Approximate Joy: Christopher Anderson’s ethereal portraits of contemporary China

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

"I have seen the future and it is now and it is China. There is no need for the past. It can be erased. A new happiness is being constructed, an approximation of joy, better than the real thing.” - Christopher Anderson

Mysterious and visceral, Christopher Anderson’s photographs of metropolitan men and women on the streets of Shanghai and Shenzhen present an up-to-date image of modern urban China.

Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley, barely existed thirty years ago but today has some twenty million inhabitants, whilst Shanghai, China’s biggest city, has a population of over 24 million. Between the smog, air pollution and constant development, a grey/blue light hangs over these cities, providing an almost theatrical illumination to Anderson’s portraits.

The images are tightly cropped and extremely close up, with all context of place removed, bringing the viewer to an intimate distance with the faces of Anderson’s subjects.

Christopher Anderson first gained recognition in 1999 when his poignant images of the rescue of Haitian refugees taken onboard a sinking wooden boat named the “Believe in God” won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal. In 2005 he joined the renowned photo agency, Magnum. In addition to regular personal and editorial assignments Anderson is currently the first ever “Photographer in Residence” at New York Magazine.

Approximate Joy, published by STANLEY/BARKER is available to order via www.stanleybarker.co.uk.

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker

© Christopher Anderson + Magnum, published by Stanley Barker