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In the eyes of the beholders

By Fang Aiqing | China Daily | Updated: 2019-07-06 11:59
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Shanghai's Guangxin Road, shot in July 1991, reflects why China was once called "A Kingdom of Bicycles".[Photo by Wang Wenlan/For China Daily]

One of his best known collections, one on which the cover of the book is based, portrays China as a "bicycle kingdom" since the 1980s, how it has developed into a country of four wheels and more and finally how shared bicycles touched every corner of the country.

There was a time when choosing what to photograph apart from big news events proved difficult for Wang, and uppermost in his mind was the artistic expression of his photographs.

He started taking photos during the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), mainly taking pictures of himself and people around him and of landscapes. It was not until April 1976 when he went to Tian'anmen Square and saw tens of thousands of people mourning the passing of former premier Zhou Enlai in January that he realized 10 years of turmoil had in effect passed him by, he says.

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