One and a half billion people and the new politics of China could give that country the power to rule the world for the next future. But who are they? The Chinese? Get out of your clothes, was one of my first thoughts when I started with my project "China Naked".
But not enough, I also wanted to show the speed and the mass of that everyday changing surface of China. So I choose to combine landscapes with the nude-portraits. I did long-time exposures for almost all of the images. So in the end each person of the naked Chinese people stands for an individual human being chosen out of the mass you find in China. China Naked is also one of the first known projects with Chinese nudes in that dimension.
We all know that weapon can change a lot. Not only in terms of war, crime, power or self defending. Weapons always change the person to who they belong, they give them supernatural power, because most human beings feel week and with a gun in their hands they can experience the total change of their mentality and in terms of power.
In January 2004 I fired with a 45 mm Magnum at a shooting range in Thailand. I felt very strange after it, looked to the bullet holes and imagined how this metal would destroy some ones life.
I gave the gun back. But the whole day I had this unpleasant feeling of cold metal what could destroy some ones life. Imagine the wholes with a 45 mm bullet. I decided to stay away from that kind of things. But the first step was done. I started to photograph different people with their personal weapon and decided to show different kinds of it, starting from a children's pistol to an ancient gun. This was my way of understanding the people who are often addicted to their weapon. Also I found out that some of them using the shooting sport as a way to lose their anger or forget about everything, because they only concentrate on the shots and their results.
In my pictures of that project I want to let the viewers get their own impression of it.
As an artist I do not evaluate the pictures. I leave rather to the viewer to judge these pictures. In addition, I made the decision to photograph Germans. Photos with Americans and weapons are known very much, remember the documentary of Michael Moore and often the US work is loaded with a certain stereotype. But today Germans belonging to their history are widely unknown with weapons in their hands. Importantly for my work is also that the weapons looks rather irritating, than threatening.
Frank Rothe, Berlin, June 2005
Working as a photographer is more or less the same like telling a story. Thats what I´m interested in. Showing life in the way I see it. But in the end its just a picture.