On The Yangtze, 2013

The Yangtze River is one of the largest rivers in Asia, spanning thousands of kilometres across Mainland China.

As part of my creative interest in the resources of water in contemporary environments and the phenomenon of the man-made dam, I went on a three-day river cruise down the Yangtze River on a Chinese tour boat. The cruise departed from the megacity of Chongqing, making its way through Sichuan and Hubei provinces towards Shanghai and into the East China Sea. The experience was unique because even though I was the only non-Chinese speaking person on the boat, all efforts of friendliness were made between travel companions despite the barrier. I became a tourist amongst other tourists. While travelling along the river I savoured the sites and absorbed the cultural experiences that were not any less interesting and unique to the 200 Chinese tourists I shared the boat with. Together we sat in awe of the sheer size and sense of sublime that resided within both the natural and the man made features of the environment. These landscapes facilitate the passage of water from one place to another and our experience as tourists was guided by our journey along the Yangtze River.

This video documents scenes of temporal human occupancy on the Yantze, as viewed through a Canon DLSR. In particular, the work examines the visual forms of a natural landscape and river ecosystem that is contained and mutated via human manipulation. Evidence of a dialogue between environmental forces and human intervention is visible not just within the riverside cities and the fishing industry that operates on the river beneath the steep rocky gorges, but also within the epic concrete infrastructure of the world’s biggest hydroelectric plant – the Three Gorges Dam.

 

On the Yangtze still, 2014. Single channel digital video, 6:57min

On the Yangtze screenshot, Bryden Williams, 2014. Single channel digital video, 6:57min

On the Yangtze still, 2014. Single channel digital video, 6:57min

On the Yangtze screenshot, Bryden Williams, 2014.

On the Yangtze still, 2014. Single channel digital video, 6:57min

On the Yangtze screenshot, Bryden Williams, 2014.

On the Yangtze still, 2014. Single channel digital video, 6:57min

On the Yangtze screenshot, Bryden Williams, 2014