The photographer Zhao Tielin, who died in 2009, had shot documentary photos of the prostitute inSouth Chinafor nearly 20 years and has shot serial photos for at least more than 30 prostitutes. He called them “girls”, who showed another world through Zhao’s lens.
A Wei, 16, was born inGuizhouprovince. Her parents were both educated youth in the “cultural revolution” (1966-76) and divorced. She stayed with her father. But the man only thought of making money as a taxi driver.
A Wei fell in love with a roller skate coach and had sex with her love soon. They leftGuizhouand went toHainanIslandtogether in late 1980s.
They used up their money soon. Her boyfriend suggested A Wei could make money by serving the men. She agreed at last, earning 30 yuan ($4) from each client.
But her boy friend lost the money in gambles in a short time. A Wei slept with a community public security officer to save the 80 yuan of obtaining a contemporary residence approval.
A Wei liked little animals and spent 20 yuan buying a sick dog, her best friend.
She got pregnant many times. If she had money, she would have a simple abortion operation in a shabby clinic in her neighborhood. Some times she delivered the dead babies in the public toilet directly.
She hoped her boyfriend could marry her one day. But the man, lied his age to A Wei, was jailed twice. He was almost twice her age at their first sight.