There’s been a big market for beach cover-ups for a long time, first came the kaftan, then the tasteful sarong, and now it’s time for the “face-kini” to take centre stage. Photographer Peng Yangjun has captured the latest craze to hit eastern China’s beaches in a wonderfully candid way.
These colourful full-face Lycra balaclavas are said to protect the swimmers from the sun and are sometimes paired with long-sleeve bodysuits to complete the look. The masks help maintain a natural, un-bronzed skin tone, which is popular in China as it eschews any associations with outdoor labour.
Bizarre trends aside, these images are lovely in their honesty and stark portrayal of the beachgoers. The dull backdrop of cloud, sea and sand works perfectly with the violently patterned swimwear and face-kinis, and our focus is pulled directly to the subjects.
I love how some of the women have really posed for the photograph, with their hands on their hips or an ankle popped out to the side. It’s a gentle reminder that there are real people underneath the alien-like face-kinis.