Adrian Bradshaw

British photojournalist Adrian Bradshaw came to Beijing in 1984 to study Mandarin justas everyday life was in flux. He would go on to spend three decades living in,experiencing and recording this transformation. Bradshaw settled and married a Chinese and would stay longer than any other overseas photojournalist, bringing an empathy and understanding to his subjects that is rare. In his twenties inthe 1980s, Bradshaw was in the company of the young people who drove the reformera and built many of the features of 21st Century China: the artists, farmers,entrepreneurs and industrialists whose enthusiasm and positivity made things happen. Bradshaw seized the chance to witness the new confidence and joy of the early years of change, becoming the first accredited freelance photographer resident in China.

Equipped with a spirit of enquiry and growing language skills he carried a discreet Leica range finder to explore every province and region of the vast People’s Republic. With no agenda but to share what he found it was a time where the ordinary was as intriguing as the extraordinary. The change at street level was always the most fascinating; the genuine mutual curiosity between the British traveller and the subjects of his lens is evident whether it is aweather-beaten pilgrim in Lhasa or a group of trendy youths in Shanghai.

March 26, 7:30 PM – THE DOOR OPENED: 1980s CHINA

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