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The Tang dynasty tomb, three series

The series aim is to reveal the essence of the ancient Tang and Ming dynasties by creating images of their tomb statuary.

The statues signify Zhang’s intention to pay attention to the forgotten and preserve their memory. In doing so, he also draws attention to the conflict between contemporary and ancient traditional culture in China.

Photographer: Hui Zhang, China

Hui Zhang (b. 1970) is a photography professor and director of a range of educational institutions and photography societies in Shaanxi and Xian in his native China. Zhang has had numerous exhibitions and won several awards.


Zhang hui originally stood in the road on both sides of the ancient imperial tomb statue. The statue of residual as early as the 5th century, still exist in central China around its ancient capital Chang ‘an (now xi ‘Ian), was once the world’s most populous city. In great plains near Xian in Shaanxi province and Shaoling, there are eighteen in the Tang dynasty, 13 Ming dynasty emperor’s tomb. The tomb usually has a “holy” or “god” royal dead souls go to the grave. The road on both sides is usually a stone statue, it is an important symbolic tomb guardian. These statues are usually made of twelve characters (including the general and court officials) and animals, including lions, camels, elephants, turtle, horse, and Xie Zhi, kirin dragon, and phoenix. The last four are mythical animals. Tang, Ming dynasties are usually regarded as a great era in Chinese history. It’s a conquest and lucrative trade along the silk route. This is a great art career. The statue of this time is a valuable historical relic. Unfortunately, many statues are destroyed. The original building has lost a few hundred years ago but a large stone statue is in good condition, until recently. Recently some damage during the cultural revolution, land development brought a big loss. Zhang hui’s aim is to reveal the essence of these ancient dynasties by creating the image of the statue. The statue was found in the countryside, sometimes in the field, and partially buried and damage. He wants to focus on cultural heritage to ignore these objects. Create images in this series, zhang hui, the dark under the background of the sculpture in the form of scenery. The form is light weathering on the surface of the texture of the sculpture and create a dramatic Settings. Time and elements of the statues and simplify the function in some of the most basic shapes. Some people are missing, or weapons, but they are silent sentry from another era. There is a kind of nostalgia and longing for the past. The statue of zhang hui’s intent.


© hui zhang, China, 2nd Place, Professional , Architecture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Topics: tang dynasty,ming dynasty,Hui Zhang,Chinese photographer,Shaanxi,Xian

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