concept / english

Artist - Statement

Markus Sepperer on "downstream the greyscale" 


"downstream the greyscale“ is a photo essay on the Three gorges project in china,
covering the 600 km long dam reservoir, downstream the Yangtze River
between Chongqing and Yichang.
The pictures were taken during two journeys in January and February
2011 and 2012.

The living space of approx. Two Million People was flooded by the
Three gorges project, causing mass migration due to the loss of homeland,
farmland and place of employment, reshaping the whole territory created
mono-cultural urbanisation and central planned urban landscapes.

The dominance of grey in-between a low contrast, soft labyrinth
made of a landscape in permanent mist, development-zones built on the ground of erased history,
half sunken villages and not yet completed cities draw an image of a society
whose gateway between past and future is covered by a grey haze.

My interest focused on this not completely torn down nor ready rebuilt world,
 what is left in the houses after the people moved out,
how the individuals appear in the foreground of this huge scaled,
surrealistic landscape.

In old Chinese painting it was common to show small people embedded in perfect
harmony with a god like nature, „downstream the greyscale“ follows up on that
and tries to show people in-between mono-cultural urbanisation,
megalomaniac appearing towns, industrial landscapes
and puts them on the basis of „whats left“ in context
to their drown and smashed history.


Markus Sepperer, Vienna 2012/04/14