.[Click here for the drawings series].
China's Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydropower-complex project in the world. It took over three decades to complete and raised significant controversy in China and abroad. The preparation of the site and building of the dam required razing whole villages and factories. Lands were flooded and over one million inhabitants were displaced. Evacuation mismanagement and construction costs raised the specter of government corruption. The dam contributes on a massive scale to landslides, erosion, deforestation and pollution levels, and has adversely affected fault lines, the vitality of wetlands, fish populations, etc. It has become a model for similar controversial proposals from countries on other continents, providing a high profile stage for global one-upmanship.
This series of 13 paintings and several series of drawings are based on public relations photographs documenting the site and the dam's construction. The PR photos were found on the China Yangtse Three Gorges Development Corporation website, http://www.ctgpc.com, no longer online since completion of the dam. The dam project was fully functional as of July 4, 2012.
Close to 100 official images document China’s monumental construction project. The source images recall the grandeur of traditional Chinese landscape painting, as well as the candy-coated kitsch of calendar art: landscape at the crossroads of nationalist propaganda and eco-rhetoric.