Several times Ian Teh made a 1000 km road trip through small cities, major industrial sites and neighboring corners of the Chinese border between Russia and North Korea in order to create this photo-journalistic series entitled China: Undercurrents. The combination of Chinese social, environmental and political images provides a glimpse into another world. We can see the hustle and bustle of the Chinese markets catering to Russian tourists and entrepreneurs and the deadly quiet of Chinese towns near the North Korean border.
This zone was designed to foster relationships and cross-border trade between these neighboring countries who once considered themselves to be the bastions of Communism. Ian describes his work as, “an exploration of the surreal lives that exist in these artificial places, special economic zones that have been created by governmental mandates.”