Zeng Nian (eng)

Return to the Three Gorges Dam

Construction of the Three Gorges Damn, the largest hydraulic dam in the world, located in the province of Hubei in the heart of China, began in 1994. In 2011 the Chinese State Council acknowledged the worrying consequences of the dam: 1 400 000 people had been displaced, and several different types of damage to the environment had been caused by the dam – landslides, pollution, low water flows, drought downstream of the dam, and the drying up of two big lakes making navigation impossible

Known in particular for the work she produced in 1996 concerning the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, Zeng Nian wanted to return to the site and pick up the trail of the workers, families and Buddhists that he had met and photographed sixteen years earlier.


Zeng NianA French photographer with Chinese origins, Nian Zeng (born in 1954) discovered photography in the Cultural Revolution. In 2000 he became part of the Gamma agency. His photos and reports are published regularly in French, Chinese and international magazines, particularly in Paris Match, Le Figaro Magazine,  Géo France and Germany, the New York Times Magazine, The Independent, National Geographic Magazine France, etc.

He has received several awards, including the prestigious World Press Photo award in the Arts Stories category.