Hunan photographer freezes time

By Zhu Youfang in Changsha and Chen Meiling | | Updated: 2022-07-27 17:32
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Tan Jianhua has taken around 100,000 photos recording structures in more than 800 ancient villages that are about to disappear across Hunan province. [Photo by Tan Jianhua/For]

"I was born in a village that has a special connection with old houses, which are disappearing with the rapid pace of urbanization. I feel sad about it," he said.

Most of the ancient villages are in remote mountainous areas, and Tan has to take bus or ride a motorbike, carrying all his photographic equipment and food weighing 15 kilograms. Sometimes he camps and eats only instant noodles.

The difficulty didn't upset Tan. Instead, the beauty of ancient architecture interested him deeply.

"It has a poetic beauty and is an expression of local culture. Photography records them and retains the beauty passed down from thousands of years ago," he said.

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