For Watering My Horse, Xiaoxiao Xu followed the lives of the people along the foot of the Great Wall of China, a road trip of 25,000 kilometers. Contrary to what many people think, the Chinese wall is not a single continuous construction, but rather a collection of walls and towers built during various Chinese dynasties.
Despite the decline, there is a lively relationship with the wall among the local population that honour and protect the wall. Xu tried to discover the impact of fast-growing China on this historic site. What does the wall reflect today? Which elements have disappeared and which remnants have survived?
The book contains an essay by Maria-Caterina Bellinetti (US). She is a writer and art historian specialized in photography, Chinese visual culture and propaganda. In her essay she writes about the wall as a symbol and connections the work of Xiaoxiao to the history of the wall.