China's Dams

A disconcerting beauty

(October 15, 2012) Photographer Nadav Kander has documented the transformation of China’s famed Yangtze River by its infamous Three Gorges Dam since construction began in 2006. Many of his pictures contrast people as ant-like subjects against the enormity of the Yangtze itself and its dramatic insubordination to the dam’s rising infrastructure, at times even integrating the routine of their day with the chaos around them. Kander’s award-winning series, Yangtze: The Long River made its debut in New York at Flowers Gallery in October. Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan surveys Kander’s series.

A man watches the construction of a city of 7 million, rising in just five years.
Nadav Kander. – Fast Company: Co.Design

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan for Fast Company: Co.Design

Israel-born, London based photographer Nadav Kander compares himself to great sublime landscape painters like Casper David Friedrich, who depicted tiny figures lost in the ferocity of nature. But rather than cowering before the elements, Kander’s subjects quail before “the might of China,” and more specifically, the state. He minces few words about the subtext of the photos, which he believes are warnings of environmental and cultural crises ahead. “China is a nation that appears to be severing its roots by destroying its past in the wake of the sheer force of its moving ‘forward’ at such an astounding and unnatural pace,” he writes. “A people scarring their country, and a country scarring its people.”

Read Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan’s article on Nadav Kander’s portrait series here:
A Stirring Photo Essay On China’s Longest River

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