There is a woman from Pujiang, her name is Ye Shi Li. About an hours drive from the mammoth Sichuan city of Chengdu, as the tall buildings fade and the roads grow lush with rice fields and sloping ridges covered in neat rows of numerous tea farms, sits the sleepy small town where Ye Shi Li has made her home since the days when revolution and change were sweeping the country in storm and wildfire. She was the ninth of ten children born to her mother and came to the small town when she was a girl of fifteen, looking for work. Now she has seen nearly five decades; her danwei closed down years ago and her daughter is grown and married. The tea and ma-zhong house she runs in semi-retirement with her husband, sits below their apartment where she feeds the cats leftovers of her home cooked Sichuan specialties and the chickens on the rooftop in the early morning hours. Her days have seen years, where like so many families who see separation as a necessary evil in the grander scheme of providing for their families, she found herself in Yunnan and Tibet, struggling to open a restaurant and dotting the years of her daughters childhood with loneliness and grief at her mothers absence. In her lifetime, she has seen China undergo changes that are as stark as the vintage photograph of her family dressed in padded jackets on a dusty street in 1989. She is independent and tough and sensitive and hospitable and fiercely close to the daughter who adores her.
This post is part of a larger project titled Home | MadeinChina documenting the many and varied homes in China and the people who make them.