It also features texts by the art historian and curator Gabrielle Schaad, as well as an account of Clifford E Bruckmann. First, Gabrielle discusses the conditions and context of the images and their creation. Whereas Clifford negotiates a subjective account through writing similar to the photographer’s intention. In this way, the text offers up different accounts of written storytelling, touching on both the abstract and the subjective, much like the duality of the photographic body of work.
While studying at the China Academy of Arts, studying under Yang Fudong and Qiu Zhijie, the 10x15cm formats depict myriad moments in the Chinese city. A young girl roller skates across a vast concrete plane, a few skyscrapers lurking in the distance. A workman in a bright blue uniform takes a break, head down, looking in between his legs while sitting on a tiled ledge separating an urban walkway with a neatly kept lawn. Elsewhere, an old man balances on one foot beside an otherwise empty bus stop as if he is mid-martial-arts-movement, peacefully enjoying a moment by himself.
For Michael, “everything was a highlight,” on his trip. And in the future, he hopes he can travel through China and stay to explore its cities and culture more. The book reflects this mentality, with no beginning and no end in terms of the narrative. The visual experience gives light to Michael’s experience, exuding a care and attention to detail echoed throughout Michael’s conscientious lens. The body of work represents a feeling rather than a documentarian experience, shedding light on a visceral experience rather a fixed storyline.