Nadav Kander is one of the most original and highly regarded photographers of our time. He is well known for his New York Times Magazine feature Obama's People and countless other famous portraits, but he's equally adept at capturing landscapes. His most recent project, "Yangtze, The Long River," took him 4,100 miles across China from Qinghai Province in the west to Shanghai in the east. The ambitious project earned him the 2009 Prix Pictet Prize for the year's theme, Earth. A book based on the collection will be available in December.
Changxing Island II (Worker's Apartments, Island of Oranges), Shanghai, 3/48
Blue Trucks, Mouth, Shanghai, 9/49
Changxing Island I (Island of Oranges), Shanghai, 2/48
Excerpts from Kander's artist statement:
"The river is a metaphor for constant change. With this series of photographs I worked intuitively, trying not to be influenced by what I already knew about the country. Over time, a formalness and unease began to permeate by pictures. I was responding to a country that feels both at the beginning of a new era, and at odds with itself. China appears to be severing its roots by destroying its past and moving forward at an astounding and unnatural pace. I felt a complete outsider and explained this pictorially by 'stepping back' and showing humans as small in their surroundings. Common man has little say in China's progression, and this insignificance of the individual is alluded to in the work."
"Although it was never my intention to make documentary pictures, the sociological context of this project is very important and ever present. Do we have to destroy to develop? The scale of development in China has left most places unrecognizable. Many Chinese will never be able to revisit the places where they grew up, because they no longer exist. China is progressing rapidly, and the landscape - both economically and physically - is changing daily. These are photographs that can never be taken again."
(via kris atomic)