"Fascinated by the cultural changes in contemporary China, Bertien van Manen travelled to China fourteen times between July, 1997, and May, 2000. In her characteristically subtle and sensitive manner, Bertien van Manen produced a personal reportage on China as she saw it: a world of contradictions, a mingling of urban and rural culture, against a communist background.
Her images subtly reveal how traditional Chinese life is influenced by Western culture. Because these changes are most visible among youth, Van Manen focused largely on them. Her work offers an unparalleled insight into domestic life in China. Without being voyeuristic, we get to know people in big cities like Shanghai or Beijing, but also in remote little villages: artists, multi-generation families, sometimes outcasts. The intimacy one feels with the people and situations portrayed is amazing."