They by Zhang Xiao

Zhang Xiao is one of the new talent of the Chinese photography and his best known and famous work is “Coastline” among others, it was awarded at the Prix HSBC Pour La Photographie in 2011.

I had an interview with Xiao last year about “Coastline” and that time we also talked about the relationship between this work and his previous one, “They”, I asked him if there was a sort of continuity.
“Like many authors in the past – I am thinking about Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York in 1930s – “Coastline” shows us how your country lanscape is fastly changing . It seems you love to take pictures of the people, so you often observe and analyze them. Even if you are young, how do you feel that the Chinese people are changing? I’m thinking about your series called “They”.

Zhang Xiao: “Yes, but I both like to take pictures of the people and landscape. Because most of the landscape are created by human. The landscape is also a reflection of social issues. There are great changes every day in China since it began opening up 30 years ago. The cities are like big construction sites speeding their construction pace to catch up with the rest of the world. All of this appears particularly oustanding in China’s coastal areas. A multitude of countrymen leave their native place to go there. Urbanization drives continually accelerate growth while people’s spiritual life stay. About “They”, these photos were taken in Chongqing city, Southwest China. I think “They” significance is the same as “Coastline”, only different in its geography”.

Today it’s a good time to talk again to Zhang Xiao. In fact, “They” has become a beautiful hardcover book with…

Keep going to read on Le Journal de la Photographie.

Zhang Xiao Le Journal de la Photographie