With Flat Noodle Soup Talk, Pieter Hugo covers new ground, travelling to Beijing on a number of occasions to create a body of work that is as challenging as it is compelling. Describing his approach to the city as a movement from the outside to the innermost core, he portrays a place where history and modernity clash, resulting in great contrasts.
Hugo works across the social spectrum, photographing people young and old, family groups, newlyweds, and youths coming of age in a world flooded by the products of a booming consumer society. His subjects appear relaxed and vulnerable, willing to share themselves with his lens.
Hugo's portrait and still life images weave a melancholic narrative, revealing the fractures in the social façade of a country that has made a sudden shift from a collective society to a highly individualistic one. The vastness of the megacity and its multitudes of inhabitants only serves to highlight the sense of isolation which is palpable in Hugo’s photographs.