Chen Jiagang – The Great Three
Contemporary by Angela Li is proud to present “The Great Three Gorges”, a solo exhibition of latest works by internationally acclaimed Chinese photographer Chen Jiagang.
Chen, an artist as complex as his works, is a former architect and businessman. In this much anticipated show, following on from his retrospective at the Hong Kong International Art Fair earlier this year, he brings us an exciting new collection of works. Debuting some dramatic new techniques and portraying powerful panoramic effects, combined with his discerning eye for detail, Chen offers us his new “The Great Three Gorges” series.
The Three Gorges Dam is not only a monumental engineering achievement; it has brought us some undeniable world records. It is in fact the biggest dam, power plant and largest consumer of dirt, stone, concrete and steel. On top of that, this project is responsible for the displacement of in excess of 1.1 million people, suggested as one of the largest human resettlements of modern times.
Along with its spawning environmental problems like water pollution and landslides, this rising controversy makes it easy to over look that it is, in fact, the world’s biggest manmade producer of electricity from renewable energy. Hydropower is the centerpiece of one of China’s most praised green initiatives along with a plan to rapidly expand renewable energy by 2020. In his latest series of works, Chen tries to capture some of these landscapes, unearthed by the relocation, some of which are desolate and others that are now highly urban as a result.
-------------On his newly created “The Great Three Gorges” series, Chen Jiagang said, “Destiny - the relationship between one’s childhood experiences and adult conduct is destiny. I was born in Chongqing and grew up in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, living in such places as Fengdu, Wanzhou and Yichang. I’ve photographed the Three Gorges countless times, but I didn’t really begin to focus on the Three Gorges until an experience in 2009. That was when I noticed that the fog over the Three Gorges Reservoir was growing denser and more prevalent. Why is this? One reason is the changes in the overall climate of the area since the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Another reason is the dust that is left over after the human plunderingof resources. This symbol, and the waters beneath the fog, are a microcosm of China today. Following the undulating red songs of the reservoir region, passing through the empty buildings sealed off in the anti-corruption campaigns, one can see the gaping holes left by the trees transplanted into the city and the despondent shadows of the people trying to resettle in the area."