Chen Ronghui <em>Modern Shanghai</em> 2023, from the Megacities project, Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. This project is supported by the Orloff Family Charitable Trust, and Barry Janes and Paul Cross, 2022. Courtesy of the artist<br/>
© Ronghui Chen

Chen Ronghui | Shanghai

Photo: courtesy of the artist

Chen Ronghui
China born 1989

Megacities, Level 3
NGV International
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‘As an immigrant in a Chinese city, I face the problem of ‘hukou’. Although I work and pay taxes in Shanghai, I have no way to get the same treatment as the locals. Such classic Chinese conundrums trouble me as they trouble countless other Chinese people working here. At the same time, the city has allowed us to stay in a very accommodating way. In this project, I focus on those who live near the subway terminal. They live on the fringes of the city and then go to the centre of the city to work and look for opportunities. The subway terminal is farther and farther away from the city, and migrants live in the land of in-between. This is a very special experience. People can’t go back to the countryside, and they can’t integrate into the city. They can only struggle in this land.’

Chen Ronghui is a Chinese photographer and storyteller based in Shanghai, whose work focuses on China’s urbanisation. He has devoted himself to the study of the relationship between China’s expansive urban environments and individuals’ experiences. His projects have brought him many awards, including the World Press Photo prize, Three Shadows Photography Award, ALPA special prize and Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award. Outside of his own professional practice, Chen also acts as the head of the visual department for Sixth Tone, which is a local Shanghai English-language digital publication.​ His work is held in the collections of the Shanghai Center of Photography; Light Society, Beijing; China Port Museum, Ningbo; and Photography Museum of Lishui.​

Sound & music by Ans M.

The NGV warmly thanks the Orloff Family Charitable Trust, and Barry Janes and Paul Cross for their support.