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‘Eyes on China’: Illuminating Life Across a Changing Country

Two photographers living in China, Kevin Frayer of Getty Images and Fred Dufour of Agence France-Presse, set up a collective Instagram account in June that displays photographs and short videos taken across China. They called it “Eyes on China.”

The aim was to provide an informal outlet and organizing point for many of the professional photographers, both Chinese and foreign, working in the country. The account now has 34 photographers, 18 of them Chinese and 16 foreign. A couple are video journalists.

“China is a massive, complicated and incredibly interesting place that is impossible for any one photographer to show,” Mr. Frayer said. “Our goal was to pull together this large group of talented photographers and video journalists to give people a diverse and ongoing visual document of the country.”

As seen here, the images are wide-ranging and offer a glimpse into ordinary lives across China. An old man sits atop a traditional bed known as a kang. A woman stands in a snowstorm. A bride prepares for a wedding portrait by a lake.

“Eyes on China” has more than 30,000 followers. It is not known how many are living in China as Instagram, like many other prominent social networks, is blocked in the country.

“Using social media is a wonderful way to reach a large audience and to create a following,” Mr. Frayer said. “The irony of course is that Instagram is blocked in mainland China. The project has not yet had any official support from Instagram — such as being highlighted on Instagram’s feed or being designated as a ‘suggested follow’ — but we are thrilled by the large support base and following that we have built. It’s organic.”

There are very few rules for posting, Mr. Frayer said, and each contributor selects his or her own images.

Two regular freelance photographers for The New York Times, Gilles Sabrié and Sim Chi Yin, contribute to “Eyes on China,” as does Jonah M. Kessel, a video journalist for The Times.

By EDWARD WONG Feb. 3, 2016 on the New York Times

For more images from “Eyes on China” click here

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