我决定拍摄自己的家乡——克拉玛依,是因为它是一座特殊的城市。它的特殊行不光时因为克拉玛依是一座现代化的油城,更是因为它所展现出来的魅力,区别于人们所认知的新疆的概念。

或者说,新疆长久以来都缺失城市的影像。一提到新疆,人们所能想起的大都是乡镇少数民族的独特风情以及类似天堂一般超现实的风景,这是人们对新疆的普遍认识,它非常概念,非常画册,但在我看来它并不真实,也缺少深入的真诚。

然而,作为一个土生土长的新疆人,我眼中的新疆并不是如此。我所生活的克拉玛依和内地所有城市一样,具有一座城市在现代化进程中所面临出的诸多相似性。市中心的扩展、外来人口的增加、拆迁、交通堵塞等问题都在这片土地上变得不再陌生,于是,随着克拉玛依的发展所带来的是一种有趣的现象——一个现代化进程的新兴城市与传统少数民族文化之间的交融。

人们对维吾尔族的认识大都停留在喀什的老城,这很像西方人还带着一些固有的偏见看待中国一样。克拉玛依的维吾尔族人民其实并不住在葡萄树下,他们和内地的人民一样工作、生活、学习,努力让自己过上更好的生活。在前几年全国第三届地市州盟相对富裕程度与统筹发展监测评价报告中,新疆克拉玛依被评为仅次于广东东莞市的全国第二富城市,这个评测使得我更加有兴趣关注克拉玛依的人们,尤其是维吾尔家庭是如何生活。

我走访了三十多家克拉玛依维吾尔家庭,他们大都住在高楼中,说标准的汉话,在企业上有正式的工作,有的还是单位的领导,有的是艺术院校的学生,家里的装饰欧式而现代,舒适而奢华的家庭氛围,远超出我的想象。作为一个新疆人,我对维吾尔族的认识也被长期的固化和概念化了。选择拍摄家庭是因为“家”是一个很汉化却又很国际化的词汇,这些影像展现出的这并不是关于有钱或者没钱的概念,而是关于“家”的认知,我想,他们这些人或许并不能代表所有新疆的维吾尔族人,但他们可以代表生活在新疆的中产阶层的维吾尔族人们。

这些克拉玛依的中产维吾尔人,是克拉玛依这座新兴城市的建设者和主人,同样,他们也是现代化进程的受益者。在2009年,克拉玛依市政府提出打造“世界石油城”的理念,“世界”是一个庞大而硬性的词汇,但在这个词汇背后应该有着一些软性的标准。我想,打破人们对维吾尔族的固化认识,是这组摄影作品最大的拍摄初衷。

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The Beauty of Karamay

I decide to make my hometown Karamay as my subject because of its distinctiveness. To say it’s distinctive not only to point out that Karamay is a modern city with oil industry but also to emphasize its attraction distinct from the stereotyped Xinjiang.

It’s arguably that the cityscape view is long absent in photography about Xinjiang. In public viewpoint, Xinjiang is about exotic expression of minority nationality or surreal landscape of heavenly view. While it’s ideal and pictorial, but not my reality and lack of inner sincerity.

As an autochthon, it’s not my view of Xinjiang. The Karamay I live is as same as all other inland cities, has all similarities a city needs to face during the modernization. People live there are no longer unfamiliar to the problems such as urbanization, immigration, demolition, traffic jam and so on. So it brings an interesting phenomenon, the blend between a newly modernized city and traditional culture of minority nationality.

To most of us, the knowledge of Uyghur still remains in the impression of the old city, Kashi, just like Chinese to most of the Westerns. Uyghur people not lead a life under grape trees. As a matter of fact, in The 3rd Evaluation Report On Index Of Relative Richness And Overall Development Of Prefectures, Karamay of Xinjiang ranked 2nd, only after Dongguan of Guangdong. This report made me even more interested in the people of Karamay, especially in their family lives.

I’ve visited and interviewed over 30 Uyghur families, most of them live in apartment towers, speak norm Chinese, work in decent companies. Some are managers in the companies; some are students in fine-art College. Euro or modern deco styles, comfortable or luxury family environments, what I saw were far beyond my expectation. As a Xinjiang people, my knowledge of Uyghur is also stereotyped and conceptualized.

The middle class Uyghur in Karamay are the founder and the master of this newly build city, at the same time, they are the beneficiaries of modernization. 2009, authority of Karamay raised the idea of building a “world oil city”. “World” is a big word consists with a series of flexible standards. To me, the foremost intention of how this project comes from is to break the inherent mindsets towards Uyghur, reveal the fair and bright side of a community. It’s not only for the dignity of Uyghur but also the dignity of Han.