CURATED BY Bérénice Angremy & Victoria Jonathan
When Liu Ke visited the Three Gorges region for the first time in 2007, he made several simultaneous discoveries: about the pain of losing something precious, one’s emotions when face to face with an incredible riverside landscape, and how a displaced people reconstructs itself following the construction of the largest dam in the world. The photographer stayed for three years, surveying the dam and its surroundings over and over, encountering inhabitants, both nomadic or sedentary, and capturing their conversations and interrogations in visual form. It is the first time that “Still Lake” is shown comprehensively in China.
Liu Ke's photographs tell of a countryside in transition. On the one hand, the endless Yangtze river, its eternal body of water, its rhythms and its rites. On the other, reinvested landscapes hijacked by urbanization, sometimes replete with surrealistic elements. Above all, Liu’s photos evoke individual stories, of people undergoing constant displacement. Viewing these photos, we get the sense of constant motion - of people who keep moving from place to place, of water flowing and leaving the lonely on its banks - and at the same time a placidity in the eyes of the protagonists - resignation on getting used to a new way of life.