From the subtropical jungles of Yunnan to the frozen wastes of Heilongjiang; across the scalding deserts of Xinjiang and beneath Hong Kong’s neon blur. Tramping through China by train, bus, boat, motorcycle, mule or hitching on the back of anything that moved. On a budget so scant that he drew sympathetic stares from peasants. Backpacking photographer Tom Carter somehow succeeded in circumnavigating over 35,000 miles (56,000 kilometers) across all 33 provinces in China during a 2-year period, the first foreigner on record ever to do so.
What Carter found along the way, and what his photographs ultimately reveal, is that China is not just one place one people, but 33 distinct geographical regions populated by 56 different ethnicities, each with their own languages, customs and lifestyles.
Despite increased tourism and surging foreign investment, the cultural distances between China and the West remain as vast as the oceans that separate them. Carter’s book, “China: Portrait of a People,” was published as a means to visually introduce China to the world by providing a glimpse into the daily lives of the ordinary people who don’t make international headlines, yet whom are invariably the heart and soul of this country. –Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong
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