Michael Wolf Captures the Changing China of the ’90s

Michael Wolf Captures the Changing China of the ’90s

Between 1997 and 1998, China experienced steady economic growth that led to a significant migration of rural residents to urban areas in pursuit of new opportunities.

During this period, German photographer Michael Wolf arrived in rural China and captured unique portraits of people that epitomized the zeitgeist of that era.

Wolf began his career as a photojournalist, and his focus was on quotidian life in cities like Hong Kong and Paris. However, he brought the same sense of urgency and careful study to his work in rural China.

His portrait subjects stand out for their ultra-trendy ’90s outfits, which include pieces like oversized suits and combat boots.

Burgeoning modernization in cities meant that urban migrants returned to their rural hometowns sporting fashion out of sync with the local environment.

The incongruous style represented how quickly China was developing at that time.

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