08. Meetings in the middle of China

The images in this exhibition were taken in the Qinghai province in the middle of China in mid-December 2004. I was the first white man who visited the villages and a large crowd followed every step that I took. The people in the villages are mostly Tibetan and to my surprise many of them was Muslim converts. They converted from Tibetan Buddhism to Islam in the mid 1900 century. The people in the different villages now know that white men are big and tall, have long hair and beard, smiles and laughs a lot, eats easily with chopsticks and like very spicy food :)

Qinghai is located on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. The Yellow River (Huang He) originates in southern part of the province, while the Yangtze and Mekong have their sources in the southwestern part.

The people living on the countryside in Qinghai are mostly Tibetan and of a total population of 5 400 000 people, 1 100 000 belong to the Tibetan minority. Most of them are farmers. They live in houses built by clay and wood. It only rains once or twice a year in the region and the people collect the rainwater in water tanks, they use the water for farming, cooking and drinking. They are really short of water and washes themselfs just a few times a year. In winter time some of the men from the villages work as construction workers in the nearby cities in order to get some extra money for their families.

The exhibition Meetings in the Middle of China was the first photographic exhibition that was displayed at an IKEA store in Sweden. The exhibition has been on display at LIFE Force Magazine and will also appear at 591 Photography Gallery in april 2011.