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Zhou Pinglang: HIGHRIS_

Born in 1988, Taizhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Currently lives and works in Shanghai, China.


“A hundred years ago, railways became the go-to symbol of urban modernization. Later, the symbol of the big city was the elevator — and the skyscrapers it took place within. Nowadays, the internet bring us closer together than the transit places we enter everyday. Nevertheless, we are entering a new era giving the cityscape a new dimension of interconnectedness among individuals as a result of the post covid era of physical isolation. The series Highris_ (2021) were mainly taken during the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai. After the outbreak of the pandemic, very few was seen in the streets as a lot of people stayed in their houses avoiding to go out unless they had to. Later, during the recovery period, shops closed down and turned into bars and cafes as an act of carpe diem among the changing social landscape. With its flashing neon lights and roaring traffic, everything constantly changes in a city like this, meanwhile some things stand still – even among enormous social and structural changes. For a brief moment, everything slowed down but the movement never ceased as people found new ways to gather and scatter. Within this new chaos of transition, I wanted to expose and discern the subtle rules in the structural changes of the city in this period, as well as the deeper collective consciousness it represented, as a photographical testimony of the post-pandemic era of the city of Shanghai.”– Zhou Pinglang

Zhou Pinglang is a documentary photographer and photojournalist holding a BA in Philosophy from Fudan University in Shanghai and an MA in Photojournalism from the London College of Communication. Over the last decade, Zhou Pinglang has travelled across China to work on independent projects and cover stories for various news media outlets. Zhou Pinglang’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including the Dunedin Fine Art Center in Florida, the Museum of London, Photoville in New York, and Shanghai International Photography Festival, and he has received several awards, such as the Asian Environmental Journalism Award and SOPA for Editorial Excellence, among others.

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Edited by Martin Wendelbo