For some artists, 2020 has clearly provided just what they needed to bring a personal project to fruition. Zhou Yang’s new – and first – publication is the result of months of downtime during which she made a thoughtful selection of her body of photographs taken in the recent several years of landscape and auras of nature. This selection was made in parallel with her immersion in Middle Earth, the world of Tolkein, and with the aim of suggesting a possible place for Middle Earth that invokes Tolkein’s assertion of its relationship to “the inhabited world of men”. Through her images, Zhou Yang goes in search of an echo of a ‘past mystic era when the elves and dragons had not yet left this world. In the artist’s preface she says ‘I try to create a fairy-story setting while leaving the journeys to the imagination of the viewers. During my travels to different mountains, woodlands and historical sites, there are always scenes that evoke the memory of Middle-earth and landscapes that coincide with the stories. All that I do is to press the shutter.’ The wonderful thing about her poetically-titled book is that her premise is brilliantly realised.
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