‘Glory of the Ancient Gods’ is a photo album book of a collection of images taken by Professor Xiao-Xiong Zhang from the past twenty years. His inspiration for this work is based around Greek mythology in a time when true gods commanded supreme authority, had infinite power and were immortal.
This superb book takes the reader on a brief journey through Zhang’s life; his origins in Cambodia, his studies in China, his photographic exhibitions around the globe and his dance career that began in Australia and later flourished with award winning choreographies presented internationally.
In my final year at the Adelaide College of the Arts (2001) I danced for Xiao-Xiong in a work called ‘Tango Fantasy’. Through this experience I gained a small sense of his background and history and developed a deeper connection to his work, but it wasn’t until I recently met up with him again in Taiwan that I could understand the essence of who is behind the veil of my teacher from more than a decade ago. I treasure this experience and have found new inspiration for my work that crosses cultural boundaries between the East and West.
I was delighted to be presented with an autographed copy of his book which I feature on the front cover. I got a sense that it somehow gave me credit when I was being introduced to his students and colleagues at the Taipei National University of the Arts. If a gasp is the universal language we all share for surprise, wonderment and awe, I can only assume this translation referred to their acknowledgment that I am indeed… a living (demi)god.
To order a copy of this book, contact Imprints Bookstore on Hindley St, Adelaide.
Photo: Professor Xiao-Xiong Zhang