#ChinaGrams: Up All Night in 7 Shots by Joán Llabata

A love poem to China's working class and disappearing urban environments

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12:06 AM HKT, Tue February 26, 2019 1 mins read

#ChinaGrams is when we feature a photographer who’s taking incredible shots of China on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram or contact us here for the chance to have your work featured.

What’s life like for China’s late-night workers? This is what Spanish photographer Joán Llabata set out to explore in his “Abierto 24/7” (or “Open 24/7”) series.

The series is as much a love poem to China’s quickly-disappearing urban environments as it is to the workers who populate them. Says Llabata:

“Most of these places are on the verge of disappearing and being replaced by new developments. They also share a feeling of density and of time passing, and it’s difficult to tell where life ends and work begins.

I wanted to document these people who are quite far from achieving the Chinese economic dream themselves, but make it possible for others by sustaining always-open services that support the new middle class and myself.”

For Llabata, shooting this series on film was a very deliberate choice:

“The process of shooting film has quite a few steps in which you touch the film and must take care of it. It demands love in every stage of the process. You wait, you reflect on what you did and how you did it, and while doing so, you get to understand better your subject and yourself. Photography to me is about capturing life (or the lack of it), and how you interact with the world around you in an honest and truthful way.”

Read on to see the rest of the photos:

View this series and more photos on his Instagram.

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