Yan Wang Preston: Forest (Signed)
In 2013, during a long-term photography project along the Yangtze river, Yan Wang Preston (*1976) made an incisive observation: in the small village of Xialiu stood an over three-hundred-year-old tree, Frank, in all of its glory, right in the centre of a community that was, at the time of Preston’s visit, being coerced into moving so that a dam could be built in that location. Three months later, no trace of the village or the tree could be seen. The residents had moved up the mountain. And the seventy-ton tree? It was sold for twenty-five-thousand Euros to a hotel in a nearby county, Binchuan. Preston found the tree, divested of all its branches and leaves and bandaged in plastic, inside the skeleton of the hotel, which was still under construction—like a living sculpture that has yet to become cognisant of its new surroundings. In China, the country where cities are springing up, transplanting and re-constructing nature are big businesses. In the photo series Forest Preston spent eight years following many uprooted creatures that are now in concrete deserts. Along the way she also documented a fantastic ecology model town near Frank’s home, once again questioning the meaning and politics of re-making homeland in this age of rapid urbanisation.
Yan Wang Preston is a awards-winning British-Chinese artist. Forest won the 1st Prize of Syngenta Photography Award in 2017.
Publisher: Hatje Cantz, 2018
Author: Zelda Cheatle, Nadine Barth
Photographer: Yan Wang Preston
Graphic Design: Julia Wagner
Size: 30 x 26 cm, 128 pages