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Xiaoxiao Xu: Watering My Horse by a Spring at the Foot of the Long Wall

Qingtian, China


Xiaoxiao Xu (1984) followed and photographed the lives of the people along the Great Wall of China – from the beginning to the end. The long journey began in the spring of 2017 and continued until the spring of 2018. It resulted in a road trip of 25,000 kilometers. 

As Xu was travelling and documenting the everlasting and continuous construction she experienced that the wall wasn’t just a symbol of power, but a place where people lived, worked and preserved traditions for centuries. Traditionally we see the wall as a defense mechanism, keeping us save; but through Xu’s photographs we get a glimpse of the different cultures, identities and lives inhabiting the spaces along the wall.  

Xiaoxiao Xu emigrated from China to The Netherlands in 1999. In 2009 she graduated from the Photo Academy in Amsterdam. After graduation she won The Photo Award and held her first solo show in Fotomuseum Antwerpen. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass for several times and she participated in exhibitions all over the world. The Eriskay Connection publishes her fourth book, Watering My Horse By A Spring At The Foot Of The Long Wall in May 2020. 

Edited by Nikolaj Ahlefeldt Andersen