Weegee = Ouija
May 8, 2006 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Maohair, Chinese "peasant with a camera": China's Weegee? (Weegee links: The Getty, Int'l Center of Photography, Eastman Collection, 1945 radio interview and weegee.org); (Maohair links: His MSN Spaces page (in Chinese w/pics), more pics.) Warning: Not for the faint of heart.
posted by docgonzo (15 comments total)
Wow, those are fascinating glimpses. Thanks for this, even though that formerly alive smudge behind that tow truck will haunt me for weeks.
posted by mediareport at 8:56 AM on May 8, 2006

He may call himself a peasant but the big white "l" series telephoto in the first photo in the first link tends to belie that. That is some nice documentary photography, though. Much of it is definitely disturbing. Nice links.
posted by TedW at 8:58 AM on May 8, 2006

Crap; "l" should be "L"
posted by TedW at 9:04 AM on May 8, 2006

Thanks for the warning. But I think you could have said it was gruesome images of accident victims, etc.

"Not for the faint of heart" could mean poignant.
posted by surplus at 9:07 AM on May 8, 2006

A 9-year-old girl was killed at a zebra crossing
by a public bus which violated traffic rules.
Her mother just heard the news.

Zebra crossing?
posted by odinsdream at 9:27 AM on May 8, 2006

Zebra crossing?
Black and white stripes marking a crosswalk?
posted by Richard Daly at 9:34 AM on May 8, 2006

Zebra crossing.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:37 AM on May 8, 2006

Very interesting. The Weegee reference seems entirely appropriate to me.
posted by bardic at 9:40 AM on May 8, 2006

great shots.
posted by gnutron at 9:49 AM on May 8, 2006

I only looked at one set of photos and it was a bit much for me.

Maohair is a weird name, because one of the pronounciations of "mao" in Mandarin Chinese means "hair".
posted by kalessin at 12:29 PM on May 8, 2006

posted by delmoi at 12:38 PM on May 8, 2006

How could one person possibly rack up so many on-the-spot automobile accident photos?

I'm glad I don't live/drive in China.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:12 PM on May 8, 2006

Weegee had a police scanner. Maybe this photographer does the same.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:48 PM on May 8, 2006

Could he be calling himself a peasant because that is his legal status? I don't know how things are right now, but in the 80s in China rural people weren't allowed to move to the cities, unless they could get urban residence. So being a peasant is literally a legal, not just economic, status.

Many do still move for work, but become illegal migrant workers within their own country, without the same protections or rights as urban residents. Some of his photographs are labelled in the first post as being of migrant workers.
posted by jb at 2:56 PM on May 8, 2006

The Weegee reference seems entirely appropriate to me.

Not to me, I'm afraid. Although much of Weegee's work involved ambulance chasing for the tabloids, his work had a sophistication, a graphic power and a distinctive vision that I just don't see in the work of Maohair.

When he turns in some photographs as well observed as The Critic, perhaps the comparison may be apposite, but at the moment, the only thing they have in common is that they both photographed gory accidents.

Perhaps Maohair=rotten.com is more like it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:08 PM on May 8, 2006

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