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"These photographs were taken in Shanxi Province in northwest China. They documented the ancient customs, which originate from original pagan religious be-liefs. They are the product of Ancient voodoo totem worship.
In the past, people used to worship the gods of religious activities. Today a num-ber of these customs have survived to remain one of the most important cultural practices in the Lunar New Year throughout most of Shanxi Province northwest China. To my personal observation, they set themselves a drama stage, dressed into stunning costumes and have their faces painted exquisitely to represent the iden-tity of each different Gods.
When I first saw them line up and walk around in the village, I kept on wonder-ing myself: Did I literally step into a wonderland? Since the scene Im staring at are too illusionary to be real.
I suppose, comparing with their daily peasant lifestyle, on this special occasion everyone who has been involved into this celebration, must feel quite extraordinary, especially regarding themselves as some powerful Gods from the ancient myth.
I could sense the joy and happiness fulfill the whole atmosphere and I certainly did not wish to disturb this beautiful dream. Since I myself start to walk into this dream and hoping I shall never wake up.
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These photos were mostly taken in the city of Chongqing, and some other towns nearby. Chongqng is located in the Southwest of China, among the Yangzi River. Since its geographical significance, the Three Gorges Dam will be constructing from here. In the year of 1997 this city was upgrated to a municipality directly un-der the central government, throughout these years its fast financal development has successfully turning this city into the ecnomic centre among the Yangzi River in China.
They. In reality are just a group of some ordinary people. They all have their own careers and lifestyles. But they seem rather bizzarred and absurd, quite surreal. The fast ecnomic growth is changing their lives, affects deep inside their spiritual world. In the shadow of all the beautiful surfaces of the city, there are always grief and tears, unconcerned and cruelties. I met them randomly by coincidence, I desprately wonder how each of them experence their lives.
The moment I captured, which all these faces appeared in my photos. What are they real thoughts behind that expression? Perhaps everyone has a diffe-rent answer, perhaps there are no answer at all. But I am questioning myself also: What was my doubt, while I was holding my camera at that specific moment? I dont think I would ever have a proper answer, because simply, I am one of them, I am also careless. Maybe our daily life is just absurd, like everyone else.
That is why I am seeking the meaning of to be
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Zhang Xiao was born in 1981 at the Shandong Province, China. He graduated 2005 from the University of Yantai with a degree in architecture. Since then he has been working as a photographer for the Chongqing Morning Paper. Xiao had several exhibitions in China. Recently he participated at Pingyao International Photography Festival and the Lianzhou International Photography Festival, China. In March 2009 he were invited to the Format Photocinema Interntional Photography Festival in Derby, UK. 2010 Xiao will have his solo exhibition in Bremen, Germany.
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