Opening Reception: October 18 6-8pm
While it is true that there have been some significant improvements in China in recent years - China is one of the few countries in the world that have rapidly increased their forest cover and it has made significant reductions in air and water pollution - these paradoxically beautiful photographs speak to a larger truth. They remind us of the fragility of our world and of the damage we have done - damage that is not constrained by national boundaries.
-- An excerpt from Kofi A. Annan’s introduction to Nadav Kander: Yangtze - The Long River published by Hatje Cantz (2010)
Flowers is pleased to announce the New York debut of Nadav Kander’s series of photographs titled Yangtze - The Long River. The exhibition will run from October 19th through November 24th, with a reception for the artist on October 18th, 6-8pm.
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.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1961, Nadav Kander currently lives and works in London. His work forms part of some of the major collections in the world. In 2009, Kander received the prestigious Prix Pictet photographic award for a selection of photographs from Yangtze – The Long River. He is a regular contributor to many international publications, including The New York Times Magazine, for whom he photographed ‘Obama’s People’, a portfolio of 54 portraits of the Obama administration.
For further information and images, please contact Brent Beamon: 212.439.1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org