"Finishing Yangtze: The Long River required three years and five trips to China, ‘a place that is moving and changing so fast that it can only be unnatural,’ [Kander] said.
In 2005, around the time Mr. Kander started thinking about the project, he was intrigued by China’s rapid growth and constant change. ‘It was a place that I wanted to stand in,’ he said.
The Yangtze, flowing nearly 4,000 miles from Qinghai Province to the East China Sea, seemed a natural yet challenging path to trace.
'I love the metaphor of water,' Mr. Kander said. 'Like life, like humanness, it becomes a cloud. It’s an ever-changing cycle. I find it comforting.'
Because what he was seeing wasn’t so much about China — grand structures or tourist vistas — as it was about compassion. He saw a beauty in the moments he witnessed, as people lived out their daily lives and traditions in circumstances so much different from his own.
'It’s much more about what you don’t show than what you do show,' he said. 'I think work that asks you to question what more there is is much more interesting.'”