I connected with Fan Shi San on Blink and fell in love with the series “Great Wall.” It’s a look at the landmark like you’ve probably never seen before, captured while the photographer bicycled the 4000-mile length from west to east. He is a freelance photographer based in Shanghai whose work has been exhibited in China and the UK over the past few years.
In Fan Shi San’s own words, “For thousands of years the Great Wall sealed China from outside world, dynasty after dynasty, empire after empire, it is the blood line along which millions of human skeletons buried without intermission during thousands years’ struggle. This journey is a visual research of China’s essential roots through desert and towns, symbols and villages which are slowly dying in the progress of the reborn country’s industrialization and urbanization, millions of faceless men migrant from north to south, from interior to coast, searching for a better life, leaving behind their native soil, their children and olds, and in the meantime, the Great Wall crumbles a little more every day.”
When I asked him why he shot this project, Fan Shi San said the motivation to photograph this body of work was a desire to “record the internal scene in China, both in landscape and spiritually.”
There’s a much larger edit of “Great Wall” available on Fan Shi San’s website, where you can also see Wu Kan, a look at a small farming village that rebelled against the Communist Party in 2011, and Two of Us, a conceptual piece on children who grew up alone under China’s One Child Policy.