The Yellow River



The Yellow River is the second-longest river in Asia, and the sixth longest in the world, often claimed to be the mother river. Chinese photographer Zhang Kechun (b. 1980) walked along the river with his large format camera, inspired by reading the novel River of the North by Zhang Chengzhi. Zhang Kechun says, ''Now, it's the moment that I must wake up my silent soul to quietly keep watch on its flowing for seasons, to stare at it through this journey, to drink a toast to it, to sing a song for it, and to have a sleep beside it.''

Yet, despite his romantic ambitions, Zhang found that the river that was once full of legends had gone and disappeared. Finding yellow and greying river landscapes, along with lone fisherman and grand industrial scenes, Zhang created a vision of the Yellow River that is slightly more dead than alive. Both a source of life and a source of disappointment, the Yellow River of his images is somewhat of a wasteland, enormous and still.