Nadav Kander


Written by James Read
29 Friday 29th January 2010

Metal Palm, Nanjing

Nadav set out to "use the river as a metaphor for constant change" while photographing from its mouth to its source. And the Yangtze does function metaphorically as a representation of China's rapidly changing geographic and cultural environment.

Chongqing XI

The river has been transformed over the last twenty years as result of the controversial Three Gorges Dam, which has created a 600 kilometre reservoir, forcing relocation of up to four million residents as it turns nearby towns into modern Atlantises. It does outwardly benefit the country by helping reduce carbon emissions through 'clean' energy, but the provision of less than 3 percent of the national power requirements makes little dent in their overall coal consumption.

Chongqing IV (Sunday Picnic)
From various visits to the river, Kander describes "a formalness and unease, a country that feels both at the beginning of a new era and at odds with itself". The dam is not the first massive economic project to push China into the future with apparently unstoppable force, though no match for the disaster that was the Great Leap Forward.

Chongqing and Billboard

But this isn't Mao's country any more, and it is no longer struggling to be a global economic leader; it is already there. However, in its race to develop, the country's history is being lost, Nadav claims: "China appears to to be severing its roots... by moving forward at such an astounding and unnatural pace". 

Nadav Kander's Yangtze from East to West continues until 22 Nov at Flowers East.
See more of Kander's work at

Except where otherwise noted, contents of this article are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported Licence

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at and we will respond asap.