My childhood was spent in the alleys of old towns like Xing Sha Chi and Dao Gu Cang in China. The wheel of time has rolled on, carrying my childhood away into the remote distance. Though the old streets and alleys are now deeply buried under steel and concrete, my mind often wanders among the fragmented memories of my bumpy childhood: the slippery quartzite pavement after the rain, our shabby house filled with heavy oil smoke, and the image of our elders walking swiftly in old alleys filled with pear blossom.
By chance I came to visit the old town of Hong Jiang. I became friends with Shen Xianghua, a resident who was in his eighties but still maintained clear memories, sharp vision and hearing. He told me many folk stories about this old trading town and led me down the old alleys to visit the locals. Through him, I was able to record the living status of this special group of people. As I pushed open door after door to the old houses, I was able to photograph the quiet daily lives of over fifty long-time residents of community. It was through photographing Hong Jiang that I began rethinking humanity, life, and love, while simultaneously reliving many childhood memories.