591 Exhibition: Mikael Good - Meetings in the middle of China
A little boy in Damu. This boy's father asked me
if i could take a picture of his son, so I did.
The pictures in this photo-essay were taken during Mikael Good's trip to China in mid-december 2004. Mikael is a Swedish photojournalist and writer. He was working in close cooperation with the Swedish NGO organization Star of Hope (Hoppets Stjärna) and the Chinese NGO China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation.
"Maybe I'm naive but I believe that poverty will be eradicated when rich and poor people meet. I hope that I can bring about a meeting between rich and poor people through my photos and texts."
I am an advocate of simple straight photography, free of special effects and manipulations. The essence of my photography is to highlight the people in the pictures and invite the viewer to a personal meeting. To quote Robert Frank: "Black and white are the colours of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected."
People in Damu Village. They were very friendly and even if I couldn't
speak their language I was able to make good contact with them.
Qinghai is located in the north eastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. The Yellow River (Huang He) orginates in the southern part of the province, while the Yangtze and Mekong have their sources in the south western part. The majority of the people living in the countryside in Qinghai are Tibetan and are farmers many of them are Muslim converts.
I was the first white man who visited the villages in the Qinghai province
in the middle of China and a large crowd followed every step that I took.
It was hard for me to blend in and act as a fly on the wall.
Mikael Good, was the first white man to visit these villages. He was followed everywhere by a curious crowd. The people in the different villages now know that white men are big and tall, have long hair and beard, smiles and laughs a lot, eats easily with chopsticks and eats very spicy food.
The people living on the countryside in Qinghai are mostly Tibetan and of a total population of 5 400 000 people, 1 100 000 belong to the Tibetan minority. Most of the Tibetan minority are farmers who grows potatoes and they have Yaks who gives them meat, wool and milk. They live in houses built by clay and wood. It only rains once or twice a year in the region and the people collect the rainwater in water tanks.
A little boy in the village of Damu. He wears a traditional Tibetan hat.
Mikael Good, Photojournalist & Writer
Born: 1968 in Borås, Sweden
Lives in: Husqvarna, Sweden
Inspiration: Josef Koudelka, Sebastião Salgado, Dorothea Lange, Werner Bischof, Robert Frank, Christer Strömholm, Sune Jonsson and Cartier Bresson.
Latest exhibitions: Greetings from Latvia, Fjällräven Center, Örnsköldsvik, 1-12 november.