These Chinese villages have changed little since their foundings in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. These cultural heirlooms are, at least to a westerner, exotic, mysterious places, full of narrow labyrinthine walkways, walls like palimpsests, windowless closed doors, heavy old stone, hidden courtyards, iron locks. Everywhere is a blunt, tactile, earthy materiality. One encounters unsettling secrecy, haunting interming-ling of past and present, and alluring interplay of concealment and disclosure. People live in these places, but they seem to have silently withdrawn.
I hope my photographs convey something of all this as well as careful attention to relationships of shape, line, and color. This commitment to formal harmony falls within the fine print tradition in photography and the tradition of fine art printmaking generally.
© David Bartlett/Silver and Ink