A Love from the South is based on a legend that takes place on the Yunnan-Haiphong railway, which connects China and Vietnam. To recreate the time, location and people of the legend, Li Zhixiong has taken these pictures on the now-abandoned section of the railway from Bisezhai Station towards the south, where the romantic story is said to have happened many years ago.
A Love from South is a sad story. It is a melancholy story about the emotion and romance of an individual, but also reflects the dispirited state of the nation at that time. The more vivid the coloring and the more intense the lighting on these pictures, the sadder the story becomes. Although the female mannequin is inanimate, she keeps reminding us that this is a fantasy and wishful thinking that stems from infatuation! It is sadness that gives their love real meaning and gives the story historical credence. At the same time, it makes the theme real and meaningful.
For people living in the Northern Hemisphere, the south means warm weather, bright sunshine, singing birds and fragrant flowers. It is also where the happy and beautiful “lovers” live. The man in this story serendipitously met the girl on while on their train journey south. After he got off the train, she continued her journey further south. In this man’s mind, the south became a representation of the direction where his love went. In all of our hearts, the south is the hope of a beautiful life. In the eyes of history, the south is the symbol of a utopia. Perhaps this “south” cannot ever be reached; however, like in this story, the dream will always be maintained along the railway towards the south.
Retired Teacher of Kunming Industrial & Technical Institute
Member of China Photographers Association
Contractual Photographer of French Shan Lu Beaugeste Photographic Gallery
Started taking pictures in 1986 and published early products in 1989, favored in documentary photography and reporting photography.
Published a personal photo album “Ambiguous Version” in 2013, under sponsorship of the Publicity Department of Yunnan Provincial Communist Council.
December 2017 Li ZhiXiong personal exhibition “A Mad Dash” at the LianZhou International Photography Invitation Exhibition, Lian Zhou, China
December 2016 Li ZhiXiong personal exhibition “River-Lake” at the International Photography Invitation Biennale Exhibition 2016, Xi-Shuan-Ban-Na, Yunnan Province, China
November 2014 Awarded the Best Photographer with “Ambiguous Version” at the Fifth Shandong JiNan International Biennale Photography Exhibition
November 2014 Awarded the Excellent Photograph with “Ambiguous Version” at the Third Xu Xiaobing Documentary Photography Exhibition
January 2014 Nominative Awarded the Excellent Photograph with “Time” at the Xi-Shuang-Ban-Na 2014 International Biennale Photography Exhibition
August 2013 Awarded the First Artist Award at the Fifth Dali “Charm Dali” Photography Competition hosted by the International Photography Committee
December 2011 “Township Rumor” published on Invited Photographer’s Exhibition of the First Lancang River – Mekong River Regional Countries
October 2011 “Ambiguous Version” showed on the Third Dali International Photography Exhibition
August 2006 “Lancang – Mekong Sea” showed on the GuiLin International Photography Exhibition
1996 Awarded the Gold Medal of Human and Nature Segment with “Story of Seagull Man” at the Annual Documentary Photography Competition jointly hosted by China News Photography Association and “People’s Photography”; also selected into “News Photography Excellent Arts Exhibition for 1978 to 1998 period