Street Market, Kashgar

by Raul Gutierrez

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Artist Statement

 

For the past 15 years, I have been making pilgrimages to the deserts and mountains of China's western borders, focusing on Tibetan and Uyghur communities. These remote frontier regions are laced with contested geographies where religious and cultural legacies confront powerful economic and political transformations. In these far away places, I look for way stations between cultures where one can see the past and future simultaneously. Seeing these changes over such a short time is a perspective that is at once disorienting and tragic. I try to make images that show these things, or at least some of the emotional truths behind them, because I know each time I return everything will be almost unrecognizable. This could be virtually any street in the Uyghur section of Kashgar. These areas smell of grilled lamb and goat and are loud with the sound of people buying and selling. On these streets, you will still find fortune tellers, letter writers and medicine men selling snake oil, as well as people selling sewing machines and making shoes. The government recently decreed that sidewalks would be paved and that merchants would not be able to sell their wares on the street, but my guess is that this declaration will be happily ignored.

 

Raul Gutierrez

 

Raul Gutierrez was born in Monterrey, Mexico, but grew up in Lufkin, Texas. After studying art in college on the East Coast, he spent 10 years in Los Angeles working in the film business, eventually deciding to head back east and settle in Brooklyn.  In 2006, Raul had a solo show at the Nelson Hancock Gallery and was a Spring 2006 Hot Shot. He was also selected for Review Santa Fe in 2007. Raul's work frequently appears in print. Raul worked at 20x200 from its inception through 2010. Raul can often be found on the streets of Brooklyn chasing after his two young boys.

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