我真的很享受這兩天的拍攝。除了攝影帶來的樂趣，Renee 、Henry 也與我成了好朋友。有些人總能在很短的時間裏和你交心，這叫緣份。誰又會想到，往後每年我都會到北京探訪他們。
I first met Renee at a wedding. She was a bridesmaid and I was the photographer. She was the bride’s roommate at Tsinghua University, and a very capable Beijing girl who was very helpful throughout the wedding.
Not long after that wedding, she contacted me and said she wanted me to go to Beijing to take some photos of her and her fiancé Henry, with Beijing characteristics. The truth was, I had taken photos before in Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia, but never in Beijing. The summer of 2013 was the start of my Beijing trip.
How could I encapsulate Beijing’s qualities into these photos, while at the same time express the experience of Henry and Renee’s relationship? The Beijingers I know are typically very direct, and tend to be loud and passionate. I also believe that every relationship is long-lasting in its own way. So I did not interfere much in the process. I freely let them express themselves as they kissed, played, ran, stood, embraced, and laughed. At the same time, I naturally incorporated Beijing specialties like hutongs, the Forbidden City and 798 into the photos.
I truly enjoyed the shoot over those two days. Apart from the joy of taking photos, Renee and Henry also became my good friends. Some people are fated to become good friends in a short period of time. Who knew that after that, I would visit them in Beijing each year.
After that shoot, I created another set of photos for them that I love very much. – Martin
In the summer of 2008, you were in Guangzhou,
I was in Beijing, north and south, each embarking on our own journeys.
Your destination was Virginia, mine was Michigan, there was no crossover in our paths.
But our college acceptance letters changed our lives forever.
At the last moment, we changed our plane ticket destinations to Chicago,
and from then started our ordinary, but deep relationship. Everything felt pre-ordained.
At first, we indulged in our love; like glue, we were together 24/7, every lesson apart felt like a century.
We could not stop thinking about each other for one moment.
At that time, we just wanted to stay like that, in our fairytale romance, forever.
But soon, reality arrived; we fought endlessly over our differences in habit and perspectives ,and faced school and work pressures. We were too young to understand how to be accommodating and how to compromise.We didn’t know that both parties would be defeated after a blistering argument.
We considered running away from it and giving up, but we couldn’t let go. Perhaps our shared pain was what was sustaining our relationship.
We didn’t have much at the time. We often just added lard to our rice, and almost felt sick from eating Subway, frozen dumplings and pizza. We worried about next month’s credit card bill.
Still, we felt very happy because we had each other. At the time, you even made a silly promise that in the future, I would be able to eat whatever I wanted. Thinking back, it was so childish and sweet.
Soon we entered graduation season; a lot of people say that breakups are rife around graduation, especially couples like us that soon need to be apart.
我們懷揣著不安與思念，開始了人生的第一份工作。 忙碌的工作讓 我們每天只有流於形式的電話問候，我們也爭吵，但更多的是體會到生活的不易，因此也開始對彼此更加理解包容。那時一個月一次的見面顯得尤為珍貴，總是盼著 這次的機場送別是最後一次，卻永遠看不到盡頭…… 2011年夏天，爺爺的突然離開讓我意識到生命的無常與脆弱，也意識到事業與成就在人與人之間的情感面前是多麽的微不足道。我決定放棄北京的職位，到香港與你團聚。就這樣，我們順利完成了校園象牙塔般的生活到腳踏實的現實生活的過渡。這樣的感情讓我覺得更溫暖，更踏實。
With our anxieties and nostalgia, we began our first jobs. Because work was so busy, we could only have cursory phone conversations each day, and we fought a lot. As a result, we understood how difficult life could be and became more understanding and accommodating.
Each of our monthly meetings became extremely valuable; each airport farewell felt like it could be the last, with no end in sight…in the summer of 2011, my grandfather’s passing made me realise just how unexpected and fragile life could be, and also how professional success pales in importance to human relationships. I decided to leave my Beijing job to move to Hong Kong to be with you. Just like that, we made the successful transition from our ivory tower-lives at university to becoming adults in the real world. That kind of relationship made me feel warmer and more grounded.
I know that we face many obstacles on the road ahead, but I am fortunate to walk that path with my best friend.
Fortune has always been around us; fortune is living through hard times together, fortune is reuniting after a goodbye, fortune is becoming stronger after an argument. I am grateful for all that we have experienced together.
I like your kindness, I like your childishness. I like the way your eyes squint when you’re laughing, your hints of machismo; the way I can see through your plans, your angry look each time you lose to me because you’re so competitive.
I truly hope I can fulfill the promise I made in my heart when I first fell in love with you – to take good care of this man.
In the summer of 2013, we made the biggest commitments of our lives.
Perhaps five years ago we would not have been able to think that a late letter would end up sealing our fate in such a way.
I am excited to hold your hand and meet whatever comes our way in life.