Deep Sea Diver: Danny Lyon in China, 2005-2009

Gambling is Illegal in Shanxi, Loufan

Gambling is Illegal in Shanxi, Loufan

Beginning with an invitation as an “honored guest” at the 2005 Ping Yao Photo Festival, Lyon left the walls of the ancient city to photograph an opera, presented on a raised wooden platform to the mostly older residents. That led to six trips to China, all to Shanxi, a highly polluted coal producing province in the Northwest Corner, bordering outer Mongolia. His team of helpers included Aquago the fixer, Ji the driver, and Lolly, then a college student and translator from Taiyuan, the capitol of Shanxi. The facsimile book produced by Phaidon (link), reproduces Lyon’s entire text and hand-made album of silver prints. The pictures were made on Tri-X negative, the 8 by 10 prints in Lyon’s darkroom on the now defunct Bergman paper.

This is a selection of the photographs.

Opera, Ping Yao

Opera, Ping Yao

My Invaluable Fixer Aquago and Driver Ji

My Invaluable Fixer Aquago and Driver Ji

Lolly, Fireworks Stall Datong

Lolly, Fireworks Stall Datong

Map of Ping Yao District, Shanxi Province

Map of Ping Yao District, Shanxi Province

Terraced Farmland with Powerplant

Terraced Farmland with Powerplant

Coal Workers, North of Datong

Coal Workers, North of Datong

The Coal Truck Drivers, Jiexiu

The Coal Truck Drivers, Jiexiu

The Cafe, outskirts of Datong

The Cafe, outskirts of Datong

Card Game, in Xinrong

Card Game, in Xinrong

Used Book and Magazine Stand, Taiyuan

Used Book and Magazine Stand, Taiyuan

Kite, Taiyuan, at branch of Yellow River

Kite, Taiyuan, at branch of Yellow River

Bathhouse in Miners Village, Datong

Bathhouse in Miners Village, Datong

Datong Train

Datong Train

Music School

Music School

Antique Shop, Ping Yao

Antique Shop, Ping Yao

Cafe Workers in Dingxiang

Cafe Workers in Dingxiang

Gambling is Illegal in Shanxi, Loufan

Gambling is Illegal in Shanxi, Loufan

Woman with Wheat

Woman with Wheat

Wheat Harvest,  Ping Yao District

Wheat Harvest, Ping Yao District

Migrant Miner from Cichuan with Son

Migrant Miner from Cichuan with Son

Migrants from Sichuan

Migrants from Sichuan

Make-up, The Opera at Dingxiang

Make-up, The Opera at Dingxiang

Mechanics, Huairen

Mechanics, Huairen

Coal Miner Bath, The Wuguantuan Mine

Coal Miner Bath, The Wuguantuan Mine

The Opera, Diangxiang

The Opera, Diangxiang

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