In 1994, during a study abroad in Hangzhou, China, a city just outside of Shanghai, I fell in love with photography. Whether it was a response to the culture shock or a synergy of my equally left and right brain tendencies — the medium had gotten to me. I spent a year working out my transition from engineering to the arts and then never looked back. I had a growing itch to return to this fascinating, at times confusing, and incredibly beautiful country to continue my current personal project about fatherhood. I am especially proud of the video we produced to accompany the stills:
The changes that China has undergone between 1994 and now cannot be understated. During our visit in 2016, Hangzhou was busy hosting the world’s leaders for a G20 Summit. Shanghai and its surrounding area had factories shut down for weeks in advance of the conference so we could all be greeted with clearer skies. So much about Chinese culture is fascinating, confusing, and incredibly beautiful. It was a dream to be able to explore a glimpse of this culture through the dads who each welcomed me into their lives for a day.
Stills: Callie Lipkin
Motion Camera: Leah Fithian
GoPro: Trevor Power
Editor: Traci Weingardt