She Huo

Xiaoxiao Xu


In February 2014 i stayed in North-West China. In an unknown rough part where i had never been before.

I went there to take photos of "She Huo". She Huo is a centuries old event that takes place in the countryside, around Chinese New Year. She stands for "god of the land" and Huo literally means "fire". The fire expels evil spirits and the god of the land brings blessings, derived from witchcraft and totem worship of remote antiquity. It's designed to bring good harvest and fortune for the new year.

She Huo is a beautiful folk art with it's own specific costumes, instruments, props and performances. Which is characteristic for the Chinese culture.

It reminds me a sense of curiosity, alienation, fairytale, mystery and longing. I tried to capture this atmosphere in my photos.

I left China at a young age. Through photography i feel like i can research my background. By photographing this subject i tried to learn more about the traditional culture and the people. And find out what it means to me personally.

The results can be seen in these series of photos.

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