Before I left for my first visit to China, a friend told me that it would change my life. After a few days there I started to understand what he meant.
China is a country of 1.4 billion people, whose economy is expanding at ten percent each year. The centuries-old infrastructure -- both physical and social -- is being torn down and rebuilt at a rate as staggering as the quantity of resources being consumed in the process.
China is the factory of the world. Its people work around the clock to make products for the rest of us, and they are paying a massive price for doing so.
While the flat yellow haze that hung over Beijing provided beautifully soft, filtered light for photography, each toxic lungful was a disturbing reminder of the countless material objects that have been made, bought, and discarded.
Yes, this trip changed my life. I now worry for the people of China, and I worry about our planet and its ability to withstand our abuse.
These images were made over Eight days in Beijing, and six days in Tunxi, in May 2008.