Many people in China live separated and far away from their families. The number of migrant workers is estimated at around 200 million and many of them leave their families behind, only to see them for 3 or 4 weeks a year during the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).


This photo is a photo montage of different people at TaiYuan Railway station. Perhaps the people in these photo have nothing to do with the story above, but I couldn’t help noticing that many people at the station had a hard time saying goodbye. I made this photo montage to visualize a feeling of displacement and missing loved ones.



Beijing, Mr. Xu and his friends


(February 22nd, 2011) Mr. Xu and his friends are from a small village in Hebei province. They arrived yesterday in Beijing to start working for a boss; such they agreed with him on the phone. They would have been paid 120 RMB per day. However, yesterday they found out that the remuneration is not what they expected (most important: no meals included) and that the boss changed their assignment into work they did not agree on. So, today they are on their way back home. It seemed to me that they were not very well prepared when they came to Beijing, but they worked in Beijing before, so maybe I’m wrong.


The 200 RMB for the train ticket is a substantial loss for all of them. I forgot to ask but later I realized that they probably spent the (winter) night without a bed. The man in the middle is shaving himself with an electric razor that was shared by all.


Mr. Xu’s wife and child are in Guangzhou where Mrs. Xu works for 1300 RMB per month. They see each other once a year in their hometown during the Spring Festival holidays.
Mr. Xu will first start working in his hometown again and then give it another try to work in Beijing. Working in Guangzhou is no option as the pay there is much lower than in Beijing.



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