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Passing Merchants
Shaoyi Zhang

Passing Merchants is an ongoing portrait series, which showcases small businesses in Shanghai facing disappearance today due to urban development. Demolition of old streets, and high rental cost in newer places, have forced these small businesses to shut down, chasing off “non–local” people to get back to their hometown or displacing people outside of the city center.

- Shaoyi Zhang

This series won a Portfolio Award in the 2019 San Francisco Bay International Photography Awards.

Born in northwestern China, Shaoyi Zhang fell in love with photography when his grandfather, a photojournalist before China’s Cultural Revolution, gave him a Zeiss Ikon folding camera. After a career in editorial and commercial photography in both Shanghai and Auckland, New Zealand, he came to the U.S. to earn his master’s degree in digital photography from New York City’s prestigious School of Visual Arts. Now based in the city, Zhang specializes in studio and location portraiture.

Zhang is now active in both New York and Shanghai.

Visit Shaoyi Zhang’s site