To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life - Ludwig Wittgenstein. So to it is that to read the works of contemporary Chinese photography is to read Chinese social life. During the middle of the 1990s photography was admitted to the canon of contemporary Chinese art and the Chinese economy started to reflect a glocal trend through the merging with the global economy. As a result Chinese artists began experimenting with new media and dialogue between Chinese and international artists became more frequent. This article looks at the diversity and proliferation of contemporary Chinese photography and the shifting perceptions of Chinese society from an international perspective.