I stumbled upon this website a few months ago and just remembered to share it with ya’ll. It has NOTHING to do with hair or me but it was so interesting that I read all 16 stories.
The simplest way to explain this is in the words of the photographer himself, Joseph Rupp.
“During my first visit to China, in 1985, I had the good fortune of seeing women who still had bound feet. At first I thought I had just been lucky to see one of the last such women, but as time went by I quickly realized they were everywhere! Then one day a woman with four-inch long shoes approached my travelling companion, pointed at her large, normal shoes and laughed. We attempted a conversation but soon found out the woman with tiny feet did not speak Mandarin. Thus began a fascination that has continued to this day, and after many trips to China I have collected a group of interviews and portraits of women who went through the unimaginable pain of having their feet broken and bound.
The portraits were all shot in natural light in some unusual settings, including cramped kitchens with dirt floors and open courtyards with chickens and pigs running around. There were always crowds of onlookers – friends and relatives of the women – amazed that they were having their portrait done by a foreigner. Several of the women told us they had never been photographed before and were truly thrilled at our interest in talking to them and shooting their portraits. I mailed each of them prints of themselves.”
Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Nappyness