What would it be like if life was suddenly submerged under water? For most of us, we'll never know. But for artist Yang Yi, this idea hits a little too close to home. Personally affected by the Three Gorges Dam project along the Yangtze River, he sought to capture what was left of his hometown before it was completely submerged. What follows is a haunting and tragic series that, in his words, will be his “personal memoir.”
“I don't intend to dwell on the meaning to be found in my photography. What is important for me is that I came from that town. It is about all that we have in common there: our accent, our spicy coriander, the nod we give each other, a friendly signal to say hello when we pass one another on the street, these streets that we have traveled alongside our ancestors, that have herded us along together… this series was created for all of that. It will be my personal memoir!
“In 2009, it will be among the last settlements to be evacuated of people and submerged under the waters of the Three Gorges Dam, uprooting its inhabitants forever. Kaixian, the 1800 years of my childhood home's history, expunged.
“I was born there 36 years ago.
“On that day, I will awake underwater.”