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China Transition, 2002


In 2002 Martin Zeller was invited to take part in the Swiss-Chinese cultural encounter “The Foreign in the Eye of a Foreigner, Crossing China in Texts and Photographies”. Together with the Swiss authors Birgit Kempker and Raphael Urweider, Zeller visited different regions and cities in China to meet up with Chinese writers and artists. During the travel Zeller took photographs of fast emerging cities like Shenzhen, Xi’an, Shanghai, and Beijing. But his main emphasis was on the travel itself and how it was possible to reflect a country in the mirror of a camera in only a few weeks.

Zeller’s photographs are presented like the images of a film strip. With black borders always referring to a next image, “China Transition” is a work without beginning and end, without any demand for completeness or representation. It only represents the endless stream of impressions during a travel through China in the year 2002.


The project includes 16 images. The original works were printed on Ilfochrome and mounted behind acrylic glas onto aluminium (Diasec).

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