La Galerie Paris 1839 is delighted to present the collection Three Gorges by Zeng Nian, a Chinese photographer who works in France. The exhibition will be held from 20th September to 29th October 2017, with the opening night on 19th September 2017, in La Galerie Paris 1839, G/F, 74 Hollywood Road, Central. The Three Gorges series gave Zeng Nian an international reputation as the witness of the culture, the history and the great changes of China. The Three Gorges series is named after the Three Gorges Dam, which is the world’s largest hydraulic dam located in the province of Hubei in the heart of China. During the 14 years, Zeng Nian photographed the process of the dam's construction, from the beginning until the impoundment. In addition to producing hydroelectricity, the goal of the dam was to reduce flooding. This project, partly in service since 2009, had a complete transformation to a lot of people’s lives. The construction of the huge dam made over one million people leaving their house.
Zeng sees the vast region of the Three Gorges as of immense historical importance to China. He did not only witness the transformation, but he also captured those dramatic and violent moments before they would vanish beneath water so they would not be forgotten. “I wanted to photograph the things and people I knew would disappear one day.”
The choice of a wide-angle, panoramic 6:17 format in his series Three Gorges projects a certain sadness, a sense of melancholy that matches the disappearance of the Three Gorges. His photos are shaded with nostalgia and filled with humanity from his investigation of the social and cultural realities of China in the throes of changes. Allowing us to entre the space and moment of the past, Zeng’s works are indeed a true experience to the old China.
With Zeng’s work, we can see the Three Gorges as the symbol of richness and romanticism of Chinese civilization. While his photos consist a profound sense of reality and simplicity, they also give testimony to the social and cultural realities of rapidly evolving China, as a confrontation between the secular history and the modern world. The details and perfection show the raw beauty of the daily life in China.