The great third front

Auteur (photographe) : Jiagang Chen

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Architecte de formation, Chen Jiagang présente ici des photographies grand format de gigantesques espaces industriels, souvent à l'abandon, au milieu desquels sont mis en scène des personnages de jeunes femmes. Le même principe de composition est appliqué dans une seconde partie du recueil aux paysages naturels. ©Electre 2020

Présentation en anglais During the 1960's, faced with an unstable foreign policy as well as a high demand for resources, the People's Republic of China was forced to delocalise most of its heavy industry and armament factories. Originally situated on China's coasts and in the North East close to the Russian border, these factories were obliged to relocate in the countries heartlands, hidden away and better protected. So it was that the « Third Line » was created. Over a short period of time millions of workers were encouraged to move to the mountainous regions of Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan, where hundreds of factories were huridly set up, which in turn stimulated the local economies. Such a large scale relocation effort was unprecedented in China. Villages transformed overnight into dormitory towns. As immigrant populations were housed in makeshift buildings, these hamlets became significant industrial zones and duly prospered. At the start of the 1980's, Deng Xiaoping inititated drastic measures in a effort to force the economy to become more market-oriented. These measures hit the industrial zones of the « Third Line » hard, gutting the villages nearly as quickly as they had sprung up. In just a few years these industrial monoliths that were once the pride of the country became obsolete and useless. One by one they were closed down and the workers went back to their roots, leaving the cities abandoned. Today they are ghost towns in the truest sense of the word. Chen Jiagang, an award-winning architect architect and former real estate promoter has as visceral understanding of space and form as well as an in depth feeling for the ways in which human beings live their lives. He brings this knowledge to the gigantic industrial spaces putting them to the ground glass of a field camera creating images that find their final expressions in the monumental largescale color pictures that are list signature. Over the past five years, Chen Jiagang has taken the « Third Line » as the subject matter of his first extensive body of works trying to capture the specters of industry that still reside there. His sumptuous pictures sadly tell the story of the cities which were, at a time, the incarnation of the social idealism, the glory of the country and, which have become nowadays, useless industrial cemeteries and endless wastelands... In a country experiencing at present one of the highest rates of development in the world, the work of Chen Jiagang makes us question the usefulness, or absurdity of the mad development race that Human Beings have been pursuing for decades.

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Paru le : 15/10/2011

Thématique : Ecrits sur la photographie

Auteur(s) : Auteur (photographe) : Jiagang Chen

Éditeur(s) : Timezone 8 Limited Galerie Paris Beijing

Collection(s) : Non précisé.

Contributeur(s) : Préfacier : Xianting Li

Série(s) : Non précisé.

ISBN : 988-17522-2-1

EAN13 : 9789881752222

Format : Non précisé.

Reliure : Relié sous jaquette

Pages : 179

Hauteur : 24 cm / Largeur : 38 cm

Épaisseur : 2,3 cm

Poids : 1650 g