On the journey I received help from many teachers who have enriched
my knowledge of history and geography. Thank you to Wang Hongting
from Linxian Shanxi; Li Guilong from Suide in Shaanxi; Li Shengcheng
from Anbian in Yulin; Xu Xingya from Guyuan in Ningxia; Yang Ningguo
from Pengyang in Ningxia, Zhang Xinghua from Zhenyuan in Gansu. They
are either professionals or local experts on culture and history, or authors of
regional history. They recounted many wonderful historical anecdotes, and
presented their monographs. It is my greatest honor to know them and I
sincerely thank them for their heartfelt assistance.
Then & Now: Photographs of Northern China
June 16, 2012 - September 16, 2012
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
My lasting gratitude to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
which has provided me with tremendous help; inviting me to visit the
Clark’s Williamstown campus in the United States, arranging for me to
engage in research there and in the Smithsonian Institution Archives. My
special thanks to Michael Conforti, the director of the Clark, and assistant
deputy director Tom Loughman, both of whom have provided me with
much information and spoke highly of my exploration, which has been the
greatest encouragement to me. I sincerely thank them for their meaningful
contribution to cultural exchanges between China and the United States.
Thanks to the Smithsonian Institution Archives; Mary Markey and other
staff who provided me with convenient working conditions and assisted me
with much tedious collecting and collating labor.
Thanks to Zhou Zhicong, deputy director of MOCA Shanghai, who
built bridges between the Clark and my work. The exhibition and exchange
activities related with “Through Shên-Kan” were all organized with his
When my good friends Wei Quhu and Yao Jun heard about my
exploration, they suggested it be made into a television documentary and
proposed thoughts and ideas. My good friend Shen Qun generously financed and organized the filming of the documentary. Thanks to Zhang Li, the
producer of the CCTV's “Witness · Discovery” program, who decisively
and efficiently organized the filming and broadcasting of the documentary
“Through Shaanxi and Gansu.” Thanks to the CCTV crew who followed me,
filming for a month, to make an extremely professional production. Thanks
to Xin Yuhong from the “Impression of Ningxia” program, who carefully
planned and edited the television production, “Retracing the Journey to
Shaanxi and Gansu”.
My grateful thanks to Shi Hongshuai, an associate researcher at the
Institute of Chinese History and Geography, Shaanxi Normal University. He
is also the translator of the Chinese version of Through Shên-Kan. Because
of the book, we met and he has since become my good teacher and friend,
helping me greatly.
Thanks too, to the Centre of International Cultural Exchange, China, the
Beijing Folk Arts Museum, Ningxia Library, Shanghai Library and Wuhan
Museum, who hosted the photo exhibition “One Century & One Moment.”
Also my thanks to Yin Jie, the executive director of Chinese National
Geography, and Sun Nan from Canon China, who provided me with a
Thanks to Zhang Jinghua and Wang Wei, who prepared much stationery
and sports equipment before each trip, which I then presented to those
teachers and students from the Loess Plateau. A pen and notebook may not
last, but I hope the motivation they can provide continues on.
Thanks to my friends: Sun Li, Cheng Changjin, Duan Xiaoyi, and Rong
Jing; my sister Li Ye; my classmates from university days: Zheng Guang and
Zhai Jingdong, who took the time to accompany me on this journey — I
could not have done it without them. Thanks to Wang Xinwei, who provided
me with a lot of timely help during my western journey. Also to Shi Yina and
Zhang Dazhen who provided me information on local annals and records,
and my friends from the Great Wall website (www.thegreatwall.com.cn) for sharing their experiences on
researching old photographs.
Special thanks to my former classmate Zhang Jun, who devoted his
time and effort to organize, edit, and collate pictures and text information.
Without his sleepless nights and selfless help, the book could not have been
finished in such a short time. Thanks to Yan Zhijie, Zhou Chuqiao, and
Wang Runna, who did much work on the original content and text layout.
Finally thank you to the people on my journey. For directing the way,
providing me with information and help, handing me a sweet potato, a
handful of red dates, some maize and a bowl of water. I can only thank you
again, with all my heart.