Born in a village in East China's Anhui Province, Zheng Yunfeng is now the vice chairman of the Photographers Association in East China's Jiangsu Province.
Since the 1970s when he started to learn the art of photography, Zheng Yunfeng has devoted himself to recording changes around the first two longest rivers in China--the Yangtze River and the Yellow River -- through his camera.
It has been nine years since he went to the Three Gorges area in 1997 when the Yangtze Three Gorges Project began. He had hoped to record through his camera the natural scenery and life there that would become history after the area was submerged, and the reservoir began operation. He even made a boat to make his photographic journey in the Three Gorges area more convenient. The more than 50,000 pictures he took in the Three Gorges area are testament to his hard work.
The tow path in the Three Gorges area along the Yangtze River was his main priority. Every towed rock along the path is, in Zheng's eyes, a rock bearing the hardships of boat trackers. Because of their historical value, the towed rocks have become highly sought-after items of illegal mongers selling cultural relics. Apart from taking pictures of these rocks, Zheng also tried to protect them from thieves. He once happened to see a group of people trying to take down a huge tow rock. Knowing that the authorities would not be able to arrive in time, Zheng stayed over night besides the huge tow rock in order to protect it.
(chinaculture July 13, 2006)