Ganges Sand - Yibin Tian

March 11 — April 24, 2010

Ganges Sand In his photographic series Ganges Sand from 2008, Chinese artist Yibin Tian goes on a spiritual journey - not only to India, but to a utopian place where pureness of mind and soul is prevalent.

Yibin Tian says: “India is very often claimed to some extent, to be filthy and poor. In my opinion, however, true poverty actually comes from one's frame of mind and nothing could be more vicious or veiled than one's inner being. A person with great spirit would often regard the hardships experienced as nothing but a divine gift.”

The large-scale photographs of Ganges Sand project an inner sanctum beauty, an eternal wisdom and peace, way beyond material riches. A photograph of the Ganges with debris floating in the center of the image recalls Monet's Waterlilies. The women obviously poor, but immaculately dressed in colorful saris are reminiscent of 19th Century Orientalist paintings, while a crippled hand pointing to heaven has an aura of the relics of Catholic Saints.

Ganges Sand reminds us of the reasons 60's stars began searching for these spiritual riches, and that is probably why the younger generation yearns for it again today, especially as India has become one of the forefront economic powers. Hopefully it does not loose its spiritual beauty and power, which are expressed so well in Yibin Tian's images.

Yibin Tuan also exhibits until April 17 at the Chelsea Art Museum with the photographic series and installation “Our New York” (see