In his docuseries East Meets West: Journey Along the Silk Road, Farland Chang features one of the world’s greatest photographers, Michael Yamashita, as he trails along the Silk Road. An avid traveler himself, Farland borrows Ibn Battuta’s words to declare his passion for adventures: “Traveling: it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Spanning a total of nine episodes, the series covers the world’s greatest explorers such as Marco Polo and Zheng He, episodes about Shangri-La, the Tea Horse Road to Tibet, and even an episode about the Great Wall from the beginning to end.
“His work epitomizes so much of what Nat Geo’s motto is all about, which is to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world,” says Farland Chang in an interview with N3Magazine. “He’s captured so much that is fast disappearing and I think he is trying to help us appreciate the past and also trying to give us a call to action about the beauty of our planet that we are possibly losing.”
Farland Chang is an Emmy award-winning storyteller whose passion is to bridge East and West. He produced this documentary series to celebrate Yamashita’s timeless stories and unforgettable adventures.
“I’m excited about producing this documentary series because the topic is near and dear to my heart. The series is called East meets West. In many ways, I served as an ambassador bridging East and West. I’ve worked as a journalist most of my career, and I have spent a lot of time both in America and in Asia covering stories,” Chang shares.
When asked about his inspirations and vision for producing this docuseries, Chang mentions Yamashita’s “acclaimed work.”
“When I looked at [his] body of work, I thought that we could take these elements and bring them to another level through the power of a documentary series,” he says, “I want to be able to hear [Yamashita] describe the process. I want to know what was in his mind’s eye and how he approached his subject matter. There’s so much to learn from that.”
Indeed, Michael Yamashita has been producing iconic photos for National Geographic over the past four decades. He is one of National Geographic’s “legendary ambassadors,” as stated on their East Meets West website. Yamashita has devoted his life to retracing these epic journeys, uncovering mysteries of the Middle Kingdom, traveling from the Pamir Mountains to Xanadu in Mongolia.
Finally, for the viewers who are watching the docuseries, Chang has a few words. “Learning about other people, other cultures, other ways of life—that mutual understanding is a key to peace and prosperity. I think a viewer could also take away the joy and beauty and value of traveling. Wherever your journey, may it be a golden opportunity to see the world through other peoples’ eyes.”
The first episode of the docuseries is now streaming worldwide. For updates on future episodes, please subscribe here: www.eastmeetswestfilm.com/subscribe. AAJA is pleased to be cooperating with East Meets West to offer the opportunity for subscribers to donate half of the purchase price towards supporting AAJA veterans and student scholarships (https://www.eastmeetswestfilm.com/aaja).