Mother River


A work of genius and an eye-opening experience.”  ------ Zelda Cheatle

Mother River is a four-year project (2010-2014) for which the British-Chinese photographer Yan Wang Preston (*1976) photographed the entire 6,211km Yangtze River at precise 100km intervals with a large-format film camera.

As China’s ‘Mother River’, the Yangtze is usually celebrated by idealistic images of iconic places.With Mother River, Yan Wang Preston conceptually undermines the deep-seated preference towards certain river places and their landscape representations. The equally spaced photographic locations produced no picturesque views or sublime concrete structures but a set of accidental and vernacular landscapes that have never or rarely been photographed before. The book tells an epic story of the entire width of China from its western highland to its eastern coast and demonstrates that in an era of abundant satellite mapping and saturated imagery, fresh views can still be attained by conducting ambitious, physical and personal mapping.

Signed copies. 

In the photographic project Forest, the British-Chinese artist Yan Wang Preston spends eight years (2010-2017) investigating the politics of recreating forests and ‘natural’ environment in new Chinese cities. Preston starts the project in Chongqing by following the developments of the transplanted old trees, the concrete structures and the people while documenting the changes, dramas and lives in the city. She then develops the project to Haidong by portraying the bizarre and wildly-coloured ecology-recovery landscapes. On the way, a series of stories are collected and narrated, raising questions towards the complexity of urban reforestation and nature re-construction in contemporary era. 

The project won the 1st Prize of Syngenta Photography Award in 2017 and the 1st Prize, Professional Landscape, Sony World Photography Awards in 2019. 

Signed copies. 

Due to the complications caused by Brexit, shipping to countries out of the UK can no longer be covered within the book's retail price. Please get in touch with Yan Wang Preston if you wish to purchase the book from non-UK countries. 

Shipping to UK destinations continues to be free. 

Publisher: Hatje Cantz.

Texts: Jem Southam and Liz Wells

160 pages,  63 Plates

33 x 27 cm, hardcover

Release date: October 2018

ISBN: 978-3-7757-4447-8 (EN)