Farmer on terraced fields. China 1984

In 1984 I was invited, along with a select group of other photographers to visit China. The country had decided to start opening it’s door to the outside world. They desperately need foreign capital. By sponsoring a group of photographers who had a history of being published in major magazines their hope was that promotional stories would result that would attract tourists and their dollars. It was an interesting time to  visit. Many of the people I photographed had never seen a non-Chinese person.

Road crew making gravel with sludge hammers.

Without the capital to mechanize their economy everything was being done by hand. These men were making gravel for the road that was being built.

Girls harvesting grain by hand. China 1984.

Farming was generally done by hand. From picking to threshing of grain.

Horse and cart. China 1984

There were some cars, but they were rare. Most people traveled by bicycle, horse or small motorized tractors pulling a trailer. 

There was almost no refrigeration in 1984. Food was bought live, or recently killed, and taken home to be eaten immediately.