Andreas Seibert. Huai He – The Colors of Growth

Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur
27 October 2012– 17 February 2013

The Huai He is one of China’s most important rivers. It flows eastwards from Henan province dividing the huge country into a northern and southern half. The river is a vital artery for millions of people, but it also mirrors the flip side of the rapid unchecked growth of the Chinese economy. The cultures and everyday reality in the different provinces may differ significantly, yet the people living along the river are confronted everywhere with the same fact: currently the water of the Huai He resembles a poisonous sewer rather than a life-giving element.

Province Anhui, 2011 © Andreas Seibert (Ausschnitt)

The Swiss photographer Andreas Seibert, who lives in Tokyo, travelled the over 1,000 kilometre-long Huai river from its source to its estuary. Taking the example of the river, he highlights the anxieties and hopes, as well as the daily struggle of the population for survival, forced as they are to come to terms with the fact that – literally – everything is in flux. The work that has resulted is informative, empathetic and startling. The abstract facts take on a sensual aspect in Seibert’s photographs, the ambivalence of which is captivating and provocative. May we delight in the river’s beguiling play of colours when we know what causes it? And how can we bear the melancholy beauty of the landscapes, settlements and people when the reality is permeated by an unsurpassable desolation?

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Schilfbündel werden von einem Lastkahn geladen und auf eine Baustelle gebracht.
Provinz Jiangsu, 2011 © Andreas Seibert

Fringe events:

28 October, 11.30 am:
tour of the exhibition with Andreas Seibert

5 December, 7.30 pm:
From Somewhere to Nowhere  – China’s Internal Migrants. On the road in China with the Swiss photographer Andreas Seibert. A film by Villi Hermann (2009)

8 January 2013, 12.15 to 12.45 pm:
Bildfokus / Image in Focus with Sabine Münzenmaier

Public tours of one of the exhibitions at the Fotostiftung Schweiz or Fotomuseum Winterthur:
Wednesday, 6.30 pm, Sunday, 11.30 am.
For details call info line: 052 234 10 34

The Fotostiftung Schweiz and the photographer would like to thank for their generous support: Bundesamt für Kultur, Migros-Kulturprozent, Aargauer Kuratorium, george foundation, Fujifilm