Wang Fuchun. NORTH EAST MEN
Our Price: $45.00
Publisher: International Publishing House for China’s Culture (2009)
Category: Exhibition catalogue
Details: Hardcover, 41 black & white plates, 104 pages, 265 x 217mm
Languages: English & simplified Chinese
"I am an authentic Northeast man; the Black Land ("hei tudi") is the humus where I grew up. The mountains and rivers of this country of cockscomb shape are engraved on my heart." - Wang Fuchun
Taken over the course of three winters from 2005 to 2007, Wang Fuchun’s award-winning series North East Men documents the bitter winter landscape and ethnic peoples of Heilongjiang province in China’s far northeast. The works in this series, here gathered for a solo exhibition in 2009 at Beaugeste Photo Gallery in Shanghai, describe a pristine utopian wilderness and the cyclical relationship between men and animals and the forests, mountains and rivers of this vast province, described by Wang as "The Black Land” (Heilongjinag literally means “Black Dragon River”).
Wang’s subjects are the minority peoples of the North: Oroqen game hunters, Ewenki reindeer people and the Hoche ice fishermen of Lake Wudalian, as well as the families and descendants of those sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) for “re-education through labour” but who never returned home. Wang’s compassion is clear in the straightforward human honesty of his studies, which reveal a profound respect and sympathy for these communities that have persisted against time and nature and the movements of history.
The images for North East Men are taken in black and white using a Cambo 8 x 10 monorail large-format camera. The resulting photographs are distinctive for their pin-sharp clarity and masterful evocation of the deep winter in a remote land; biting wind across a frozen lake and the crunch and squeak of deep snow underfoot. Each image is here presented in 8 x 10 format with black frames that reproduce Wang’s original contact sheets.
Wang Fuchun 王副春 was born in 1943 in Harbin in central Heilongjiang and began taking pictures while working as a technician on the railways in western China. His first major series, entitled Chinese on the Train, won international acclaim. Following this, in 2004 he won the Pingyao Grand Prize for Best Contemporary Chinese Photographer for the series North East Men. He lives in Beijing.