As is to be expected when it comes to the world's preeminent sports meet and (perhaps more importantly) cultural event, coverage during the first weekend of the Olympic Games was heavy on cheesy montages and stuffy commentary. For a richer, more authentic look into China and their way of life, we recommend NYC-based photographer Dan Eckstein's recent project entitled Picture China.
A documentary and fine arts photographer, Dan Eckstein spent a few months traveling 10,000 km through China in 2006 to document contemporary life there leading up to the Olympic games. The photo essay depicts scenes from the rural Tibetan plateau all the way to the East China Sea, exposing the diversity and rapidly changing culture. We also get a look into the demolition of the Hutongs (traditional Beijing neighborhoods) to make room for the modern buildings seen there today. Eckstein's approach makes for documentary photos with vibrant color.
The series as a whole serves as an intimate look into the host country's landscape and life providing an unfiltered and rare look into China. Currently back in Beijing to document the Olympic experience for the likes of PBS and the New York Times, be sure to visit Eckstein's personal site and his photo blog, Look Closer, to view his other works from around the world.