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Home Living in China Foreigners in China Foreigners in China Javier Miqueleiz: Guangzhou in the 111 Faces
Javier Miqueleiz: Guangzhou in the 111 Faces
Foreigners in China

Javier MiqueleizJavier Miqueleiz, a Spanish photographer in Guangzhou, is working on his project of "111 faces in Guangzhou" which shows the portrait photos of 111 people, mostly foreigners, living in the city. Now he will share with us the project and his story.

 
How to show a city as a whole to the rest of the world? For Javier Miqueleiz, one of the best ways is through the people that are living there. That's the intention behind conducting such a photography project as "The 111 Faces in Guangzhou".
 
Javier Miqueleiz, a photographer from Irun, a small city north of Spain, is the creator of this seemingly huge project of 111 faces. The 25-year-old young man came to Guangzhou 2 years ago initially for love. He met a Chinese girl in the city during a trip to Hong Kong and decided to return to Guangzhou for her a month later. 
 
Of course, love without bread will not last. Javier, together with his girlfriend, shoots commercial pictures for clothing companies to make a living here. Vast job opportunities in China is also one of the reasons that Javier left his hometown in Spain, which is battered by economic crisis and has seen its national demand of business shrink in all sectors. "It's hard to find work in Spain. The chance is much bigger here." Javier said.   
 
Guangzhou is a commercial city that enjoys a history of over 2000 years as the most important commercial port in China. The city is the melting pot of the cultures from the east and west, embracing men and women from different cultural backgrounds to work and live beside the beautiful Pearl River. Javier, like many other new foreign dwellers in Guangzhou, is eager to better adept in the city that they are obsessed with. "I wanted to expand my circle of friends here, to know more ex-pats living here, like me." Javi recalled how he came to the idea of the making the project. However, shooting people's portraits is not just a means to an end. As his project is in full swing, he finds more from it. "The project enabled me, and I believe, enabled my audience in the future to see the city of Guangzhou at large, to see its diversity and tolerance, not just the stereotypical commercial hub."     
 
The local government also has realized the value of those portrait photos and included some of Javier's works in a photo exhibition that shows all-around the city in the newly-established city landmark Guangzhou Library.
 
To Javier's disappointment, the exhibition wasn't able to include the description of the photos, which is an interesting feature of the project in Javi's opinion. "The people in my photos are very interesting. They are very nice and have their stories. For me, it is more fun to know the story when you look at the portrait of each person. Each of them is unique." Javier said. 
 
Javier was a psychology major back in college. But he found more fun in photography. However, he is not keen on becoming one of the most famous photographers but instead learning more about life through the lenses. "I don't have any other hobby except photography. You can't expect to be rich as a photographer. But I do keep learning different stuff from it. It's really fascinating. I'm all about photography." Javier said.
 
His project of 111 faces has not been finished yet and he is struggling to find more time to do it as the workload of commercial shooting is increasing, but he will be continue doing it. 
 
For more information about the project and Javier, please visit the website www.jmiqueleiz.com. If you are interested in becoming one of the faces  in his project, don't hesitate to contact him.
 
哈维镜头下的人和城市看起来总是有点不太一样,酷酷的,充满金属的质感和距离,像一场无意识的梦。但哈维真人有一张干净的脸和清澈的眼神,他计划在广州拍摄101个脸孔,然后配上文字,记录下101个脸孔背后的故事。这当中,有他的西班牙同胞,有同城热爱摄影的外籍朋友们,更多的是在广州本土生长的中国人。
 
Javier Miqueleiz
 
哈维国籍:西班牙年龄:24
 
在穗时长:一年半职业:时尚摄影师
 
 
因为一个人爱上一座城
 
大学毕业后,学心理学的哈维开始了心理学研究工作。这个活听起来不赖,但对于一个年轻人,关在书斋里的生活未免过于沉闷枯燥。即便是这样,哈维也没想太多,“我很喜欢这份工作。”
 
一次偶然的广州之旅改变了一切。
 
哈维有个好朋友在广外当外教。这位朋友的朋友、一位文静内敛的韶关女孩深深吸引了哈维。故事有点老套,但是对当事人来说,不啻于一场甜蜜的旅行。
 
“在广州待着的那段时间,每天都能见到她,后来在飞机上,我想,不行,我要回广州,我要和她待在一块。”哈维回想起往事,脸上不由自主地浮现出一抹淡淡的微笑。
 
这个在几万英尺的高空做的决定,在抵达地面后变得更加坚定。一个月后,哈维已经辞去工作,说服父母,直奔广州。
 
哈维所生活的城市,是座传统而宁静的城市。绝大部分人在这里出生,在这里读书,在这里工作。如果没有来广州遇见她,也许哈维的生活也和大部分人一样按照既定的方向发展。但,生活中意外就是那么多。哈维的行为,在父母和朋友看来多少有点疯狂。但即便如此,哈维还是来了!
 
 
灵感源自生活的反差
 
问起哈维对广州街头小吃的印象,他脱口而出:臭豆腐!
 
这并不是广州最有代表性的小吃,他亦表示对此敬而远之,但是很喜欢这种味道。至于个中情由,则是一个关于通感的联想。
 
哈维第一次来广州,香港是中转站。哈维第一次见到臭豆腐,也是在香港。热气腾腾和味道横溢的背后,充满市井生活和寻常生活的味道,这个味道打开了他通往广州的第一道味觉。强烈刺激、充满新鲜感!这个味道是如此锐利地将他带入完全不一样的文化中,以至于后来他每次想起广州,眼前浮现的必然是臭豆腐摊子,然后是这股刺激的复合味道直接冲击大脑,然后便是广州充满反差的现实。
 
“广州是个充满反差的地方,这种反差对一个摄影师来说实在太有趣了。”哈维说。
 
这种反差也许对于常年生活当中的人来说,已经习以为常。但是对于哈维来说,却充满了惊奇,而这种反差也构成了他街拍的很多灵感。哈维觉得,这样的反差几乎每天都能不期而遇。
 
为了告诉记者他眼中的反差有多大,他打开了他的苹果手提电脑,找出了他和他的朋友的街拍作品。这中间,有在北京路和海珠区老城区拍摄的市井生活图景:退休的老人慢慢骑着老式永久牌自行车,慢慢地穿过逼仄的街道,两边是低矮的楼房,留给拍摄者一个悠闲的背影。也有对比更为强烈的,充满现代元素的立交桥盘旋而下,立交桥两侧,摩天大楼拔地而起,而有一些低矮的楼房拆了一半。“就像一个咏叹调,有高速发展的高昂,亦有一些远去的老生活的惋惜。这些,很难在欧洲见到。”哈维说。三千元的相机拍出“大作”
 
仅仅从哈维的作品来看,似乎是个老到的玩家。但实际上,哈维学摄影不过三年。
 
来广州后,因为喜欢摄影,哈维在网上搜索了一下在广州玩摄影的外国朋友们,很快结识了不同国籍的玩家们。刚刚开始,哈维用的是数码相机。一位来自加拿大的家伙尤其喜欢用老式相机在城中村拍照,哈维就在他的带动下迷上了老式相机。如今,他最爱的一台是日本产的手动相机,在很多地方可以买得到,大概人民币三千元。他很多得意之作就是这个老式相机完成的。
 
而他的另一个重要的在同时进行中的活,叫“脸孔”正在进行中。在他看来,面孔就像一张神秘莫测的地图,是通往心房的重要物证。他的目标是101张脸孔。研究心理学出身的他喜欢用镜头记录面孔背后的故事。如今,他已经完成了47个人物拍摄,而这当中有他的西班牙同胞,有热爱摄影的同城外籍朋友们,当然,也有很多广州人。
 
“我想,我会在广州定居。”哈维很坚定。
 
 
你问我答
 
好器材不等于好作品
 
问:很多人依然对器材趋之若鹜,觉得这样才能拍出好作品,你怎么看?
 
答:好照片其实并不完全依赖器材。当然了,好的器材很贵,但并不代表说好作品一定需要靠昂贵的器材实现。一个好的摄影师,如何把镜头前你需要拍摄的人或者景不一样的特质表现出来至关重要,好的器材只是一种工具而已。有时候你需要,有时候并不需要。
 
问:你同时是时尚摄影师,你眼中的时尚是什么?
 
答:不管是用来在天桥上秀的,还是在人们身上穿的,我喜欢含有重修塑造意味的时装,例如通过衣领、袖子的改变让最寻常的衣服(例如T-SHIRT)变得不一样,这会让其更加有吸引力。
 
 
魅力对话
 
你觉得什么是魅力?魅力就是一种能力,这种能力让你愿意和他待在一起,会不由自主地关注他的一举一动,沉浸在他的一言一行中,这种能力让生活充满灵感。
 
你觉得谁最有魅力?
 
我广外的朋友是西班牙一位著名厨师,他在西班牙有自己的品牌连锁。他做得一手好菜,非常幽默有趣。我觉得他是个非常有魅力的家伙。
 
问:同城有没有你比较喜欢的摄影师?
 
答:有。文中我提到的,那位加拿大人就是我很欣赏的摄影师。我玩旧式相机也是跟他学的。所以,他也算是我的师傅。(笑)
 
 
记者手记
 
想做就做的人生
 
加上之前采访过的画家、设计师卡门,哈维是记者采访的第二位西班牙艺术家。卡门在飞机上遇见自己的爱人,而哈维则在飞机上决定来广州追随自己的爱人。两人都说了一句话,“想来就来了,没想那么多”。而哈维说这句话的时候,会无意识地转头,用清澈的眼神专注地看着自己的女朋友。
 
他的女朋友也是一位时尚摄影师,同时亦是他的合伙人,两个年轻人在西村创意园租了一间工作室,开始了志同道合的摄影梦想,陪伴他们的还有一只上蹿下跳的小黄花狸猫。哈维的故事其实很简单,看似很纠结的决定都做得举重若轻,辞职、出国、改行,想做就做了!人生不就是如此么?
 

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