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Read This: New Street Photo Book Captures Hundreds of Shanghai Characters

Jul 21, 2016 | 18:30 Thu
Although street photography has been around since cameras were invented, combining the art form with social media-ready text blurbs that provide a glimpse into the subject's life is a fairly recent phenomenon. There are several of these out there in the world in book and blog format, the most famous of which is both: Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York. So it is in New York, so shall it be in Shanghai...

Now available at Open Muji is People of Shanghai, a project by Italian photographer Roberto Zampino, published with help from a newly-launched photography magazine/ brand Brownie.

Taking only 30 days to shoot, People of Shanghai (150rmb) features Shanghairen from all walks of life: a PR girl, a designer, a street performer, a tattoo artist, a rapper, even Daoshi -- printed on thick stock paper with Chinese captions in black and English translation in red. The design is bold and eye-catching, much like the group of people featured therein. The majority of the subjects are young, trendy, and definitely not camera shy.

The publishing company behind the book, Brownie magazine, is also worth checking out at Open Muji. Taking their name from the long-running camera series, the first issue of their bilingual, biannual photography magazine aims to support promising young photographers around the world in selling their art. Sounds ambitious.

Both publications and selected photos from People of Shanghai are currently on display at Open Muji until Jul 23.

For a deeper look at their work, chief editor Nelson Ng (who also created the bilingual travel magazine LOST) and Brownie's art consultant Yining He will host a free talk (in Mandarin) on Saturday at 2pm at Muji to discuss the "human connection" in photography. It's cool to see there are people still committed to the medium of print and photography in print, making efforts to support young artists. Photographers and photography enthusiasts, this one's worth your attention.


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