Lianzhou International Photo Festival 2008

 

On the road (Dan Luo)

 

China, or more specifically the People's Republic of China is a great country. A very large country. In any case by an area of 9 677 009 square kilometers - which is the third largest in the world - and its population, estimated at 1 400 million, which represents one fifth of humanity.
This vastness is obviously synonymous with diversity, it has always fascinated photographers because of its rich culture, majestic monuments, nature offers deserts, lush mountains, seashores and large steppes but also costumes and folklore to attract lovers of the exotic, has made China one of the most photographically rich. Then there was the political, the Revolution, the Maoist mythology, large photographic signatures. This was mainly to Western photographers, since it is only recently that we became interested in the extraordinary imagery of propaganda produced by the regime.
Then, fifteen years, accompanying the dramatic transformation of a capitalist economy itself yet always faithful to the principles of communism, it was discovered Chinese photographers, mostly documentaries from across the country and artists using photography has occupied a growing place in the contemporary market, and Chinese surnames have become familiar with records in auctions.
Dan Luo is not yet part of this small elite that has hit the fast speculation. And for good reason: it has not exhibited outside China. Yet his proposal photography is quite original, even confusing. And also subtle, seductive, full of meaning.
Learned in colors, fine, soft, no effect, it has found every time the exact distance, just by breathing than it installs in the rectangle or square with a permanent peace that makes it even more surprising the situations it freezes. He chose a device that is both simple and efficient passenger almost disillusioned by the inability to identify the vast: he has traveled the country from north to south and from east to west. And during this journey, it avoids all the cliches that do not often hidden.
No exotic, but surprises, encounters at the turn of the road from the top of a hill, at random moments fragile open to walkers. So, more story, more than big city, no crowd. Only individuals, often enigmatic, which seem to confront the ghosts of buildings, buildings which no longer knows if they become or permanently abandoned. As monuments of ridiculous that the setting for the loneliness of children playing without enthusiasm and adults that are sent in an ambiguous position with the landscape they are contemplating. The more so that everything is surrounded with a gray which we do not know if it due to fog or pollution.
Dan Luo us into a China floating, suspended, without certainty, that has nothing to do with the demonstrations of force arrogant tours of major cities or the Olympic Games. We convene in a surreal, more resigned than sad, like perhaps felt that the majority of his contemporaries who were not invited to share the sudden and dramatic enrichment of the few.
Most troubling, the most touching is that the China-if it is not shiny or flashy, dégage also indefinable charm that deep.

 

 

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