At one with Earth
The Kamera 8 Gallery in Rowe Street, Wexford is hosting an exhibition called Earth-Tibetan Nomads by the Chinese-born New York photographer Mi Zhou.
The exhibition which will continue until June 15, was officially opened last Friday evening by Anthony Hobbs, retired Head of the Department of Media at the National College of Art and Design.
Born in China, Mi Zhou studied Civil Engineering in college and worked for 13 years as a field engineer for the Chinese National Railroad Survey and Design Institute.
In 1997, he obtained a Masters degree in Communication Arts in New York, and worked as art director at an advertising agency. He has lived in San Francisco since 2004, working as a freelance photographer, focusing on personal projects and working with non-profit organisations on social documentaries.
Speaking about the exhibition, Mi Zhou said what attracted him to the subject was the simplicity in human history when people still treated nature with awe and fear, living a simple and primitive life, with a very basic understanding of their environment.
But in a world where people have been desensitised by daily violence and astounding greed, the relationship between man and nature has been dominated by exploitation and revenge, he said.
'In a time like this, I would like to return to the Earth, which has given birth to our bodies and soul, to worship the serenity and harmony of the land, and rediscover the innocence and beauty of humanity. For me, this project is a personal spiritual pilgrimage. When these Tibetan herdsmen stood upon the land that nurtured them, they blended with the landscape into one organic, timeless statue. I could almost touch their soul, full of dignity, strength and generosity. Maybe this is the origin and fountain of humanity, the life force that we should cherish'..
The exhibition is a collaboration between Mi Zhou and Chinese artist Ma Ke who created the outfits. All the images were photographed in China's Sichuan Province in December 2007.
The duo tried to avoid showing the typical Tibetan environment, cultural and religious symbols, and just focused on anonymous landscape and people.