by Ashley Gilbertson
Jan. 14 – Mar. 11, 2014
Opening reception January 14, 7:30 pm
The Half King
New York, NY
“Dangerous Ground” explores the land rights conflict in the South China Sea from the point of view of the Filipino soldiers stationed at remote outposts scattered across the oil- and gas-rich swath of ocean. As China works to build its claim to control of the region’s mineral and commercial resources – the world’s busiest shipping lanes – island by island, the Philippines seeks to hold onto its own claim by planting its flag and military on every spit of land. Gilbertson’s project focuses its attention on the rusted-out WWII-era ship, the Sierra Madre, that was beached on Ayungin Shoal in 1999 and is now manned by a small garrison of Filipino troops. While Chinese coastguard vessels surround the shoal in an attempt to impede the flow of supplies to the ship, the men stationed there work to survive as their boat slowly disintegrates around them.
In conjunction with the opening of the show on January 14, join Gilbertson and The Half King’s photo curator Anna Van Lenten for an evening slideshow and discussion, beginning at 7:30 pm. Dangerous Ground is produced through The Half King Photography Series, a program dedicated to showing exceptional documentary photography. See more of Gilbertson’s work in the New York Times online interactive feature “A Game of Shark and Minnow,” which was also published as a feature story in the October 27 issue of The New York Times Magazine.