Chen Jiagang* – The Great Three Gorges

06.09.2012 in13:39 in Art, Design -->


Destiny – the relationship between one’s childhood experiences and adult conduct is destiny. I was born in Chongqing and grew up in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, living in such places as Fengdu, Wanzhou and Yichang. I’ve also photographed the Three Gorges countless times, but I didn’t really begin to focus on the Three Gorges until that experience in 2009. That was when I noticed that the fog over the Three Gorges Reservoir was growing denser and more prevalent. Why is this? One reason is the changes in the overall climate of the area since the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Another reason is the dust that is left over after the human plundering of resources. It is a symbol, and the waters beneath the fog are a microcosm of China today.

Following the undulating red songs of the reservoir region, passing through the empty buildings sealed off in the anti-corruption campaigns, one can see the gaping holes left by the trees transplanted into the city and the despondent shadows of the people trying to resettle the area. Covered by the mist and compounded by the sudden rise of the massive chemical factories, my heart is at a loss. Is this really where I lived as a child? No, it looks like Africa, like the Middle East, like those images of plundered third world countries. It created a beautiful life for a different civilization and different place.

I can only step back, using a close-up method to view things, giving ample observation room to the details, further stepping through history to express my anxiety about the destruction of my childhood dreams.