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Aeronautics in the Backyards of China – Photography in China

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Meet Marine, the newest member of the TCB Blogging team but with a twist. She is a fantastic photographer and all about China! We hope you enjoy 🙂

In early 2015, the photographer Xiaoxiao Xu (born in Wenzhou, China, in 1984) travelled across her motherland China to witness a revolution that is as unbelievable as it is invigorating: all over the country, in the most unexpected places, farmers are striving to build their own aircraft. During this adventurous journey, she resided in eight different villages spread out over three major provinces, meeting and interviewing eight of these self-taught aeronauts. “For them, the game is not about how far or high they can fly, it’s about pushing their boundaries in order to achieve the impossible. They call it real-life science-fiction,” she says. Xu offers poignant visual narratives about the dream of flying.

Xu moved from China to The Netherlands in 1999 when she was a teenager. In 2009 she graduated from the Photo Academy of Amsterdam, where she still lives today. After graduation she won The Photo Award and held her first solo show in FotoMuseum Antwerpen (Belgium). She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass for several times and she participated in exhibitions all over the world. Her book about the series “Aeronautics in the Backyards” was published by The Eriskay Connection, and includes many original aircraft drawings and technical document created by the farmers.

A little bit about the lady the behind this work;

About Marine

Founded in 2011, this website intends to gradually unearth a wide variety of photographic material and resources that relate to China. My intentions here are not to provide exhaustive information, nor to raise questions of what might constitute ‘Chinese photography’, instead I am interested in examining how the diversity of photographs has shaped China’s image.

My name is Marine Cabos. I am an art historian specialised in the arts of China, with a particular interest in photography. In 2016, I received my PhD in History of Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS, University of London). My PhD thesis explored early landscape photography in China (1840s-1930s). I have published several papers on the art and history of modern and contemporary China and lectured at SOAS, Christie’s Education, the EHESS, and the Victoria & Albert Museum. I have worked in diverse cultural institutions in Shanghai, Paris, and London.

If you want to send your portfolio, to share old family albums, or if you have questions, suggestions, or other queries, please feel free to contact me or see my other work at Photography of china.

Team TCB

Marine Cabos

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