Market trader in Dali 大理商贩
24cms (W) x 34cms (H)
Oil on Panel
One of the first places I visited in China was the south western region called 'Yunnan'. It's a lush, traditional region that is the source of a lot of China's fruit, vegetables, rice, tea, coffee, flowers and vegetable by-products like cooking oils. There are lots of fascinating contrasts and comparisions between some of China's regions, which I could discuss at length, but in this I wanted to capture the feel of a rural market, with mounds of vegetables thrown onto trestle tables, next to tables full of jars of things I couldn't at the time identify, next to wooden slabs covered in butchered animals and offal. Walking between the aisles of the market were women with large wicker baskets on their backs, shovelling huge masses of produce into them, somehow managing to bear the whole weight of their weekly shop. In the background I've included some people in regional dress as in Yunnan despite not being a tourist hotspot, it's quite common to witness people walking around in brightly coloured traditional clothing.
The only other thing i'll say about this is that in certain areas and certain generations you can see that they've not had the easiest of lives, and you can detect the resilience and stoicism as they go about their daily ordinary tasks.