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"Shanxi" by Zhang Xiao

Jan 15, 2018

Zhang is a Chinese photographer who portrays local stories that attempt to reclaim traditions beyond Western lifestyles. In his series 'Shanxi' the artist documents with a picturesque style the age-old rituals of the annual lunar new year festival in China's Shanxi province. Using a Holga camera, Zhang presents in an exquisite way a collection of evocative and melancholic images that refer to ancient customs that originated in pagan beliefs, and which nowadays reflect the tension between the traditional and the modern. Following we present an interview that we had with Zhang: am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us? ZX - I was born in 1981 in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. I studied Architecture at the Yantai University, Art Design & Architecture Department. I was a photographer for the Chongqing Morning Post and am now based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. am - How did you start in photography? ZX - After graduation from high school I found a camera at home and tried it. That was the first time I used a camera, and since then I became obsessed with photography. am - What inspires your work? ZX - Everything I see inspires my work. am - What is “Shanxi” about? ZX - 'Shanxi' is the name of a province in China, where these pictures were shot. The content of this work is about “She huo”. “She huo” in this area has a history of thousands of years. It is about an ancient sacrifice and blessing activities. am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists? ZX - Too many, almost everyone could affect me, I can not say only one name. am - How would you describe your visual language? ZX - I go from using the camera to using the image. am - What are your main interests as an artist? ZX - To be free and have fun. am - What’s your favourite movie? ZX - Forrest Gump. am - What is your favourite photo book? ZX - "Until death do us part" by Thomas Sauvin. am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.

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