"These photos were taken between 1983 and 1994 during the decade I spent living in New York before returning to Beijing. At that time, I didn't really have anything to do. I was just hanging out, whiling away my time everyday by taking pictures of the people I met, places I went, my friends, my neighborhood, the street and the city. In a flash twenty years have passed, and the New York I knew no longer exists. The appearance of the East Village has totally changed, and many of the people in my photographs are no longer in this world. I took these photos casually, and most of my subjects probably don't even realize that they are in them. Today, looking back on the past, I can see that these photographs are facts, but not necessarily true. After all, any reality is just a factor of change - an unconfirmed moment in the slow march of time. The present always surpasses the past, and the future will not care about today."--Ai Weiwei.