Rona Chang

© Rona Chang

One story at a time, This Chinese Life portrays the complex intersection of diverse peoples and cultures within varied landscapes. This project is an exploration of how the Chinese impact their environment, the varied terrain they inhabit and the way traditions are carried on simultaneously with the openings of new roads that bring about modernization and new ways of living. In my work, I observe contemporary Chinese perspectives, focusing on the surrounding landscape, immediate domestic environments, and my family ties after decades of separation. To me, the term “Chinese” does not have a fixed or a single meaning, but rather is a fluid concept that may change depending on the context. There are common denominators underlying the layers of This Chinese Life. Many people are bound by the borders that contain the landscape and/or the thousands of years of restless yet “common” history. Through the many miles, roads, villages, towns and cities I have traveled in China, what I have experienced is the multitude of stories that make up This Chinese Life. This is not a complete tale or anthology, but fragments of my Chinese life and the stories of those that I encounter.

— Rona Chang, Jackson Heights, New York & Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, USA

© Rona Chang

Chang Kyun Kim

When I moved to California, I was surprised by the number of power plants and oil refineries that were adjacent to local communities. However, the more surprising thing was that many of the residents in the areas didn’t even know what the facilities were.

The title Intervened Landscapes first indicates the physical intrusion of the facilities into natural landscapes. They always seem to be eyesores but somehow are accepted and forgotten by people. More importantly, it also means some kind of invisible intervention that obscures our minds toward the whole energy industry, which can be government control and high-level security, or contribution to communities such as local developments that all have friendly-looking slogans.

By putting color palettes in front of the lens and blocking the facilities in the frames, I wanted to imply people’s view intervened by the industry’s secrecy and the forceful friendliness.
— Chang Kyun Kim, Los Angeles, California, USA