Yangtze. The Long River. Photographs by Nadav Kander. Text by Jean-Paul Tchang, Kofi A. Annan & Nadav Kander. Hatje Cantz, 2010. 160 pp., 75 colour illustrations, 13¼x11". Images from photo-eye.
A beautiful book displaying calm beauty and serenity, in the midst of change.
"Nadav Kander (*1961 in Israel) creates images in an age of radical change: in a series awarded the famed Prix Pictet in 2009, he photographed a China in the process of revolution. Traveling along the Yangtze River, he took serene pictures of people haplessly facing overwhelming change.
In these pictures, the river - China’s main artery - becomes a metaphor of constant transformation. The tiny figure of a mother with a baby in her arms leans against a huge bridge piling, and one cannot help but wonder what the country will look like when this child is an adult.
There are still traces of the old China, for whose spirituality the river was important, but the idyllic old buildings and houseboats have been replaced by colossal new apartment complexes that emulate Western architecture. As Kander himself says: '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. A people scarring their country, and a country scarring its people'. "