Cheng Xu was born in Buyang Anhui Province in 1988 and works in a furniture factory. His wife, Yuanyuan Tang, was born in Buyang Anhui Province in 1988 and works in a reactor factory. They held their wedding ceremony in their hometown in 2008 and were officially registered in 2011. They have a 3 year-old daughter and a 11 month-old son. They plan to return to Buyang in about two years and raise their children there. Cheng Xu hopes to be a driver and Yuanyuan Tang hopes to run a little shop.
It is still common in China for parents in rural areas to help their offspring find a suitable partner, by arranging dates or through introductions. If the couple is impressed, their parents arrange a wedding. China's legal age to marry is 22 for males and 20 for females. But in the countryside, as long as the relatives and friends come to the banquet as a witness, the couple can wed.
Young factory workers in the suburbs of Shanghai, born in the last two decades, often come from rural areas of China. Even though many men and women in cities are having difficulties finding a partner, leading to the term 'leftover singles', these young workers have married early and some even have children. They have made important life steps in a short time and often have not thought about love. They frequently do not have wedding photos taken because it is too expensive for them to afford. Before Valentine's Day, the photographer took free wedding photos for each couple in the factory where they worked and then returned to each couple six months later to see how their daily life had changed.
Migrant workers face many challenges living in the city. They often cannot afford to raise their children and must bring them to their parents in the countryside. Low wages create a barrier for them to access quality housing and other social benefits. Their lives seems to be fragile in the whirlpool of estrangement.