“Yang Shaobin Coal Mining Projects” (2004-2008) delved into the collective memory of industrialization and social growth in modern China. As part of the Long March Project, this artist-led research program was a meditation on the intersecting nodes between modern Chinese culture, the country’s recent social development, and an evolving historical consciousness among the working class. Titled “800 Meters Under,” the first stage of this project focused on the coal mining districts in Kailun and Tangshan. The second stage, “X–Blind Spot,” saw Yang Shaobin continue his visual exploration of the expanding coal mining industry in China and its effects on the miners by visiting the mines in Hebei province, Shanxi province, and Inner Mongolia.
”Long March Project––Yang Shaobin Coal Mining Projects” features a series of problems brought about by radical changes in agricultural production methods, industrialization, and social change. Immersing themselves into the coalmining world, Yang Shaobin and the Long March team addressed key problems caused by modernization – calling on geographical, environmental, ecological and ethical issues, as well as rapid industrialization, manufacturing economics, the collective consciousness and human rights.