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Hai Bo is an important artist. The importance of his art lies in his approach towards history. The dramatic transformation in contemporary China leads everyone living here to experience a real sense of history. For those of us living here, history no longer exists conceptually in our perception; it is a vivid and dynamic feeling. As a result of rapid changes in the society, yesterday quickly turns into a completely different past. Hai Bo keeps reiterating, "that the story is over" .This is a deeply ingrained memory of one's self-history, as well as a resistance towards changes. In Hai Bo's photographs, what we detect is an emotional defiance against changes. This emotion is even evident in his loyalty towards and dependence on photography for more than two decades.

Since 1982, Hai Bo has started to photograph his residence, a village in northeastern China. His early photographs of landscape revealed his passionate longing for Socialist Russian landscape paintings. We can experience a sense of vastness and desolation in such works as "Untitled No. 4". Meanwhile, his early photographs were characterized by a strong sense of painting.? Later on, Hai Bo set out to search for certain historical traces in the change of time among his family and friends. In his various series of works, "Bridge", and "They Series", he tried to restore the marks of time through historical changes. He tried to freeze and preserve a period of history. In these works, comparison was meant not to reveal a change but to close the gap caused by change. Based on this motif, Hai Bo constantly returns to his former residence and keeps photographing the same location. Up till now, the scope of area he photographs is no more than a few hundred meters from his home. This is a place of which he has the deepest memory and that he is most familiar with. We reencounter the vastness of his "Untitled" series in this "The Northern" series, except that "The Northern" series doesn't have the sense of painting as in "Untitled". "The Northern" series bears more of the artist's personal emotion.

The exploration of "history" and "change" has always been an outstanding approach in Chinese contemporary art. China has turned "history" contemporary during the course of its fast development. "History" is not only a "baggage" that is impossible to put aside, it has also become the foremost tool in this culture to release one's imagination. Unlike other artists, Hai Bo intends to demonstrate a "historical" "change" through "the unchanged." It is filled with personal Utopian behavior and imagination. The "history" that Hai Bo depicts is not a cultural history, but a personal history. In his depiction of the landscape and figures in "The Northern" series, a contemporary village emerged while being endlessly enveloped by dusk, sunset and mirage in Hai Bo's perspective. Hai Bo keeps stating, "that the story is over", through this envelopment. This is a life style that can't be retrieved but is still exerting an effect. She is constantly put into history with a regretful, lonesome and desolate spirit.