Explorer with a lens captures China's unique history

Updated: 2014-01-14 09:21

By Xu Jingxi in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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Photojournalist Michael Yamashita has published 10 books, most of which were inspired by his 30 National Geographic stories.

He has also made documentaries based on his travels. The next topic he wants to tackle is China and its rail-ways.

Here are four of Yamashita's award-winning projects about China:

Explorer with a lens captures China's unique history

Marco Polo: A Photographer's Journey (White Star,2004)

Yamashita retraces Marco Polo's journey from the Grand Canal in Venice through the deserts of Iraq and Iran, across Afghanistan's war zone, along the Silk Road and "the roof of the world "in Qomolang-ma (Mount Everest)and on to China. Like Marco Polo, he returns home by way of coastal Sumatra, Sri Lanka and India. Historian Gianni Guadalupi writes the book's evocative text. A selection of maps retraces the incredible 13th-century expedition. Yamashita's Marco Polo project was a three-year assignment for National Geographic and was published across three issues of the National Geographic Channel's documentary Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed. The work received two Asian Television and Film Awards and ranked among the channel's 20 most popular documentaries of the decade.

Explorer with a lens captures China's unique history

Zheng He: Tracing the Epic Voyages of China's Greatest Explorer (White Star, 2006)

Before Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) admiral Zheng He sailed seven voyages from China to 30 countries in 28 years. His hundreds of vessels sailed from Southeast Asia to Africa, and from India to the Middle East, gathering riches, scientific knowledge, fame and power for his emperor. Yamashita traces each of Zheng's journeys and pays homage to the achievements of this relatively unknown explorer. His feature documentary, The Ghost Fleet, won best historical documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival.

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