“These photographs were taken in Shanxi Province in northwest China. They document old customs originating from pagan ritual practices,” says photographer Zhang Xiao about the series “Shanxi” (published by Little Big Man, 2013). “They are, in effect, a voodoo-esque form of totem worship. A number of these ancient customs still survive and remain some of the most important cultural practices during the Lunar New Year throughout most of Shanxi. It appears that the participants have created a dramatic and otherworldly stage—dressing in stunning costumes and exquisitely painting their faces to represent the identities of gods otherwise long forgotten.
Click here to read the full article.