Format: 240 x 310 mm;
Binding: Paper cover;
Published by Jiazazhi in September 2020.
Chinese photographer Ronghui Chen documents the uncertainty and isolation of young people amid the colorful but derelict landscape of China’s northeast region in Freezing Land, which investigates the once-prosperous northeast region and the burdens and hopes of its youth. Chen used a video-sharing mobile app, Kuaishou, to find people willing to tell their stories. The resulting portraits—informed by photographers such as Alec Soth, Joel Sternfeld, and Zhang Kechun—capture a tangible mixture of hesitation, loneliness, and hope. Softcover and printed on uncoated paper, the book’s overall design feels suitably spare; the accompanying text appears in both Chinese and English. “Freezing Land is a standout debut by a promising contemporary Chinese photographer,” juror Joshua Chuang states. “Chen shows a side of the modern Chinese story that eludes cliché and helps round out our understanding of the country as a whole.”