Snapshot: ‘Nanchong, Sichuan’ (2006), by Luo Dan

The photograph above, of three swimmers changing clothes, is part of “China Route 318”, a series inspired by Jack Kerouac and Robert Frank, for which Luo Dan drove from Shanghai in the far east of the country to Lhasa in the west. Luo studied at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and worked for a decade as a photojournalist before ditching his job in 2006 to make two long journeys across China. His objective was to document the everyday lives of his fellow citizens at a time of extraordinary economic and cultural change. “I try to capture a moment,” he says. “As a viewer looks at this image, perhaps they will imagine what proceeds or comes after.” Luo’s award-winning work, including a series using the 19th-century “wet plate” process, is on show at M97 Gallery, Shanghai, until June 30.

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