Glorious! In Search of China's New Elites

3030 Press

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Jonathan Browning, Dan Levin
3030 Press
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With modern China's rise to greatness have emerged new kinds of social elite. Young, rich, cosmopolitan and well connected, many are the overseas-educated progeny of families that made fortunes in the post-reform boom years ¬ó what is known in popular culture as 'Children of the Yuan Percent'. Often the recipients of eye-popping inherited wealth, their extravagant lifestyles have frequently attracted media finger-wagging in a country where poverty and thrift were long the norm. Yet for millions of Chinese millennials more attuned to mobile commerce than Marxist ideology, these new rich represent an ideal version of material success to be aspired to and imitated. This fascinating series of more than 70 images by British photographer Jonathan Browning reveals a cross-section of these new elites, at home and at work, from bankers and art dealers to tech entrepreneurs, fashion designers and property developers. What emerges is a snapshot of a social class in the process of defining itself. In its choice of fashions, its taste in interior design and its social habits, it is a community whose self-image is still a highly variegated mix of traditional Chinese and international designer brands, reconfigured in a country still coming to terms with its status as a 21st-century superpower.