Japanese artist Reiko Miyake has curated and published a collection of photos and statements portraying Chinese life in a website called “Billion Beats” (BB). The website is a collaboration of more than thirty Japanese and Chinese writers, photographers and artists that captured Chinese life in ways that try to break away from the most common stereotypes.
Working with a photographer, 46-year old Miyake uploaded photos and statements from Chinese children. Pictures ranging from a girl holding her dogs, saying she wants to be e veterinarian to a girl letting others see her art sketch of a Japanese volcano comprises the collection. Last year, the pair exhibited 50 photos that they have gathered alongside a Japanese photographer friend’s own set of photos featuring Japanese children portraying Japanese life. It was shown to more than 10,000 people in exhibitions in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and Fukuoka.
The collection was Miyake’s response to the “Chinese stereotype” that still exists in Japanese society. Hearing “that’s what the Chinese are…” from a lot of Japanese people prompted her to chronicle Chinese life in ways that are different from the common perception. She is convinced that diversity is inherent in a nation with a population of more than 1.3 billion people. Miyake relocated to Beijing in 2009 with her family and she hopes to shoot more photos of children depicting everyday life. She is also targeting to have an exhibit in the United States. She hopes her work will encourage other adults to show more concern and care for children who are the next generation leaders.
[via The Asahi Shimbun]