Work-is is an ongoing series of video documentaries by filmmaker Noah Sheldon that attempts to contextualize the labor market in China through individual stories. Through his work as a photographer Noah has had a great deal of first hand experience documenting China’s vast manufacturing supply chain; an often discussed but seldom seen side of the country. When it is talked about, the narrative is usually composed of numbers, figures, and sweeping trends. The popular story of working life in China did not correspond very well with Noah's own encounters with Chinese workers and their workplace. Work-is sets out to catalogue the labor force of China in a more intimate and granular way, using voices and personal histories to color the notion of what it means to be working in modern China.
Noah Sheldon is a filmmaker based in Shanghai & NYC. Sheldon started his career as a photographer and brings a strong eye for clean composition and natural story telling to his films, favoring an observational approach. NYT art critic Roberta Smith praised his work. “Sheldon is skilled at separating beauty from the material world while reminding us that it is just about everywhere.” Sheldon's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the US and abroad including, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, MOMA PS1, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Beijing and has worked on projects with Apple, Nike, Louis Vuitton, Arup, Gensler and Zaha Hadid. He is represented by Tea & Water Pictures
Nick Zinner is a guitarist, composer, and producer for several bands and projects, most notably the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He has collaborated with TV On The Radio, Bright Eyes, Head Wound City, Santigold and Scarlett Johansson amongst others as well as producing remixes for Depeche Mode and Broken Bells. Nick composed the orchestral piece ’41 strings’, which is currently featured as the opening music for the HBO show ‘Vice’. Nick's soundtrack work includes Where the Wild Things Are, Mad Max, Spike Jonze short, I’m Here, and he documentary They Will Have to Kill Us First. He is also an avid photographer. His photography work has also been published in the books "I Hope You Are All Happy Now", "Slept In Beds", "No Seats on the Party Car", and "Please Take Me Off the Guest List".
Jean Liu is a producer and researcher based in Shanghai. Originally from the UK, Jean was working in finance before Noah persuaded her to come to China to help create this series.