Terrace Farming

Various pics from my travels in China, 2005-6. I was totally obsessed with terraces. They are the ultimate example of a domesticated landscape: organic + geometric; shaped by both ancient geology and recent human activity; layers of cross sections describing a form. They were carved over generations to squeeze out every square foot of farmable land.

These two photos were taken at Long Shan Ti Tian, which means “dragon’s backbone”, in south central China. Supposedly you can see these terrace-carved mountains for as far as the eye can see, but of course I arrived there on a foggy day! I ended up having to stay for 2 nights with a local couple because of a crazy downpour of rain, like a monsoon.

Out the bus window heading to Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan.

Out the bus window in Guizhou.

On top of a Xiao Mao Shan mountain in Sichuan.

Western Sichuan.