In early 2006 Paul Kooiker spent three months as an artist in residence in the coastal city of Xiamen, in China. Under the influence of the turbulent economic developments in China, and the consequences these are having on contemporary Chinese society, as he travelled Kooiker photographed what he found around him.
Spurred by his previous fascination with the historical propaganda photographs of Mao swimming in the Yangtze river, from the beach he photographed people swimming in the sea. They are far away, sometimes so far that a head appears no larger than a pinhead on the immense, heaving surface of the water. This isolation reflects the inevitable doubt and confusion that is the result of the lightning-fast changes in a fast-growing economy resting on the foundation of a Communist dictatorship.
The series "Political Chaos" consists of about 24 framed images: men in waves, in a wide diversity of colours that are far from Dutch. In this approach those who know Kooiker's work will recognise his way of collecting images in series. Only in this case they are not women rushing around in the dunes, or spurting fountains of Paris, but isolated men in a political chaos.