Yan Jiacheng
The Burning Prairie

The name "Burning Prairie" for my work is inspired by a novel of the same name by my favorite author, Juan Rulfo. After graduating from college, I only returned to my hometown during the Spring Festival, leading me to capture many winter scenes there, notably of burning straw. A few years ago, when my grandfather was diagnosed with lung cancer, I returned home at the end of a summer and discovered a different aspect of my hometown. These scenes, so unlike those of winter and my memories, compelled me to photograph them too. I was struck by the stark contrast: the barren, desolate land, which lay burning in the winter, burst forth with life in spring and summer. This revelation mirrored the unchanging cycle of the land, which has nourished humanity since the dawn of agriculture.
A year after my grandfather's passing, when I returned home again, I realized that humans, too, are like this land—burning and regrowing in a continuous cycle of life and rejuvenation.