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On the Yangtze

Bryden Williams

The Yangtze River is the largest river in Asia, spanning thousands of kilometres across Mainland China. As part of my creative interest in the resource 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 budget tour boat during the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival in 2013. I booked the trip with the intention of creating a video work that would contribute to my ongoing creative practice whilst doing a creative residency at Beijing’s Red Gate Gallery. This video documents scenes of temporal human occupancy on the Yangtze River and it’s peripheral spaces. In particular, the work examines the visual forms of a natural landscape and river ecosystem that are contained and mutated via human manipulation. Evidence of a dialogue between environmental forces and a technologically enhanced human presence is visible within the epic concrete infrastructure of the world’s biggest hydroelectric plant – the Three Gorges Dam.


Bryden Williams, On the Yangtze, 2014, digital video, audio, 6:57 min