Lost Dreams in Tuokou
Kuang Huimin 旷惠民 (born in 1964, in Baotou, Inner Mongolia) is a Chinese photojournalist who took up photography in 1989. In his series “Lost Dreams in Tuokou”, he documented an ancient town with thousands years' history that disappeared because of the construction of a hydroelectric power station.
Called the "Small Nanjing in Hunan", Tuokou Town in Hunan province was a key distributing centre of materials like timbers and Tung Oil since Ming and Qing Dynasties. “In 2005, Tuokou hydropower project commenced, which had completely broke the peaceful and easeful life there,” said Kuang. “People demolished the ancient town, shuttled down the market, abandoned the fertile land, and moved into the new town that was strange to them. Tuokou town, an ancient town with thousands years of history born due to Yuan River, was submerged underneath the river forever.”
“Shortly in ten years, a new town was built and an ancient town was demoted. For a better family life, many young people went to big cities to seek for jobs, far away from their home. Consequently declined or even disappeared are the bustling river-side street view, ancient ancestral halls and temples through years and traditional culture passed down from generation to generation. Being nice to rivers is in fact nice to ourselves. If rivers lose their flowing life, then the space formed along rivers and life conceived in the past history will wither, decay, and die away.”
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