CULTURE Dongguan in photos: From 'world's factory' to intelligent production


Dongguan in photos: From 'world's factory' to intelligent production

By Li Ping |

23:26, June 26, 2018

Workers in Dongguan are pictured in a photo on display at the  Traction Line exhibition in Beijing. (Photos by Li Zhiliang/

The southern Chinese city of Dongguan in Guangdong Province is one of the most important production lines in China, known as "the world's factory." With information technology as its pillar industry, Dongguan has witnessed a successful transformation from manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing over the past 30 years.

Thanks to new technologies, the city's traditional production reliance on low-cost labor and massive human resources has gradually been replaced by automation, digitization and intelligent production.
Traction Line, a new exhibition underway at the China Photography Exhibition Hall in Beijing, offers a glimpse of the new manufacturing life of the city, showcasing artwork by Dongguan-born photographer Li Zhiliang.

The busy production life in Dongguan 

Through his considerable talent for shadow effects as well as the separation, overlapping and color changing of human portraits, Li successfully bridged the gap between reality and an imaginative world, creating an artistic dialogue among past, present and future.

"Dongguan is one of the leading cities in China in terms of industrial transformation and technological innovation," Li said at the exhibition's opening on Sunday.

"In the past 30 years, Dongguan has grown from 'the world's factory' to a city advanced in science and technology innovation. As photographers, we can only tell this story through the camera lens," said Li, who is also chairman of the Dongguan City Photographers Association. Li also said he believes photography is the best tool to record history.

The exhibition runs through July 9.

If you go: 9 am - 4:30 pm through July 9 (closed on Mondays). Exhibition Hall No 1 and 2, China Photography Exhibition Hall, China Millennium Monument, 9A Fuxing Road, Haidian district.

A worker in Dongguan pictures through black-and-white photography.

Portraits of Dongguan workers in a collage photo

Machine parts are colorful through the lens of artist Li Zhiliang. 

Workers in Dongguan

A photo of Dongguan workers' cups and shoes

A worker in Dongguan

A worker in Dongguan

A structure drawing of non-woven fabrics, amplified 100 times

Platinum printing work

IC chip circuit diagram, amplified 600 times

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