“'Why are you taking pictures here?' the curious boy asked me as I snapped photos in a small village just outside of Beijing, writes Nicolas Asfouri, a photographer based in the Chinese capital.
'You should go to the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace. There, it’s beautiful. Here,' he motioned around him to the ramshackle structures of brick, corrugated iron and wood surrounding us, 'here, it’s ugly. There is nothing to photograph here.'
'I think this place is beautiful because of the people who live here,' I said. 'I find it as beautiful as the Forbidden City, where noone lives anymore. Here, this place is full of life and energy and people. To me, this is beautiful.'
"He looked at me, perplexed, then shook his head from side to side. He didn’t understand."