All posts tagged: Yangtze River

Into the Forest with Yan Wang Preston

In Chongqing, the largest city in southwest China, city officials have been planting trees for over a decade, aiming to create a “forest city”. But after investigating the origins of these trees, photographer Yan Wang Preston uncovered a troubling process. “The whole concept of trying to be green is being abused,” she says.

By way of example, she tells the story of Frank – a 300 year-old tree that’s a central character in her new book, Forest. When Preston first encountered Frank in 2013, he was being forcefully removed from a small village that was soon to be flooded by one of the Yangtze River dams. Frank was sold to the owners of a five-star hotel in a nearby county for 250,000 RMB, approximately £30,000. When asked whether the tree would survive, one of the guards replied with pride, reassuring Preston that they were all experts at transplanting trees.

But when she returned in 2017, Frank had been dead for over two years – and so had the tree that had followed it. “The older the trees are, they more likely they will die, because it’s hard for them to adapt to a new environment,” says Preston. “I’m interested in the complicity of this whole thing. For the tree, it’s very sad to be relocated. But then, the ultimate motivation is to be closer to nature”.

2018-06-04T10:39:57+00:00

Ones to Watch: Albert Bonsfills

“My photography is me, my doubts and my hopes,” says Spanish photographer Albert Bonsfills, who has shot major projects in China and Japan. “My camera is a mirror, a tool to help me understand myself as well as a way of showing other people’s lives, even people I have nothing in common with at first – people born 10,000 miles away from me.”

2017-06-15T15:16:36+00:00

Exhibition: Mother River by Yan Wang Preston

Yan Wang Preston’s Mother River is both a physical odyssey through China and a metaphor for its evolution, travelling from the traditional culture still seen to be seen at its source through to the rampant modernisation approaching its mouth. “Modernisation is reaching everywhere in China, although in Tibet the degree of modernisation is not the same as in Shanghai,” Wang Preston tells BJP. “I wanted my pictures to document this gradual change along the river’s journey.” Born in China, Wang Preston originally studied Clinical Medicine in Shanghai – a family choice which she had never felt passionate about, she says. She worked as an anaesthetist for three years after graduating, but eventually quit took a break to go rock climbing. “During this process, I met a British climber and ended up marrying him,” she says. “I knew that I’d come to live in the UK at some point.” Making the move in 2005, she found that “the prospect of living a new life in a new country presented itself as an opportunity to choose my own destiny”. A keen …

2017-05-09T12:38:18+00:00

How do you speak Nadav Kander? The man himself on mastering your creative language

British Journal of Photography caught up with Nadav Kander ahead of his appearance at The Photography Show 2017 in Birmingham. Conversation quickly turned to his recent much debated image of Donald Trump. Normally when Nadav Kander turns up to shoot a portrait, the only thing he’s thought through beforehand is the lighting. But Donald Trump was different. “I was really divided about how I should do it – how to do this TIME cover justice without putting my political views out there,” he says of his commission to photograph the US president for TIME’s 2016 Person of the Year cover. “If you photograph properly, you’re talking about a coming together of two histories. A person of 70, who’s had a life of 70 years, and a person of 54, who’s had a life of 54 years. As soon as politics comes in, you change things. It’s difficult to exclude that but you need to if you’re making a mature portrait that’s going to have any lasting effect.” What inspires him about photography has evolved with …

2017-03-10T12:21:39+00:00

BJP Staff