To sunbath is part of the daily routine for many elderly people in the city I live in. It is an important outdoor activity, a socializing event, as well as a way of keeping up with the outside world. These senior citizens (called "lao nian ren”  in Chinese) are usually considered not having a substantial life style, especially in the rural area, where the elderly are often thought to be the “left-behind.” Young people go out to make a living in bigger towns and cities, leaving the old and younger children back home with limited activities to engage them socially or culturally. The “left-behind” may be healthy physically, but their mental status should and could be improved on a certain level, more than just sunbathing and chitchatting on a worn-out couch. 

 

By visiting 10 villages around Huhhot, Inner Mongolia, I documented these sunbathers within their daily contexts. Through their faces and postures and all the other details, I witnessed the lost of time, their passion, and wishes of having a fine life still looming, in a softer and subtler way. But in the meantime, their loneliness can be easily sensed.