Monday, 7 December 2009

China: Portraits of 56 Ethnic Groups

Photo © Chen Hai Wen-All Rights Reserved

Here's an interesting "ethno-photographic" gallery by Chinese photographer Chen Hai Wen (all the information was translated from the Wen Xue City news website using Google Translator) who has recently published large scale photographs in what seems to have been titled as Harmonious China depicting groupings of 56 ethnic groups in China.

From what I gathered from the rather awkward translation, Chen Hai Wen led 14 other photographers across China on photo-shoots which took over one year to complete. It seems the total number of photographs made during this massive undertaking was 5.7 million!!

The "family" photographs are technically perfect, and showcase each different group in its traditional dress. The poses are stilted for the most part...and they are all obviously painstakingly staged...but it's certainly a monumental tour de force.

The last portrait is of the Han ethnic group, to which the largest percentage of Chinese belong to. It's also interesting that ethnic minorities of Taiwan are included.