Ma Haifang (马海方) is a Chinese artist born and grew up in Beijing’s outskirts. Below are some of his works illustrating the lives of the ordinary rural and city folks in Beijing in the last century.

A summer afternoon in an old Beijing village.


Aaaah! The old fashion back scratcher. One of the best inventions ever.

All Things Chinese
Have you ever used it? 😂

I’ve got one that looks like the one in the picture. That and a brush on a long handle for the shower.

Summer in an old Beijing village after dinner.

Neighbourhood entertainment on a summer night in old Beijing.

A roasted sweet potato vendor on Beijing street.

Each year from the early autumn on, there were roasted sweet potato stalls emerging on Beijing’s trading centres and hutongs (alleyways) in siheyuan (courtyard-style houses) neighbourhoods. Most of the vendors were peasants from Beijing outskirts or non-locals without a job. The initial investment includes a stove, usually made with a recycled oil barrel so it actually cost nothing, and a second-hand bike.

A vendor at a paper lantern market in Beijing during Chinese New Year.

A funeral band in Beijing rural area with the service offered by Buddhist monks as a way to guard the deceased to transit through the lives.

You are welcome to share your thoughts here