Xinjiang, a vast land located in the northwest of China, is where I was born. It used to known as the Western Regions for hundreds and thousands of years and is now a place where dozens of ethnic groups inhabit. 'Jiang Nan’ in Mandarin means the south of Xinjiang, the area where these photos were taken.
A stretch of more than 2000 km of the Tarim River, her source begins with the ice mountain in the west. After the branches converged, she runs across the great Taklimakan Desert from west to east, flowing into the Taitema Lake. She is the source of thriving lives in Southern Xinjiang, animating different groups of people and their civilizations generation after generation. However, since the Lop people, the Daolang people, and the Keliya people were “discovered” by Sven Hedding in the 1890s, they have gradually abandoned their old fisheries lifestyle. The herald of modern life further blurred the boundaries between them and the Uyghur as well. Uigur and Mandarin spread swiftly because they are indispensable for these people to make a living in cities and towns. Although those villages they used to resident have been able to access electricity, it is the asphalt road that truly bears stories of moving and traveling, of the pursuit for a better life.
I was born and raised in Xinjiang, but I am also a descendant of the Han ‘immigrants’. I want to make this place my homeland, and what I believe what I can do is to engrave the scenes on the films as well as in my heart.