Saturday, 15 February 2014

POV: Waxing Lyrical

Photo © Wang Qing-Al Rights Reserved- Courtesy The New York Times
I'm certain many photographers are frequently so impressed by a photographic essay, or by a single photograph, that they wished they had been the ones that had made the photographs. I'm prone to have this feeling, especially as I view a large swath of photographic work every week for this blog.

But in this instance, not only did I think that, but I stopped right in my tracks as soon as I viewed the stunning photo essay Rituals In Life by Wang Qing, a obviously very talented photographer who, sadly, seems to have no website presence on the internet (unless Google search is not omnipotent as we think). To me, this type of photography is the holy grail...merging ancient culture, religious traditions, Asia, monochrome and chiaroscuro ...

The comments left by readers on The New York Times' Lens blog describe Ms Wang work as "stunning", "breathtaking", "incredible" and "beautiful"....well deserved accolades for her series of photographs made over a span of seven years, and which show the daily experiences and rituals of several ancient Uighur villages near Turpan, the desert oasis that was once a flourishing trade center on the historic Silk Road.

Ms. Wang, a Han Chinese who grew up in Turpan, is familiar with the religious traditions of the Uighur, however it took her many years to gain the trust of the villagers she wanted to photograph. Slowly but surely, she gained their trust and friendship. She brought prints of her photos as gifts for the families.

There's no question that this is one of the best photo series I've seen in a long while...perhaps eclipsing in breadth, in depth, in reflective contemplation, much of what I've seen since I started this blog including the winning entries of most international photo/photojournalism contests.

Yes, it's that good. Well done, Ms Wang.

I read that Ms. Wang is currently making preparations for a photographic project set in the Wudang Mountains in Hubei Province, a historical center for Daoism dating back to the early Tang dynasty in the seventh century.

I can't wait to see it, and I hope she'll impress us once more as she did with the Uighur series.