Among Mountains and Water
“For all time, mountains and water ("Shan Shui" ) has resonated with the affection of Chinese people. Showing the pleasure of literati‘s traveling through natural sceneries; cultivating inner strength based on the principles that "mountains embody morality” and “water embraces virtues” ; creating distance as an illusion, these elements play a prominent role in the art of depicting Chinese mountains and water.
My career, as a photographer, gives me an opportunity to travel around China. It makes me rethink the meaning of mountains and water for us, nowadays. China is undergoing high-speed development and immerses itself in the exultation of prosperity. However, havoc and destruction are inevitable. In this setting, people like us are actually as insignificant as dust. Therefore, over the years of traveling the mountains and water, I have been looking for these people who are still dependent on the mountains and water. When I took photographs, I decided to replace myself with my subjects. I put myself in their position, and the person who replaced me would press the shutter button. I think there is nothing more intense and deeper than the feeling of being one of them, though only for a brief moment. I am pleased with the serendipitous beauty on the road, but I am also deeply concerned that all these things will probably disappear at some point in the future.” - Zhang KeChun