Through extensive travels over more than twenty years, Bertrand Meunier, a member of the Tendance Floue collective, has carried out a field study of China as it has experienced galloping growth since the 2000s.
This first monograph is the culmination of a long-term project in China, which began with the Erased series in 1998, focusing on changes in the Chinese peasant and industrial world, followed by REC on the society of excessive surveillance and recent protests in Hong Kong in 2019. Bertrand Meunier's documentary approach is far removed from current events, and focuses on sociological analysis where information is often outside the frame. The choice of black and white, contrasting tones, and the use of film to bring out the grain and texture of these industrial zones, which oscillate between ghostly gray and charcoal black, testify to a universethat is at once harsh, poetic and tormented, in keeping with his vision of the evolution of Chinese society. He paints an uncompromising picture of China's northeastern regions, where social transformations are exacerbating inequalities. Through his study of this territory in crisis, the photographer questions our future, whether in China or elsewhere.
A text by Pierre Haski, international correspondent in China, sheds light on this body of work.