Thursday, 5 July 2018

Ye Hong Qi | The Miao Portraits

Photo © Ye Hong Qi - All Rights Reserved
It's been a few weeks since my last post...but I needed a break to re-energize my blogging appetite, and with my time swallowed up with a forthcoming photo book, and the incessant demands of social media, blogging took a back seat.

However, I chanced on wonderful images by the Chinese photographer Ye Hong Qi whose long term project "The Portraits of Chinese Miao Nationality" (中国苗族人肖像) is just a delight for those who are interested  -not only in portraiture- but in anthropology and ethnic minorities.

Ye Hong Qi tells us that he started his project in 2012, seeking to document the Miao culture through portraits made in situ, eschewing artificial lights and other devices.

The Miao is an ethnic group belonging to South China, and is recognized by the government of China as one of the 55 official minority groups. They live primarily in southern China's mountains, in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Hubei, Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Hainan. 

Interestingly, the Chinese traditionally classify the Miao according to the most characteristic color of the women's clothes...such as Red Miao, Black Miao, the Big Flowery Miao, White Miao, Green/Blue Miao, and the Small Flowery Miao.

While the Miao people have had their own unique culture, the Confucian ideology had significant influences on this ethnic group. It is expected that men are the dominant figures and breadwinners of the family, and women are, having a subordinate figure, the homemakers.

In his biography, Ye Hong Qi describes himself as an amateur photographer from Shanghai. He started his photography in 2012 and started to record the life and remaining culture of Chinese minorities people. He was awarded a number of recognitions in China and the USA, and was published in PDN and PSA.