The First Line of China Project (Ongoing)

The First Line of China is an ongoing project launched in 2017. Currently, it consists of three sections:

1) a series of photo juxtapositions named “Sheep Pen Town”;
2) a photobook “Zhong Guo Di Yi Xian”;
3) a  film entitled “The First Line of China”. 

Each component is related by subject matter: an isolated industrial town attached to a local state-owned cement factory in Northeast China. I was born in this town and returned for the first time in 2018-- almost two decades after I left. 

Throughout each section, I present and examine the current status of this area while discussing multiple topics, such as the relationship between images and memory.  I also reflect on my nostalgia for the town as an imaginary hometown, a utopia and the ideological and cultural transformation of China derived from its economic reform etcetera. The title is a phrase encountered during the process of developing the work. This grand-sounding phrase has a certain connotation for the local people, which functions as an uncommon myth embedded in the collective memory, reflecting the ideological trace from 1980s China.


Film Project — The First Line of China (2019)


The First Line of China is a 45-min first-person essayistic documentary film. To recover the history and the story of an isolated industrial town attached to a local state-owned cement factory in Dongbei (the Northeast), China, I go on home return trips, physically and spiritually. During this process, I encounter the phrase “The First Line of China” for numerous times in different situations. This grand-sounding phrase impressed me since its meaning is vague and uncommon, but it clearly refers to the trace of official ideology from 1980s China. Following this trace, I find more about the town and about my family story...


An excerpt from the film


Screenshots from the film, 1920p×1080p


Photobook Project — Zhong Guo Di Yi Xian (2018, ongoing)


2018 First Edition, Paperback, 108 pages, 244mm×313mm


Photo Project — Yang Juan Ding Zi (2017)


Install Shot


This is an ongoing project