<p>The 4,163-mile-long (6,700-kilometer) Great Wall of China maintains its appeal despite an almost constant onslaught of tourists. Many of them are armed with cameras, so you can forget about shooting the ancient spectacle from a fresh angle—unless you're as clever as photographer Leong Ka Tai, a Hong Kong native. "One evening I met an avant-garde performance troupe in Beijing and asked them to come with me to the wall," Leong recalls. Just before dawn, the group drove 45 minutes north of the city to Mutianyu, a well-preserved section of the vast landmark, visible from space. The artists strung out white cloth leading to another length of cloth that formed the Chinese character for "human being" in red. "In this performance the artists are saying that the people of the world are bound to one another," Leong explains. "The girl in front is trying to pull the others together, to get them to cooperate."</p> <p>See more photos taken by photojournalists with a strong connection to China in "My China," in the January/February 2008 issue of <i>National Geographic Traveler</i>.</p>

china great wall performance

The 4,163-mile-long (6,700-kilometer) Great Wall of China maintains its appeal despite an almost constant onslaught of tourists. Many of them are armed with cameras, so you can forget about shooting the ancient spectacle from a fresh angle—unless you're as clever as photographer Leong Ka Tai, a Hong Kong native. "One evening I met an avant-garde performance troupe in Beijing and asked them to come with me to the wall," Leong recalls. Just before dawn, the group drove 45 minutes north of the city to Mutianyu, a well-preserved section of the vast landmark, visible from space. The artists strung out white cloth leading to another length of cloth that formed the Chinese character for "human being" in red. "In this performance the artists are saying that the people of the world are bound to one another," Leong explains. "The girl in front is trying to pull the others together, to get them to cooperate."

See more photos taken by photojournalists with a strong connection to China in "My China," in the January/February 2008 issue of National Geographic Traveler.

Photograph by Leong Ka Tai

Authentic China

See photos of the authentic China in this travel photo gallery from National Geographic.

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