Hanwen Zhang

The First Line of China


In The First Line of China by Hanwen Zhang, the title refers the language of industrialization used by government officials referring to the factory workers in Dongbei, a city in northeast China. Born in 1995, Zhang spent the first five years of his life in a community of concrete factory workers where his parents met, labored, and systemically arranged their lives under factory law.  As the artist narrates his return to the site of his early years, he is met with the complications of the romanticism of memory and nostalgia, finding moments of beauty and humor in the face of a grey crumbling reality.