Name withheld. Painter, from Jiangxi, earns 200 RMB per day. Changfeng Centre Development, Shanghai, China. (January 2016.) info
A migrant worker on his lunch break outside the construction site of a luxury apartment compound being built in Xintiandi, Shanghai. info

 ....Migrant workers are the backbone and unsung heroes of China's rapid economic and urban transformation.

Originating from the less developed provinces, they come to cities such as Shanghai in search of a higher wage and a better life. I photographed these  construction migrant workers outside of the luxury developments they are building. Each site is surrounded with large adverts selling a lifestyle and culture that is only attainable for the wealthy elite of China.  These juxtapositions shows two very different lives.  For the builders, they would need to work an entire year, with only two days off every month to afford just one month's rent in an apartment at these sought-after addresses. 


All images © Jonathan Browning 2019

A migrant worker on his lunch break outside the construction site of a luxury apartment compound being built in Xintiandi, Shanghai. info
Name withheld. Under floor heating installer. 50,000 rmb a year. From Anhui Province. Changfeng Centre development, Shanghai, China. info
Names withheld. Labourers from Henan. They earn 200 rmb a day. Changfeng centre development. Shanghai, China. January 2016. info
A migrant worker on his lunch break outside the construction site of a luxury apartment compound, advertised as 'Heaven on Earth'.  Laoximen, Shanghai. info
A worker stands infront of a large advertisement of the showroom lounge of the luxury residential development in Laoximen, Shanghai. info
A migrant worker on break outside an construction site in Laoximen. Along with the cystal glasswear the billboards advertise 'Enjoy the fashionable life style, lead the urban trend' Shanghai, China. info
Name withheld.  A migrant worker walking past the large adverts which surround the The Mix C. Development.  Shanghai January 2016. info
Both Mr Wang and from Henan, they are carpenters and earn 230 RMB a day. Upper West Development. Shanghai, China. info
Name withheld, A migrant worker from Anhui helps with landscaping and planting of new trees for 100 RMB per day. Vanke Xuhui Centre Development. Shanghai, China. info
Xu Dapeng, A migrant worker from Anhui works as a lift engineer and earns a comparitively good wage of 5000 a month. Vanke Xuhui Centre Development, Shanghai, China. info
Mr Wang, A migrant worker from Henan province is a general labourer/ cleaner and earns 150 rmb a day. Xinhua Redstar Landmark Development, Shanghai, China. info
Ping Zhu, from Jiangsu province is a Plumber and Electician. He earns 230 rmb a day.  Xinhua Redstar Landmark development. Shanghai, January 2016. info
A migrant worker takes a smoke break outside the construction site. The advert message behind says, ' Cheers for the perfect life.'  A luxury development in Xintiandi, Shanghai. info
A migrant worker pulls a wheelmarrow of materials past a large billboard which surrounds the constuction site he works inside. Shanghai, China. info
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