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Yang Yi: Uprooted

by Jonah Samson in Culture on 24 March 2008

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The Three Gorges Dam project along the Yangtze River in the Hubei province of China is the world's largest engineering and construction site and has displaced over 1.2 million people and destroyed 11 cities. Once completed, the resulting 400 mile long reservoir will supply enough water to generate 84 billion kilowatts-per-hour of electricity. This project has been the at the center of much controversy, as well as the subject for many artists, perhaps most notably Edward Burtynsky.

But for Chinese artist Yang Yi, the Three Gorges Dam has a very personal meaning. Born in a small town overlooking a tributary of the Yangtze River, Yang Yi will see his hometown completely submerged during the last phase of the project in 2009. Striking and haunting him even in his dreams, this sad situation forced him to capture the remaining scenery before it disappears forever, along with his roots and childhood memories. Using both photography and digital techniques, Yang Yi's images depict a ghost town engulfed by water, whose scarce inhabitants (fitted out with masks and snorkels) go about their daily routines like lost souls. Click images for larger sizes and see more after the jump.

Called "Uprooted," the series is now on view at Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery. See below for details.

Uprooted
Through 25 April 2008
Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery
Chaoyangqu
Jiuxianqiaolu 4 hao
Dashanzi 798
Beijing 100015
China
tel. +8610 8459 9263

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