Women in Photography 2017: Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase Slideshow Projection
Beyond the River, Across the Sea | Xinran Gu

Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian, is a city of rivers and mountains. Across the Min River, hills often fade into valley fog. The river bifurcates in the main city, where skyscraper and shopping malls rise from. On a slow boat downstream toward northeast, the city slips past and scenery changes. The hustle and bustle gives away to tranquil countryside. The brown rust river rushes into the muddy mouth of East Sea and eventually reaches to the Pacific. The shore of deep estuary is where their voyage to the U.S. gets started.

No one knows precisely how many Fujianese emigrated in the early 90’s. Someone disappeared. Others would naturally assume that the person was smuggled to the United States. The newly arriving Fujianese settled, usually, on the Lower East Side, along East Broadway, under the Manhattan Bridge. For the reason of the influx of Fujian immigrants, this section of Chinatown is also known as Little Fuzhou. As soon as they paid off debt for smuggling, they brought their family members, and, eventually, the entire villages to the United States. Today, they have built multiple Little Fuzhou in the NYC.

Beyond the River, Across the Sea evolves from a series of road trips along with the Min River and two-year documentary at the Chinatown, NYC. My visit along with the Min River from urban area to remote fishing villages replicates their journey to the U.S. and the shift of landscape (from city to rural area) alludes to China’s mass urbanization plan, moving 250 million to newly constructed town. As the poetic respond to the narrative of identity, migration and urbanization, Beyond the River, Across the Sea juxtaposes Fujianese’ falling American Dream and fraught relationship with their ever-changing landscape of homeland.

About Xinran Gu
Xinran Gu is a visual storyteller, currently based between New York City and Shanghai. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa in Journalism and Studio Arts and studied photojournalism at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her work has been widely published at Yet Magazine in Switzerland, Fotoroom in Italy and Tencent News in China.


Women in Film & Photography Showcase Programme
:: Women in Photography Exhibition: 13 Oct to 19 Nov
:: Guided photographer & curator tour: 13 Oct, Fri, 230pm to 330pm

:: Panel Discussion – Woman Photographer: 13 Oct, Fri, 730pm to 9pm
:: Artist talks: 14 Oct, Sat, 2pm to 430pm
:: Slideshow Projection featuring Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase: 15 Nov, Wed, 730pm to 830pm
:: Women in Film 2017 (19 to 28 Oct)