“Forthright in its sadness and anger, but couched in a redemptive capacity for beauty and compassion.”
LA Weekly, July 28, 2005
For hundreds of years, artists, poets and explorers have been inspired by the beauty and drama of China’s Yangtze River. In June 2003, some of the river’s most famous mountains and cities were partially submerged by a lake that formed behind the Three Gorges Dam. To prepare for the inundation, bridges, highways, and apartment buildings were constructed on the hillsides above the river, 1,500 towns and cities were destroyed, and more than one million people were moved. ‘Yangtze Remembered: The River beneath the Lake’ features fifty black-and-white images by Linda Butler, whose photographs give viewers access to this stunning region before, during, and after its transformation.
Between 2000 and 2003 Linda Butler made eight trips to China to produce this historical record of the Yangtze. Her photographs capture the human as well as the natural environment. Informal portraits of local inhabitants preserve a record of the people as they transport pigs to market or leave home with all their possessions in boats. Images showing the destruction of the landscape by erosion and coal mining are paired with lyrical photographs that feature the dramatic landscape and the vast expanse of the river.
Butler is a fine arts photographer known for her book Yangtze Remembered (2004) as well as previous books Inner Light: the Shaker Legacy (1985), Rural Japan: Radiance of the Ordinary (1992), and Italy: In the Shadow of Time (1998). Her work has been exhibited in numerous one-person shows and is in the collections of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, among others. Her photographs have been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan, and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice.