Song Chao (born in 1979 in Shandong Province) grew up and worked in a coal-mining community since he was ten. While such conditions – working 12 hours a day in a mine – would discourage many, Song Chao one day in 2001 decided to install a studio composed of a white background and natural light near the exit of the mine. Thereafter and over the course of five-years period, he devoted himself to the depiction of miners (Miners I, Miners II), their families (Miners’ Families), their surroundings (The Landscape of Coal-mine) and the people whose occupations are connected with the mines (Coal-Mine Community). Together, these photographs offer an intuitive, personal and powerful portrait of the impact of mining on a small community. His two recent series “Migrant workers” and “Hold” tackle with the influx of immigrants in China by using the same touch: straightforward yet powerful black and white portrait.

About the “Coal-mine Community”

Coal-mine Community is a big special group in Chinese society. They live in the mine areas and go in for different occupations connecting with the mines. They are not miners, yet their incomes are directly associated with the economic benefits of the mines. Most of them are the dependents of the miners. And only a few of their offspring can leave the mine areas for colleges and live in cities, while the most who cannot receive further education have to stay in the mines. And they would be the new generation to be miners or the family members of the miners. There are much more common people than the miners in the mine areas. The population of the coal- mine community must be a huge figure in China. We know that it is only about a short time of several decades of years to exploit a coal mine. And with the develop of the high technology was used in the coal mine. The speed of developing resources of the mine lead to rapid progress. In other hand the nature resources form millions of years are limited. Obviously, the minerals—-the human—-the modern industry produce, the three facts appear a very disharmonious station.

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