Walking up and Down
In 2014 Liu Tao traveled all over the city of Hefei on his motorbike to read water meters for his job at the Hefei Water Supply Company. He had been doing that for about a decade, but the last three years he took a small camera with him to capture unexpected moments during his lunch break and journey home after work. He posted his witty images, which poke fun at contemporary issues in China (from overindulging parents to commercialism and the boundless urban expansion) on Weibo, China’s most popular social network at the time. It was picked up by CCTV, Lens and other well know Chinese media. Within 24 hours, the post had been shared more than 50.000 times with over 20.000 comments. The young street photographer became an overnight sensation.
Over the years, Liu visited many of the messy old streets over and over again and sometimes runs into the same people he photographed before. In an interview with NeoChina he describes a photo that he took of the female butcher shop owner taking a selfie with her legs kicked up on the table that made the front page of a local newspaper: “Since that time we avoid making eye contact with each another, it’s just way too awkward”. Walking and Down is a collection of perfectly timed photos of the streets of Hefei.
Liu Tao (b. 1982, Gao’An, China)
Liu Tao is working from Hefei, Anhui province. In 2005 he started working as a water meter reader for the Hefei water supply company and started taking photographs on the way to work. In 2015 his work was published by Lens magazine and went viral online including dozens of media reports in and outside of China. He recently spends a lot of time photographing his daughter and humbly continue to work as a water meter reader. He was the finalist of “Three Shadows Photography Award 2014”, also won the China’s New Talent Award 2015.
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