Yuxiang Dong‘s photographs from ‘Very Good, Very Good’ traverse a road many artists in China are currently following; the rapid urbanisation of China.
Like many of his contemporaries Dong grew up in a small town, a place that was held to ether by the glue of community, culture and history and lives shared through pain, trauma, joy and love. However, over the past few decades China has transformed itself, its building projects implemented on a scale never seen before in human history. Cities have been built from the ground up while towns and villages have been wiped away, entire communities decimated, lost in the vast swathe of socialist capitalism.
This destruction of culture, of peoples, of life as it has been lived for millennia is of great concern to many people living in China today and Dong’s series of pictures are part of that examination. His use of family photos, clippings from newspapers and landscape photos of a place blighted by neverending building sites tell us a sorry tale of human insignificance in the face of industrial might. Here’s what he has to say about his series:
As a boy, I enjoyed my childhood in a small town near Lake Tai in Southeast of China. As a man, I left hometown but still witness its endless growth during the rapid urbanization in China through mass media including newspaper, television, and Internet. In recent years, I constantly photograph the landscape of my hometown while visiting my parents. Meanwhile, I combine photographs, newspapers, documents, and vernacular photos to investigate the transition of my hometown and the power of governmentality, capital and mediums that contribute to this transition.