On Chen Yewei's works


From the Himalayas to the Karakoram

Na Risong


Chen Yewei is not a name widely known in the Chinese photography community. He is a true professional photographer and explorer. For the last decade, Chen has traveled to nearly every mountain peak and glacier stretching from the Himalayas to the Karakoram, taking magnificent images of these geographic features with his Alpa camera.

The name “Himalayas” comes from the Tibetan for “The Land of Snow,” and the range is the world’s tallest and most imposing, with ten mountains higher than 8000 meters in elevation. It also serves as a natural boundary between the East Asian continent and the South Asian subcontinent and a natural border between China and Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Pakistan; the famed Qinghai-Tibet Plateau lies to the north of the range. 

“Karakoram” comes from the Turkic for “Black Rock.” Though not as long as the Himalayas, the Karakoram is the largest mountain range with the highest density of high-elevation mountains. There are four mountains measuring at least 8,000 meters in the range, including the famed Chogori, also known as “K2,” the world’s second-highest mountain. The boundaries between China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan are faintly visible in this mysterious mountain range.

From the Himalayas to the Karakoram, there are fourteen mountains measuring 8,000 meters or higher, as well as glaciers, rivers, plants, animals, and the human groups and civilizations that have flourished in these desolate places. These two massive mountain ranges contain the most magnificent natural and cultural landscapes on the Asian continent.

Chen Yewei records these landscapes, but he does not consider his adventures and hardships important. He uses the world’s finest and most expensive camera to record the force and delicacy of these mountain ranges and glaciers, but he also expresses the vivid, magnificent emotional bond between man and nature.

These emotional bonds, which are almost religious, permeate these pictures.