We hear news reports of the rise of China and its sleepless economy, often with sinister undertones supposed to alarm us. The reality can look very different. German photographer Bernd Hagemann has long been fascinated by China and its people. He carries his camera at all times, because on every street corner you can find people napping in the strangest positions and situations, even snoring in deep slumber.
“When China wakes, she will shake the world,” warned Napoleon. This may be true. But let’s not forget that hardworking people need their sleep too.
“An amateur photographer gained a global following by taking snaps of slumbering mainlanders” – South China Morning Post
“Chinese show the art of extreme napping: A German photographer has spent six years taking photographs of Chinese people sleeping in any position and situation.” – Daily Telegraph
“China’s passion for the siesta is captured at Sleeping Chinese, where Shanghai photographer Bernd Hagemann has put up over 700 photographs of Chinese sleeping in seemingly impossible positions: under trucks, on shopping carts, scooters and butcher slabs, vividly illustrating the millions of weary masses who helped power the nation’s economic rise. On his site – which has attracted almost half a million visitors – Mr. Hagemann wrote that he started his site to show the outside world the less threatening side of China’s rise.” – Wall Street Journal
“In a country with a billion people, it can be hard to find a place to lay your head” – Daily Mail
“The accepting social attitude towards people sleeping deeply and soundly everywhere made him, a foreigner, realize that perhaps the China Story featuring only the economy and money was incomprehensive and unjust. Therefore, he began to capture a different China with his camera, the placid, receptive and changeable China that fascinated him.” – People’s Daily