Photographic Alphabet: X is Naixin Xu
Words and Photos by Naixin Xu
“New Tibet” is a straight photographic series depicting surreal and ironic scenes in Tibet over the past several years. They reflect conflicts, and an ambiguous edge between the old and the new, the ancient and the civilization.
The photos include metal detectors standing in front of the sacred lake, fake policeman next to the road, a stray dog standing with utility poles in the desert, construction areas or traffic jam in the middle of nowhere, etc. Those photographs show a “New Tibet” which is developing fast and also struggling in the tension of the old and the new.
Tibet is one of the most thinly populated areas in China. Because of the geographically isolated environment, it developed unique cultures which have been preserved well and stayed strong in the waves of modernization. Nowadays, strong connection and cultural integration between Tibet and Mainland China are being as never before. Tibet is experiencing great social changes which are reflected in normal lives, common people, landscapes, etc.
Most of the commodities and products in Tibet are transported from outside. We see how much Tibet is relying on the outside world. At the same time, people still see Tibet as an isolated sacred land, full of myth. Tourists come and enjoy the developing modernization without realizing that, just like other places, “Shambhala” in their mind is also an area which is seeking development. The land is going through enormous changes in the flux of cultural integration. The project reflects a changing culture in Tibet, into tourism, into capitalism, modernization, and industrialization that invading rapidly, and rooting into this old land and their ways.