China - Return of the concubines

China's millennia-old culture of men keeping concubines is back, with many rich and influential men now keeping at least one "second wife" as a status symbol or to satisfy the sexual needs. Being a cocubine is not accepted by society and it´s very hard to find a concubine talking about her situation. This work portraits three concubines with different characters, different circumstances which gave them varying reasons to stay in this kind of relationship. One came from the countryside and found her romantic love in a married man, one found her love in a married police officer paying for all their activities and one got ritch on her lovers.
(in collaboration with the journalist Angela Köckritz)
for Zeitmagazin
  Concubine one was 20 when she met her 16 years old  lover, a small business man, in a karaoke bar where she was working. She came from the countryside , had  short hair, no good education and no experience in love.
He didn´t tell her  that he was married and had a child. After one year he invited her at his home without  comment to show her that he had family. He promised her to marry her, when she will be 30 years old, but never  popped the question. He  ask her  to grow her hair for the wedding picture. She never  regarded any other man. She was studing literature and earning her own good money.
One evening when they were sitting in the car he refused to stay longer. She got her little scissor from her handbag and drived it into her  thigh. He  threw her out. She was 29 and they were driving in the car again when she  injured him with a little knife. They don´t see very often anymore, but she still loves him. Concubine one was 20 when she met her 16 years old lover, a small business man, in a karaoke bar where she was working. She came from the countryside , had short hair, no good education and no experience in love. He didn´t tell her that he was married and had a child. After one year he invited her at his home without comment to show her that he had family. He promised her to marry her, when she will be 30 years old, but never popped the question. He ask her to grow her hair for the wedding picture. She never regarded any other man. She was studing literature and earning her own good money. One evening when they were sitting in the car he refused to stay longer. She got her little scissor from her handbag and drived it into her thigh. He threw her out. She was 29 and they were driving in the car again when she injured him with a little knife. They don´t see very often anymore, but she still loves him.   Concubine one in a middleclass business hotel in Jiaxing. Concubine one in a middleclass business hotel in Jiaxing.   When concubine one came from the countryside, she had short hair. Her lover  ask her  to grow her hair  for  the wedding picture. She didn´t cut her hair til now,
she is grooming it very carefully. She decided to comb her hair for the picture.
When she came for  the  interview  into a middleclass business hotel in Jiaxing, she was wearing the dress she bought for  her  sister´s wedding. It was the second time she was wearing the dress. When concubine one came from the countryside, she had short hair. Her lover ask her to grow her hair for the wedding picture. She didn´t cut her hair til now, she is grooming it very carefully. She decided to comb her hair for the picture. When she came for the interview into a middleclass business hotel in Jiaxing, she was wearing the dress she bought for her sister´s wedding. It was the second time she was wearing the dress.   Concubine one is a very romantic person. She likes to promenade with her lover. This is her favorite place for a walk in Jiaxing. Concubine one is a very romantic person. She likes to promenade with her lover. This is her favorite place for a walk in Jiaxing.   When concubine one drived the scissor into her  thigh, she got injured. There is still a scar
under her skirt . When concubine one drived the scissor into her thigh, she got injured. There is still a scar under her skirt .   Chengdu Chengdu   The private detective Wei Wujun and concubine Wen Jing met through a wedding website. 
They were on very good terms for a while.
He is married, a former soldier who came into prison because of  political matters.
Now his clients are mostly cheated rich wives in search of their rivals, the concubines. 
Chengdu neighbourhood. The private detective Wei Wujun and concubine Wen Jing met through a wedding website. They were on very good terms for a while. He is married, a former soldier who came into prison because of political matters. Now his clients are mostly cheated rich wives in search of their rivals, the concubines. Chengdu neighbourhood.   Private detective Wei Wujun´s client is a Chinese Canadian, as well as her husband. They live in Beijing, if he is there. 
He's filthy rich, and often traveling on business, he says. And in adventures, she knows.
He has eleven mistress, but none of them stresses her as much as the concubine in Chengdu. Because she has born him two children. He bought her a house worth 10 million RMB, and made ​​gifts to the value of another 10 million.
She is living in the complex of this building.
The detective will walk into the garage and put a GPS on her car. Private detective Wei Wujun´s client is a Chinese Canadian, as well as her husband. They live in Beijing, if he is there. He's filthy rich, and often traveling on business, he says. And in adventures, she knows. He has eleven mistress, but none of them stresses her as much as the concubine in Chengdu. Because she has born him two children. He bought her a house worth 10 million RMB, and made ​​gifts to the value of another 10 million. She is living in the complex of this building. The detective will walk into the garage and put a GPS on her car.   Second Concubine Wen Jing doesn´t neither need a man to survive. She lives in Chengdu, works as a singer in bars and distributes Chinese medicine, but she thinks that a man should improve her life. She had a lot of lovers. She says: „I am a lovaholic'. One of them was a cheat, one of them rented her an apartment and paid her monthly about 30000 RMB, one of them gave her money to buy an apartment. Now she is looking for a husband. She made several appointments with us but never appeared. Second Concubine Wen Jing doesn´t neither need a man to survive. She lives in Chengdu, works as a singer in bars and distributes Chinese medicine, but she thinks that a man should improve her life. She had a lot of lovers. She says: „I am a lovaholic'. One of them was a cheat, one of them rented her an apartment and paid her monthly about 30000 RMB, one of them gave her money to buy an apartment. Now she is looking for a husband. She made several appointments with us but never appeared.   The best place to meet rich men is in the area of club Baba. Young people, young couples, business men, concubines ..everyone meets there for a dirty dance. The best place to meet rich men is in the area of club Baba. Young people, young couples, business men, concubines ..everyone meets there for a dirty dance.   Drunken girl´s fighting outside the club Chengdu. Drunken girl´s fighting outside the club Chengdu.   Young girl outside of the Baba club. Young girl outside of the Baba club.   Most of her men Wen Jing  met in the club Baba. The club and the area arround is the best place to meet rich men. Clubarea  Chengdu. Most of her men Wen Jing met in the club Baba. The club and the area arround is the best place to meet rich men. Clubarea Chengdu.   Smog in Jiaxing Smog in Jiaxing   Third concubine Xie Lijun , Cixi, Provinz Zhejiang was working as an illegal taxidriver when she met him 7 years ago.
She was unhappy and her parents bought a car  for her to cheer her up.
One night in 2004, she was stopped by a policeman, an officials for illegal operations and black market, a party member, and a big shot, vice-mayor. He confiscated her car. The married  police officer visited her, but did not investigate. He came and took her clothes off. The next day, her car was in front of her door. Third concubine Xie Lijun , Cixi, Provinz Zhejiang was working as an illegal taxidriver when she met him 7 years ago. She was unhappy and her parents bought a car for her to cheer her up. One night in 2004, she was stopped by a policeman, an officials for illegal operations and black market, a party member, and a big shot, vice-mayor. He confiscated her car. The married police officer visited her, but did not investigate. He came and took her clothes off. The next day, her car was in front of her door.   Xie Lijun is studing law and wants to get a lawyer now. Most of the time she spends in front of the computer. She is fighting for justice , helps complaining farmers who lost their land, a hairdresser who was cheated by her neighbor and other concubines to protect themselves. Xie Lijun in an internetcafe in Cixi. Xie Lijun is studing law and wants to get a lawyer now. Most of the time she spends in front of the computer. She is fighting for justice , helps complaining farmers who lost their land, a hairdresser who was cheated by her neighbor and other concubines to protect themselves. Xie Lijun in an internetcafe in Cixi.   Xie Lijun and the police officer were seeing each other for more than a year. He didn´t give her money, but was paying for everything. She got pregnant, lost the baby and he left. She wrote to newspapers, to the party and went to the policestation to complain. Gate of the new police station. Xie Lijun and the police officer were seeing each other for more than a year. He didn´t give her money, but was paying for everything. She got pregnant, lost the baby and he left. She wrote to newspapers, to the party and went to the policestation to complain. Gate of the new police station.   Xie Lijun is driving over the long pier Hangzhou to Jiaxing to meet Concubine one to help her. Xie Lijun is driving over the long pier Hangzhou to Jiaxing to meet Concubine one to help her.  

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