Xinhao CHENG

The Naming of a River - LTD. TO 400 COPIES - SOLD OUT! (by Paris Photo,

HC (fold over page), 16 x 25 x 2,5 cm., 128
pp., color ills., text language: English, Ltd. to 400 reg. copies + 100 Special ed.
Jiazazhi 2016.
ISBN n.a.

nicht verfügbar


Shortlisted for Paris Photo Aperture Photo Book Award 2016.

"How to understand something as protean as a river? One side of Xinhao CHENG’s leporello-bound book features a series of panoramic images depicting the idyllic banks of the Panlong River in China’s Yunnan Province, as it flows less than one hundred kilometers through cities, suburbs, and seemingly pristine valleys.
On the other side, the viewer is presented with a selection of both geological and biological specimens, as well as a sampling of the humans who can be found along the riverbanks: farmers, shepherds, fossil-seekers, grannies with bound feet, and saxophonists.
CHENG’s book 'The Naming of the River' offers us this particular river as a microcosm of the shifting balance between the rural and the urban. It’s a lovely, beautifully assembled book project.” (Lesley Martin)

"In the beginning of 2014, the photographer went back to his hometown Kunming and found a 'Pictures of Six Rivers in Yunnan's Provincial Capital' drawn by Huang Shijie, an official in Qing Dynasty.
Inspired by the book he started to take sampling photos for Panlong River and tried to identify it again with old memories. At the same time he was researching the relationship between time and space beyond the river.

'The Naming of the River' was made as a long gatefold in two sides. In the front side scattered perspectives of riverside sceneries, showing every section of the river originally, while in the back side there are picture related to the river in different times: humans met in a time in a place, rocks showing huge changes in millions of years, or eucalyptus leaves renewing every year.

The two-side design shows the artist's practice of seeking for relations between external scenery and inner logic behind it. In the end of the book, a picture of sedimentary rocks gives a imagery expression for the issue the artist was discussing: time must be characterized in a space, and space must be shaped in a time. Their intertwining relationship will not be changed forever." (publisher's note)

About the photographer (*1985 in Yunnan):
Cheng Xinhao got his Ph.D. from the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering in PKU in 2013. As one of the finalists of 2015 Three Shadow Photography Award he won the Shiseido Photographer Prize. Now he lives and works as an artist in Kunming Yunnan.