Zhang Xiao

Gardner Photography Fellow 2018

Chinese photographer Zhang Xiao began his career as a photojournalist. His work is deeply rooted in fieldwork and interactions with local communities and focuses on the impact of rapid economic change and urbanization on Chinese rural landscape and traditions.  For the 2018 Fellowship year, Zhang will expand on his earlier 2007 work in Shanxi which focused on individual performers in the annual spring festival (shehuo), to document the disconnection between the actors’ contemporary lives and the ancient traditions. Further research since then, inspired Zhang to revisit the festival to examine another aspect of the festival: the shift from the festival’s traditional meanings and props to kitschy entertainment and consumption.

Zhang current lives and works in Chengdu, Sichuan province. He graduated from the Department of Architecture and Design at Yantai University in 2005. Zhang has won numerous awards including the Three Shadows Photography Award in 2010 for They; the second Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award in 2009, the Photography Talent Award (France) in 2010, and the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie in 2011 for Coastline. His publications include Coastline, (Actes Sud, 2011; Jia zazhi Press, 2012); They (Editions Bessard Press, 2014); and Shanxi (Little Man Press, 2013).