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Lost to the Three Gorges Dam

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Comments (28)

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Ian Stehbens on April 11, 2010

I am so so pleased that you approve, Margaritha. It has a composition that breaks the traditional rules of photography, but it was the artist in me that was seeking to express some thoughts and some feelings.

Two empty doors; two lights left lit; an out-of-date calendar that states when the residents were forced to leave; domestic tools ready for use but now abandoned; a home that was once a hive of activity now dormant as an empty shell.

Thanks again for your affirming nomination.

Warm regards,


Derek郝♥中華CHINA on September 7, 2010

When did U take this photo?I was here in Aug,2001. There were many building sank,but only a beginning. You did a good record. I'm glad to meet you. Like....

Warm regards, Derek

Ian Stehbens on September 19, 2010

Dear Derek,

I was first in China in 1976 at the time of Premier Chou Enlai's death and memorial service. My last visit was in 1983, during which I voyaged up the Yangtze (Changjiang) stopping in Wanxian. I didn't realize then that Wanxian would later be flooded. At that time the Gezhouba was still being completed. Every visit has been very special, and I always came home with a special collection of photographs.

This particular photo though, is of an art installation by a local artist who purchased this traditional home before it was demolished. She installed it in her studio in Beijing. Her name is Chen Quilin.

It was sent to Australia and exhibited in the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane as part of the Asia-Pacific Triennial Exhibition of Modern Art. It resonated with me because I had walked the streets of Wanxian and other riverbank cities in Sichuan that are now submerged.

I sought to photograph it so that I felt I was actually there in Wanxian standing in the street late one night. I am so glad that you see this as "a good record". Thank you very, very much.

Ian (Australia)

Ian Stehbens on September 27, 2010

Thank you, Margaritha. by the way, Chen Quilin uses that spelling on websites and in galleries it seems, though I am sure her name should be rendered "Qilin". I feel I know here from this and other artistic work, though of course I have never met her. To walk with her beside the Yangtze would be a special experience!

Warm greetings,


Maja Weidemueller on September 27, 2010

Good morning good evening dear Ian, wishing you well ~ Maja ~~~

Ian Stehbens on September 27, 2010

Good morning, ~~Maja~~. Just about to sign off and head home for a some dinner after a long day in the library classifying.

But I guess no one ever comes for dinner nor enters this home that Chen Qilin has preserved.


Jaroslaw L. on January 4, 2012

Thanks Ian Stehbens for your submitted photos and join the group Old abandoned huts - Старі покинуті хатини - Stare opuszczone chaty. The number of pictures from one participant is not limited. Yours Jaroslaw LIKE

Ian Stehbens on January 4, 2012

I appreciate the welcome and the L, Jaroslaw. This particular hut is a comment on the forced displacement of people locally for the 'national good'. The Three Gorges Dam project created large scale disruption in the riverside communities along the central Yangtze.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on January 1, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens