Their years drift away worlds apart, longing becomes routine, and chances to reunite come too infrequently. This situation characterizes the lives of millions upon millions of children who stay home while their migrant parents venture to the cities seeking employment.
Deep in the mountains of Sichuan Province, Xiema Township of Jiajiang County, Leshan City, is a four-hour drive from Chengdu, the provincial capital. At many points on the road connecting the town to the outside, only one vehicle can pass at a time. A single elementary school and a middle school serve its residents. Two thirds of the township’s parents work in cities, whether relatively nearby in Chengdu, or far off in Beijing or Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
I offered to take photographs of the left-behind children of 10 families and deliver prints to the metropolises where the parents were working. When the images of the children arrived in the parents’ places of work and residence, the families were reunited in a special way. The photos were taken at the end of 2011.