“Yangtze – The Long River,” an exhibition based on Nadav Kander‘s Prix Pictet–winning series (and book), opens October 19 at the Flowers gallery in New York City, located at 529 West 20th St. The reception, which is open to the public, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, October 18.
From the press release:
Over a period of three years, Nadav Kander made five trips to the banks of China’s Yangtze River, travelling up-stream from mouth to source. Using the river as a metaphor for a world in flux, Kander attempted at every stage of the journey, to relate and reflect the consequences of the incomprehensible and seemingly unnatural pace of development in modern-day China.
Beginning at the coastal estuary, where thousands of ships leave and enter each day, the journey takes us to the renowned suicide bridges, coal mines and the largest dam in the world—the Three Gorges Dam. Further inland we encounter Chongqing, the fastest-growing urban centre on the planet.
Never more than twenty miles from the river, Kander presents a region in the shadow of epic construction projects that surround workers, fishermen, swimmers and even a man washing his motorbike in the river. Figures are dwarfed by landscapes of half completed bridges and colossal Western-style apartment blocks that are rapidly replacing traditional Chinese low-rise buildings and houseboats. Kander conveys the feeling of the weight of the humid air and haze from pollution through muted tones occasionally enlivened by the smallest bright touches of clothing.
In the upper areas of the Yangtze, towards the source on the Tibetan Plane, the dense architecture gives way to mountains – a sparsely populated area where the stream is mostly broken ice and just ankle deep.
The river is embedded in the consciousness of the Chinese, even those separated from it by thousands of miles. It plays a pivotal role in both the spiritual and physical life of the nation. More people live along its banks than live in all the USA—one in every eighteen people on the planet.
Kander responded intuitively to a feeling that China is severing its roots. The resulting landscapes and documentary-inflected fictions weigh the human and environmental cost of China’s often brutal, dehumanizing shift from state-controlled communism to state-sanctioned capitalism. Kander’s China is a country both at the beginning of a new era and at odds with itself, and one that inspired him to create works of sublime, soulful art.
For further information and images, please contact Brent Beamon: 212.439.1700 / brent @ flowersgallery.com.