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I have travelled to China several times since 2012 when I first visited. I was overawed by the scale and velocity of the cities. Since that time, the changes have continued apace. The China Dream is a reference to the economic miracle which has become a mission statement for the Chinese Communist Party. The cities are magnets for people from the provinces who are quite literally attempting to realise their dreams. There is a great energy in China, and I have attempted to capture something of that in my photographs. Life is competitive and everywhere people are lifting themselves up, pushing themselves forwards and attempting to embrace a national spirit which as an outsider I can draw no equivalence to. It is “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”, and like social systems the world over, their are winners and losers, pluses and minuses, advocates and detractors. I am interested in some of the apparent contradictions, the ambivalence which arises from the exponential pace of these times and the extraordinary spectacle that China continues to be.
I have been studying Chinese these past few years in order to be able to make my way around the country and to begin to better understand its people and their motivations. As an Australian, China looms large in our economic and cultural story, both historically and into the foreseeable future. For the rest of the world too, the Chinese story is an important one -the China Dream also encompasses the world through the Belt and Road initiative – and this is what keeps me returning.