their living standard. To contextualize there is a page in my blog that explains "How much is 1 RMB?" including the exchange rate, the official Chinese poverty level and the minimum wage in Beijing.
Above: "Mr. Guo is a photographer. He mainly shoots portraits for official documents. Next to the photography he makes a living with laundry services (the shop next door) and selling ice cream."Another recurring theme encountered is the hundreds of millions of people that work far away from their hometown. Not only migrant workers, but also those with better paid jobs who have left their homes and their parents—though this may not be that unusual for a US citizen, most Europeans are used to living fairly close to relatives and old friends. We often ask questions about people's hometowns which then inspired me to start a series of photo montages about displacement. All photos © Anton Hazewinkel For more of Anton's beautiful photography and the stirring tales that accompany them, head to Chinesense and meet the diverse slice of Chinese life that he has captured through his lens.