CODIE
qingchunyi
YAN

Photo Series - Not Just A Face or Name

He wouldn’t let me know his name, not even his last name. “Just remember me by my orange uniform, as one of the thousands of the street cleaners in this city. I’m not important. “ He says. Chinese has a word for the common people meaning literally “hundreds of surnames.” Every person belongs to a family, and each holds a surname. He says he only wants to pursue a stable life in a city he yet doesn’t belong. To him, a sense of belonging comes from a physical home, an apartment in this beautiful city. However, he can barely afford to rent his tiny room. Ever since he came here two years ago, he’s been living in an apartment at outskirts with three other roommates. The rent takes half of his wage, and the other half goes to food and transportation. “The rent gets high drastically in recent years. I’m considering to find a new city.” He sighs. “I can’t afford to live here anymore.” He shrugs.


She works in a local vegetable market. She stocks fresh vegetable at dawn and cleans up her booth after dusk. Her little stall is on the second floor of the market, and every day after work, she would put the rest of the vegetables in a big bucket and drag it downstairs. She takes them home for dinner and the next day’s lunch, so she can save money. She’s struggling with the rent, the education of her kids, and so on, but life goes on, she’s fighting.

A migrant worker is taking a break on his tricycle. 

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