19.4 – 20.5 2016
Zhang Kechun:The Yellow River
19.04 – 20.05.2016
The first UK solo exhibition of award-winning Chinese photographer, Zhang Kechun opened at the gallery in April 2016.
Zhang produces epic vistas that dwell on the significance of the landscape in modern Chinese national identity. His first series, The Yellow River, documents the effects of modernisation along the third longest river in Asia. The project took him on a journey along the river from the coastal flats of Shandong to the mountains of Qinghai on a fold-up bicycle, all the time carrying with him a large format Linhof camera.
Zhang’s second series, Between the Mountains and the Water, continued to explore the relationship between the people and land on which they live and work. Charming scenes include a poster of Chairman Mao attached to a rubber ring floating on a river, surrounded by a group of swimmers, and a gathering of people taking tea in amongst concrete ruins on the riverside.
B. China 1980
Zhang Kechun’s work examines the post-industrial landscape of China. Working with a large-format camera he produces epic vistas that dwell on the significance of the landscape in modern Chinese national identity. In particular, Kechun explores the relationship between the country’s cultural heritage and the effects of modernisation. Kechun’s works are quietly beautiful and hugely atmospheric, using a soft and subtle colour palette. Whilst Kechun imbues the altered landscape of China with a tragic beauty, his photographs also capture the comical moments in people’s everyday lives that he encounters.
Zhang Kechun was born in 1980 in Sichuan, China. His work has been exhibited at Photoquai, Paris, the Beijing Photo Biennale, China and the Delhi Photo Festival, India. Kechun won the Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles for The Yellow River in 2014. He won the National Geographic Picks Global Photo Contest in 1998 and was shortlisted at the World Photography Awards in 2013.