Huangshan, (literally‘Yellow Mountain’) in Anhui Province, is one of China's most important and iconic tourist attractions. A range of mountains consisting of 72 granite peaks, the Mount Huangshan Scenic Area attracts over 2 million visitors per annum ranking it amongst the top 5 tourist destinations in China. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its scenery and role as a habitat for rare and threatened species. The World Heritage Site covers a core area of 154 square km and a buffer zone of 142 square km.
Known to the Chinese as‘the number one mountain under heaven’, Huangshan has inspired centuries of Chinese painters, poets and scholars. Its iconic beauty ranks it with theYangtze River and the Great Wall as one of the most potent cultural andspiritual symbols of China. It is a ‘sister national park’ of Yosemite National Park in the US, and ‘sister mountain’ of the Jungfrau in Switzerland.
The Mount Huangshan ScenicArea is privately owned and managed by the ‘Huangshan Tourism & DevelopmentCompany Ltd’ and is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. 51.5% of its shares are held by Chinese and foreign investors, the remainder being owned by the local government of the nearby city of Tunxi. China’s decades of rapid economic reform and the unwillingness of central government to allocate money and resources to such areas – has in part led to this process of privatisation.
My work examines our continued disconnection from the physical landscape. Using iconic sites of natural beautyI explore the dynamics and ethics of land ownership, preservation and visual wonder.
An award-winning landscape photographer, my work has been published and exhibited internationally, and is represented by the Diemar/Noble Gallery in London.