Baling Hou: a photographic exploration of the Chinese post-80s generation in the urban cities of China
The aim of this practice-led research is to create a body of photographic work that explores the characteristics of the Baling Hou [八零后] and their life in urban China. Baling Hou refers to the generation born in the 1980s and is commonly known as the post-80s generation. The research seeks to highlight, by way of photography, how China’s economic reform as well as the implementation of the one-child policy have changed the composition of the traditional Chinese family structure and the consequent impact on the diversity of social lifestyle, values, attitudes and expectations for Baling Hou who reside in the urban cities of Beijing, Yichang and Guangzhou. Utilizing the author’s personal experience as a member of the post-80s generation as well as specific strategies drawn from ethnographic study, the research offers a personal reflection on how this generation has been shaped by a macro- environment of social transformation in contemporary China. This research is constituted as practice based work 80%, accompanied by an exegesis 20%.