China in Black & White

Camera slung across her back, self-taught photographer Qiang Jing has criss-crossed Gansu, Chongqing, Beijing, and Sichuan, eventually ending up in Yunnan, a province of captivating beauty in southern China. In her photos, she drains the color from China’s street scenes, leaving only a desolate black and white. Even the country’s panoramic landscapes look less magnificent through her lens.


她带着相机,走过甘肃、重庆、北京、成都等地方,最终落脚在云南这片恍若仙境的土地。从大学开始自学摄影的强婧,在她的照片里,中国日常街景的颜色都被删去,留下一片略显萧瑟的黑与白。此时,再辽阔的山河,看上去也不那么壮丽了。

Qiang Jing was born in Gansu province and now lives in Kunming, a city she didn’t choose at random: “I like the dazzling sun here, it takes me back to my childhood. Kunming has a brilliant blue sky and soft, billowy clouds. The city moves at an unhurried pace, and locals are the salt of the earth—simple, honest people.”

But the year-round warmth hasn’t brightened her shots. Instead, she captures scenes of ruins and debris that seem caught amid the constant changes of the world, steeped in both life’s bitterness and its joy. Their immense silence draws you in, speaking more eloquently than any words.


强婧生于中国甘肃省,现定居于云南昆明,会选择留在这里并不是偶然, “我喜欢这里灿烂的阳光,让我有种恍然回到小时候的气息。这里有蔚蓝的天空,云卷云舒,还有城市里慵懒的步调和没什么心眼、老实憨厚的当地人。”

可是,这里常年的温暖却未照亮她的景框,取而代之,是烟消云散后的残破景象。之中透露出一丝穿梭于人间冷暖、品尝到悲欢离合的细末余味,叫人深深沉浸在这画面制造的巨大静默里,无声胜有声。

“I take my camera and wander aimlessly through the streets, snapping photos of things that resonate with my current mood.” Her specialty, street photography, relies on individual emotions, because she doesn’t just document outdoor scenes from an objective angle. It’s more personal.

“Photography, for me, is an expression of inner feelings, an emotional outlet, as well as a form of therapy. What I shoot is just my inner state, and that’s why I enjoy taking pictures. On streets full of uncertainty and conflict, I find a peace, a unity with myself.”


“我拿着相机在街上漫无目的地游荡,拍下那些和当下内在的我引起共振的事物。” 她擅长的街头摄影,是要带着浓郁的个人情感去拍的,因为她记录的不仅仅是从客观视角出发的外在景象,更多的,还有自己的内心。

“摄影对于我是一种抒发内心感受的行为,一种情绪的宣泄,也是一种自我疗愈的方式。我拍下的即是我内心的样子,这也正是我享受摄影的原因,在充满不确定性和各种冲突的街头,找到一丝平静、和与自我的统一。”

Ever since she first began taking pictures, Qiang has made a habit of going out shooting on a semi-regular basis. She uses black and white so no colors will interfere with her vision—it’s the format that best expresses her feelings of solitude.

Set against the vastness of the world, people are insignificant specks, and her photos convey this sharp sense of loneliness and isolation. “I hold my breath and press the button to open the shutter: for me, photography is a sort of ritual. It’s like I’m mourning the passing of an instant, of everything that’s vanished around me, a reality that actually existed and will never exist again.”


从开始拍照到现在,强婧一直保持着一段时间就会固定上街拍摄的习惯。之所以选择黑白摄影,是因为没有颜色去扰动视觉,是最能表达她内心的孤独感的形式。

对比这个偌大的世界,人不过是渺小的客体。从她的照片里,的确感受得到这一股强烈的孤寂与脱离感。“吸气屏息,按下快门——对我来说,拍摄像是一种祭祀仪式,仿佛在追悼过去每一刻时间的逝去,那些从我身上消逝的一切,真实存在过、现又不复存在的事实。”

“Behind my photos, there’s a story about the loneliness of growing up, about love and hate, and ultimately about letting go,” she says. She puts all her pent-up feelings into her photography and creates a series of images that brim with emotion.

The darkness in Qiang’s pictures coexists with the light: neither is possible without the other. “Kunming is gradually having an effect on me,” she says. “Just as plants grow toward the sun, maybe I can eventually break free from my former melancholy and give voice to a tougher, stronger version of myself.” Now that she’s mastered darkness and light, her journey as a photographer goes on.


最后,强婧向我们娓娓道来,“在我摄影的背后,是一个关于成长过程中所感受到的孤独,以及爱与恨,最后放手的故事。” 她将长久以来累积的情绪通通投注在摄影里,成就了这一张张承载饱满情感的影像。

但事实上,强婧照片里的黑暗,与光亮永远都是并存的,两者是缺少了彼此即不成立的存在。她说 “昆明这座城市,正慢慢影响着我。仿佛植物会向阳生长一样,渐渐地,也许我能从最初的忧郁中挣脱出来,表达一个更有韧性、更坚强的自己。” 掌握了光和暗,她的摄影之旅将继续下去。

WeChat: jingjingzai2010

 

Contributor: Yang Yixuan


WeChat: jingjingzai2010

 

供稿人: Yang Yixuan