The project So Long and Thanks for all the Fish by Tianxi Wang was inspired by the fourth book in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book series.
“I moved back to China without any preparation. Life was suddenly cut off and almost everything was lost. Then I settled down at Tianjin, which is a city close to Beijing but not busy at all. I try to restart my life and took the habit of walking along the river because I found it soothing: I walk by the river every day to seek healing and rest.
The water ran slow, the ripples looked soft and smooth, and there was some strange light reflecting on the surface. Somehow it helped me relax. Some Buddhists pray before they release fish. Soon those fish get caught and sold to fishmongers. Then fishmongers sell these fish back to Buddhists. A perfect circle.”
So Long and Thanks for all the Fish is a series of images shot during Wang’s walks along the river, which runs through the city. He captured the people swimming in the river and catching fish, often with just a fishing net, however the motivation behind the project was not so much to document the local fishing culture, but to pursue the sense of calm and relaxation that he found along the river.
So Long and Thanks for all the Fish by Tianxi Wang was selected by FORMAT 21 Open Call Juror – Laura O’Leary, assistant curator at QUAD.