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Zhang Xiao

Shanxi Zhang Xiao

Shanxi Zhang XiaoShanxi
Zhang Xiao
Little Big Man

First Edition of 300
72 pages
250 x 230 mm
ISBN not available

“These photographs were taken in Shanxi Province in northwest China. They document old customs originating from pagan ritual practices. They are, in effect, a voodoo-esque form of totem worship. A number of these ancient customs still survive and remain some of the most important cultural practices during the Lunar New Year throughout most of Shanxi. It appears that the participants have created a dramatic and otherworldly stage—dressing in stunning costumes and exquisitely painting their faces to represent the identities of Gods otherwise long forgotten.

When I first witnessed the participants line up and then parade around the village, I repeatedly kept asking myself whether I had literally stepped into some sort of wonderland. The scenes I gazed at were far too bizarre and illusionary to be connected to events in the real world. Compared with the monotony of their usual rural lives, everyone involved into these celebrations transformed into something quite extraordinary—appearing no longer as mere peasants, but as powerful Gods from ancient mythology.With every glimpse of the unfolding events, I saw an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness that saturated the atmosphere and I tried not to disturb this beautiful dream state I found myself in. I truly hoped that I would never wake up.”

About the Artist
Born in 1981 in Yantai city, Shandong province, China, Zhang Xiao graduated from the Department of Architecture and Design at Yantai University in 2005. He was a photojournalist for Chongqing Morning Post. Zhang won the Three Shadows Photography Award in 2010 with They series. He also received the second Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award in 2009, The Photography Talent Award (France) in 2010 and the Prix HSBC pour la Photographie in 2011 with his Coastline series. In 2018, He won the Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography of Harvard University. Zhang currently lives and works in Chengdu city, Sichuan province, China.

About the Publisher
Little Big Man is a gallery and publishing house is committed to exhibiting works by both established and emerging photographers. Dedicated to showing challenging photography that goes beyond the classification of often conventional Art or Documentary style Photo. Although many works are of a highbred heavily personalized style Artists on exhibition often work in complex dialog and narratives. The gallery is a natural extension to our publishing at LittleBigMan Books breathing the same vigor that we have established in our books, out onto the gallery walls.

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