Sebastien Tixier

2016 - 2017


Over time since Antiquity, observing nature has been elevated to the ranks of an art form. The traditional painting "Shan Shui", meaning "Mountains Water", perpetuates in Chinese culture the tribute to water courses and mountains. And Taoist philosophy - one of the two greatest philosophical systems that has emerged and developed in China - teaches the idea of “non-intervention” in harmony with the Tao. Going against this means going against the principles of the origin of the world, and this would lead to chaos.

Nowadays, the regions of central China, where a booming industrialization and urbanization are taking place, are at the heart of the current government agenda. Irrigated by the sole Yellow River and spreading up steep contours, they represent the many challenges which regularly occur. Despite being known since time began as the “Mother River”, many incidents of river pollution have taken place in this part of the region in the past decades. It is also in these regions that the Chinese government has initiated the flattening of numerous mountains in order to encourage urban development and economic activity.

This body of photographic work just released brings together in one series the view of two photographers on the same territory. Sebastien Tixier and Raphael Bourelly team up to offer an overview of these regions and the important challenges they pose. A testimony of this nature sometimes preserved, sometimes being transformed, and the urban network that spreads and never stops evolving.

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