(Bazhong, Xina, 1980)
—Installation Carrer de Joaquim Blume (Map)
Tracing out the route of one of the longest rivers in Asia, The Yellow River builds up a vision of China’s national identity, an ancient and enduring identity that is changing rapidly.
Zhang Kechung was inspired to undertake this project by reading the novel Rivers in the North by the Hui Muslim writer Zhang Chengzhi. The book is written in a stream-of-consciousness style and its characters follow the course of various rivers in China. Moved by the powerful language of this novel, the photographer decided to take a walk along the Yellow River in search of the roots of his soul. Along the way, the quiet flow of his mind was flooded with the agitated thoughts and incessant tumult of reality.
The resulting work explores the landscapes of China, capturing the ecology of its magnificent natural spaces. The tiny human figures in the photographs, insignificant when seen against these vast natural forms, are inspired by the Chinese shan shui (山水),or Water and Mountain painting tradition.
In it, Zhang Kechung aims to suggest a new point of contact between China's long historical tradition and the concerns of contemporary society.