The Yellow River – “drifting from place to place”

“Saying that it is a song might have been a popular joke. Saying that it is our mother river or the root of soul might have been a deliberate oblivion. Indulging ourselves in the turbulent pleasures of modernized world day after day, we might have put the winding river out of mind, and would not like to give any more calm gaze on it, even a second.

It is a river! No matter if it meanders or goes forward straight; if it’s swelling or dry; if it flows rapidly or slowly; if it’s lively or tranquil; if it’s majestic or elegant; if it’s simple or magnificent; if it possesses brightness or dark; if it’s colorful or gloomy; if it’s only an imagination and reality, it always embraces people’s life and fate, joy and sorrow, faith and hesitance.

Then I determined to go and follow its pace, with all my courage and my only presentable tool – a large-format camera. That is my implicit expression. I have the knowledge that mountains and rivers are nothing a photographer may properly comment on, and behaviors like growling, making a bold pledge or a plaintive complaint on the presence of such an eternal being may look inappropriate. Now, it’s the moment that I must wake up my silent soul to quietly keep watch on it flowing for seasons, to stare at it through this journey, to drink a toast to it , to sing a song for it , and to have a sleep beside it.

Who is keeping watching on whom? Who is wrapped with the flow with whom? While be alive, we all go by with time. But we are still here, and we may have a better consideration on the future after having a look at the past and the present with heart.

In such a noisy world, only a fresh and simple song might possibly match with it original noble color. It is past and present and be well worthy of its drifting from place to place…”

This major project is called ‘The Yellow River’ by emerging Chinese photographer Zhang Kechun. He was born in 1980 in Sichuan, and lives and works in Chengdu, China. Visual intimacy, isolation, pureness, frozen narratives, decay, fragmented desolation, fear of the incomplete, fear of the complete, inaction. These images reflect my state of mind at the moment…content in my thoughts, at peace in my mind. This is breathing, stopping, thinking.

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