The Eighth Day
Wuxi, China, 2019
Gao Shan is a Chinese photographer who was adopted eight days after he was born. The project was born out of his desire to connect with his adoptive mother. Although they share a roughly seventy-square-meter apartment, the photographer acknowledges that his relationship with his mother has been remarkably distant. She performs the basic duties and tasks of a parent, but without emotional expression. Gao obsessively documents the quotidian details of his mother’s life and the space they share, homing in on details like a half-eaten pomegranate, a kettle coming to a boil, and his mother’s wide back. The images are quirky, yet intimate, visual fragments of a relationship that are “inexplicably moving” says Milter.