FIELD TEST : SUMMER, 2013
1,000 KM THROUGH CHINA'S YANGTZE RIVER DELTA
Photography by John Watson
Certain trips have a way of materializing out of nowhere, and The Ends project started in just this way. We asked ourselves, “How far away could we possibly get?” Our friends at Factory 5 in Shanghai had recently invited us to visit them, and it dawned on us that there would be no place farther away than the other side of the world.
We had worked with John Watson of TheRadavist.com before, and had invited him to be the photojournalist on this three week trip. Starting in Taiwan, and then moving on to Shanghai and ultimately the surrounding countryside, we would be dependent wholly on our guides and our gear during this misadventure. None of us knew what to expect, and we were OK with that.
The Ends Justify The Means
Setting out from Shanghai, John Watson and Mission Workshop began their cycling tour of China's Yangtze River Delta. Using both film and digital formats, Watson photographed the surroundings and encounters with the local community. Led by their friends from Factory Five, they headed into a frenetic network of massive residential complexes, large industrial parks, and super highways. At first glance, the route seemed straightforward, however, the reality of the 1,000km trip was far more intense than anyone expected.
The following photographs from their trip were taken by John Watson, depicting his impression of what is meant by "the ends justify the means."
About The Images:
"After looking back through all 800 photos I shot while on bicycle tour through China with Mission Workshop and Factory 5, I had a hard time breaking it down to a cohesive gallery show.
"What I began to notice were themes in the photos, not apparent as I flipped through the files, but when I printed out a selection of photos, they began to tie in together. These themes represent not only my eye for cycling in urban environments, but also my background education and professional career as an architect."
JOHN WATSON / Photographer. Blogger. Cyclist.
John Watson originally founded a site called "Prolly is not Probably" in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. For years it thrived as Watson, the sole author, documented multiple facets of cycling. With the boom of urban cycling, Prolly is Not Probably had become the best source for news relating to the scene. When asked to travel to the world's largest city by population to take photos and test some new riding gear for at that time unreleased ACRE brand, Watson agreed. Then in April 2014, his site was rebranded as the Radavist, and continues to be a daily source of cycling-related news.