I started ‘Two of Us’ in 2009. I photographed people who grew up as an only child in China with an imaginary sibling. They are all an only child as a result of the strict 30 years of One-Child Policy.
The One-Child Policy in China restricts the number of children a married urban couple can have to one. In fact, nearly every Chinese born after 1980 in urban areas, including myself, is an only child with no siblings. The policy is enforced at provincial level through fines and other punishments, leaving a result of over 100 million with one only child in China.
The absence of siblings left a deep imprint on an One-Child generation‘s identity, The loneliest generation in China history are searching for something more meaningful to connect with others.
Beside the Rusticated Youth of China, and the Culture Revolution, the only child generation was the nation’s most turbulent in post-Mao China, but it is more personal and internal. To me, the imaginary of ‘Two of Us’ is more true than today‘s reality. The progress of shooting ‘Two of Us’ is a ceremony to record the history of One-Child into memories.
By Fan Shi San