《疆南》
新疆是我出生的地方,是位于中国西北部的一片广袤大地,是中国面积最大的自治区,旧时被称作西域,现在有数十个民族居住于此。其中,作为大部分少数民族聚居的区域,南疆不仅有一座世界第二大流动沙漠,也拥有着中国最长的内陆河——塔里木河。沿着河流行进,不仅能见到社会体制迅速发展的现在,还能依稀瞥见千年以前人类文明的遗留。十九世纪末,年轻的瑞典探险家斯文·赫定来到西域,沿着丝绸之路开始了他传奇的探险生涯。在罗布人向导奥尔德克的帮助下,赫定在荒漠之中发现了对他而言如同“庞贝古城”一般的楼兰故城遗址。百年以后,我与奥尔德克的子孙立于奥尔德克的雕塑前,看着已被黄沙埋没的坟墓,想象着他与赫定彼时的风采。如果没有亲眼见到那些曾被掩埋于沙丘下的佛寺遗址和壁画文物,很难想象这个清代被称为回疆的地方曾经在公元六世纪时是大乘佛教的圣地。就像命运相似的君士坦丁堡一样,文明的换代更替便是如此,被劲风吹过而现世,被黄沙遮蔽而消亡。

作为汉族移民到新疆以后的第三代人中的一员,也就是真正生长在这里的人,我看待世界的方式是由这里所塑造的。它包含了以下的这些元素,羊肉、馕、葡萄、烈酒、干爽的烈日、半年的寒冬、冰封入云的雪山、奔腾不息的河流、一望无垠的沙海,还有夏天晚上十点才能见到的夕阳。2002年,9岁的我第一次踏足南疆,彼时的少年甚至已经到过被称为“死亡之海”的塔克拉玛干沙漠,也见过了克孜尔千佛洞里精妙绝伦的尉迟画派的佛像壁画。可那时少不更事,何以参透残存千古的遗风?2009年夏,我16岁,乌鲁木齐发生了令人震惊的暴恐事件,伴随而来的是一整年没有网络的日子,和每一个居住在新疆的人心里抚不平的创伤。人们第一次发现和平是如此脆弱,一旦被打破,过去的生活便一去不复返。2015年,我只身前往伦敦求学,幻想能在孤独和远方中找到自己是谁。后来这个“逃离”计划的确奏效了,在那个五平米的宿舍隔间里生活的日子里,我心里挂念的只有新疆和那里的一切。那时我不知道的是,抚平创伤,同过去的事和解并找到自己是谁,会因为我的“回归”而一起完成。

一次一次地,沿着河流穿过沙漠,从一座城到达另一座,我尽可能的去和更多人接触,通过摄影去和他们产生联系。尽管这些联系大都是短暂而脆弱的,但它们无疑帮助我抚平了创伤。我想用照片来证明这片土地并不是很多人以为的那样危险或令人恐惧。她是狂野的,直率的,异域的,同时也是包容的,求新的,最重要的是,她是瑰丽的。或许她只是不善于表达自己的美,又或许她一直在等待一个机会,也许有一天,有越来越多的青年来到这里与她相见,相拥。

‘JiangNan’
Xinjiang is the largest autonomous region in northwestern China, where I was born. It used to known as the Western Regions for hundreds and thousands of years​ and is now a place where dozens of ethnic groups inhabit. As the region where most minorities live, southern Xinjiang has the world's second largest mobile desert, the Taklimakan desert, and also has the longest inland river in China, the Tarim River. Walking along the river, you can see the rapid development of the social system, while seeing the legacy of human civilization from thousands of years ago. At the end of the 19th century, the young Swedish explorer Sven Hedin came to the Western Region and began his legendary adventure along the Silk Road. With the great help​ of the Lop man guide, Ordek, Hedin discovered the ancient city ruins of Loulan in the Lop Nor wildness. For him, it was like found the ancient city of Pompeii. After a century, I and Ordek's descendants standing in front of his sculpture, watching the grave that had been buried in the yellow sand, imagining the moments that only belong to them. If you haven't seen the Buddhist temple ruins, murals and artefacts that were buried under the sand dunes, it is impossible to imagine that the place that was once called Altishahr in the Qing Dynasty was a holy place of Mahayana Buddhism in the sixth century. It reminds me of Constantinople, which has a similar fate with here. The replacement of civilization is just like a city in the desert, appears after being blown by the wind, eroded by the wind, and at last, obscured by the sands.

As one of the third generation of Han immigrants to Xinjiang, which also a generation that were born and raised in here, the way I see the world is shaped by it. It contains the following elements: lambs, grapes, strong liquor, dry sunshine, half a year of winter, snow-capped mountains, rushing rivers, endless sand dunes, and the 10pm-sunset-summers. In 2002, when I was 9, the very first journey to southern Xinjiang left me a memory of the Taklimakan Desert. I have also seen, which I was too young to understand, the exquisite Buddha murals in the Kizil Thousand Buddha Cave. In the summer of 2009, I was 16, there was a shocking violent riot broke out in Urumqi, which caused a year forbidden of network and the mental chronic wound of each person who lives in there. For the first time, people found that peace was so fragile that once broken, the usual life would became a long gone. In 2015, I went to London alone, dreaming of finding myself in isolation and in the distance. It turns out, this "escape" plan did work. In the days when I lived in a five-square-meter dormitory, my mind was filled by Xinjiang and everything from there. What I didn't know at that time was, healing the wounds, reconciling with the past, and root seeking, would accomplish altogether because of my "return."

Drove along the river through the deserted land, from one city to another, I tried to reach to more people and establish the connection with them via photography. Although these connections were mostly short-lived and vulnerable, they undoubtedly helped me with healing the wounds. I want to use photos to prove that this land is not as dangerous or frightening as many people think. She is wild, straightforward, exotic, at the same time, tolerant, wordless, vigorous, and most importantly, magnificent. She is waiting, that one day, more newcomers will come here to meet her and embrace her.

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