Aeronautics in the Backyards
In early 2015, the photographer Xiaoxiao Xu 徐晓晓 (born in Wenzhou, China, in 1984) travelled across her motherland China to witness a revolution that is as unbelievable as it is invigorating: all over the country, in the most unexpected places, farmers are striving to build their own aircraft. During this adventurous journey, she resided in eight different villages spread out over three major provinces, meeting and interviewing eight of these self-taught aeronauts. “For them, the game is not about how far or high they can fly, it's about pushing their boundaries in order to achieve the impossible. They call it real-life science-fiction,” she says. Xu offers poignant visual narratives about the dream of flying.
Xu moved from China to The Netherlands in 1999 when she was a teenager. In 2009 she graduated from the Photo Academy of Amsterdam, where she still lives today. After graduation she won The Photo Award and held her first solo show in FotoMuseum Antwerpen (Belgium). She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass for several times and she participated in exhibitions all over the world. Her book about the series “Aeronautics in the Backyards” was published by The Eriskay Connection, and includes many original aircraft drawings and technical document created by the farmers.
More information: Xiaoxiao Xu’s website