April - June 2012
Thousands of years of wandering through the darkness of history, thousands of years to discover and build progress, thousands of years to strengthen civilization. China - the oldest continuous civilization in the world - has opened its doors more widely in these modern times. Civilization that living in tight isolation, while struggling with the turmoil of history, never stopped its efforts to progress and build a state that is all that was under Heaven - the Middle Kingdom. Travelling through modern China, it is impossible not to feel the breath of this oldest civilization's legacy, consistently amazing with its momentum, its duration, and amazing diversity of 56 nationalities. And often difficult to understand from a Eurocentric point of view.
A series of photographic exhibitions under the joint title "Chinese Odyssey" presents selected images of contemporary China.
Yangtze River - Yangzi Jiang 揚子江 - China's longest river, here called Chang Jiang, the third longest river in the world after the Amazon and Nile. It travels from the sources in Tibetdown to its 10 km wide delta at the mouth of the East China Sea. And this is a 6300 km long route. Along it stretches a landscape of change, a landscape of breakthroughs. For centuries, this river has both nourished and destroyed. In its basin lives 40% of the population of this most numerous country in the world, cultivating 75% of rice harvests all over China. It is also the most important inland communication and trade route in the country, around which there are 2,000 industrial plants. Undoubtedly, it is the source of livelihood and development for hundreds of millions of Chinese. On the other hand, there is also a destructive power to the river. This power was released many times throughout history, causing catastrophic floods. One of the largest, from 1931, killed 3 million people. The Yangtze River also has its beautiful, almost seductive face. It's revealed in the middle course, in the area of Three Gorges (Sanxia), Qutang Gorges, Wu and Xiling. It rolls its waters here for 200 km through picturesque mountains that reach almost 1000 meters. However, this beautiful face of the river is obscured by one landmark building - the world's largest dam and hydroelectric power station - the Three Gorges Dam. Its construction already has had and will have irreversible consequences. Nearly 2 million people have been resettled, 40% of farmers will lose their jobs, 1500 industrial plants, 140 cities and 4300 villages will be flooded. And 1300 unique historic buildings will be flooded, including monuments from the Ming and Han dynasties. And finally, the most beautiful gift from nature - Gorge of the Three Gorges will be flooded. What's more, 50 species of flora and fauna will be threatened. On the other hand, thanks to the 630-kilometer retention reservoir, floods and droughts are to be controlled, cheap and ecological electricity will be available, and shipping will increase 3 times. Will the Three Gorges Dam become the economic and civilizational breakthrough of China? Time will tell...
The "Chinese Odyssey" series:
1. Lijiang - The Jewel of Yunnan
2. Treasures of Xi’an
3. Beijing - non-Forbidden City
4. Gorges of the Yangtze River