28 June 2013
Last updated at 06:46 ET
Chengdu-based artist Zhang Kechun has spent two years photographing from the banks of the Yellow River, creating a set of subtly toned large format images. Here swimmers hold a portrait of Chairman Mao as they swim across the river in Henan province.
Kechun was inspired to carry out the project after reading the novel, River of the North, by Zhang Chengzhi. Here a man surveys construction work on embankments in Ningxia province.
"It is a river! No matter if it meanders or goes forward straight; if it’s swelling or dry; if it flows rapidly or slowly; if it’s lively or tranquil; if it’s majestic or elegant; if it’s simple or magnificent; if it possesses brightness or dark; if it’s colourful or gloomy; if it’s only an imagination and reality, it always embraces people’s life and fate, joy and sorrow, faith and hesitance," says Kechun. Here, the construction of a railway bridge in Shaanxi.
The Yellow River or Huang He is the second-longest river in Asia after the Yangtze. Here, people play under a bridge in Shandong.
In recent years the river has been subject to pollution, floating corpses, flooding and severe drought. A rockery in the bed of a dried up part of the river in Shandong province.
Authorities have said that on average 100 corpses float downstream each year but they say it has not affected water quality. Here people relax by the river in Shanxi province.
The Yellow River picks up huge amounts of yellow earth which can cause it to silt up. Occasionally it will burst its banks and can cross thousands and thousands of miles of agricultural land. Here a man co-ordinates the pumping of water from the river at Ningxia province.
There are many ways to cross the river, one being this gondola across the water in Shaanxi province.
Kechun's images capture mundane daily life as well extraordinary views such as the giant head of Buddha at a coal yard in Ningxia province.
A man takes photographs as another poses in front of a power plant in Gansu province. All photos courtesy: Zhang Kechun