The Three Gorges – 3rd Edition, Organhaus Gallery, Chongqing, China, 2011

The Three Gorges of the Yangzi River are one of China’s most celebrated natural wonders. The area attracts thousands of tourists each year who come on ships to gaze at bizarre rock formations, spot poems that have been carved into cliff walls and learn about China’s ancient history. Considered the cradle of Chinese culture, this environment has recently been altered – or “edited” – through the construction of the Yangzi River Dam, which has increased the flow of the river. Besides producing an enormous amount of electric energy, ship navigation has improved. Despite the inundation of cultural heritage sites and of traditional villages and towns – forcing millions of people to relocate – tourism agencies predict an increase in tourist numbers. We, as humans, alter our landscapes so that they better fit our purposes. This raises questions about our perception of the natural world in centuries to come. Will we reconsider and preserve it, will we change it so it better serves our causes, or will we destroy it altogether to become a memory conveyed solely in a virtual world. My video installation plays with these future perspectives, while at the same time provoking thought.

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 Article by Jennifer Hattam on Treehugger