Although “The Yellow River” is the first series that Zhang Kechun (born in 1980 in Chengdu) created, it demonstrates the way in which this young Chinese photographer masters the medium. His photographs invite the viewer to travel along the second-longest river in China, which is often called the cradle of Chinese civilization. Zhang seems to question what this revered river might represent nowadays: is it really a foster-mother? A root? Or a mere river that became iconic thanks to popular culture? Zhang unveils the Yellow River’s beauty and contradictions, its contrasts, its colours, its rapids, its stillness, its solemnity, but also its danger for a single flood would destroy countless crops and cause thousands of casualties. Zhang’s artworks appear as an outcry over the disruptions in the natural environment, which is constantly facing the “torrent of modernization” as he says.
See more of Zhang Kechun’s work at Photography of China.
Photography Friday is a regular feature from Shanghaiist in association with Photography of China, Marine Cabos’s fantastic trilingual blog about photography and photographers in China.