Great walls in China

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Photo by Sze Tsung Leong of a space in Beijing with unreal aesthetics. Click to see it bigger.

I almost forgot to tell you about Sze Tsung Leong’s unforgettable photographs of Chinese cities in the throes of building and tearing down and re-building themselves. These works–up at Yossi Milo Gallery in Chelsea until May 13 and definitely run over and see them–are wall-spanning and crisp with detail. They evoke spaces that seem possible only in dreams, where buildings form canyons that block the sky and threaten to suffocate. The combination of shanty town old and resort condo high rise new is so startling in some of the works that the question has to be asked…how can this be, the glaring discrepancy between poor and middle class? (The answer is, we keep our discrepancies hidden, they don’t. But the visual packs a punch.)

Also, we’ve all heard about the concrete shortages in the U.S. because of all the building in China. Well, here’s the pictures. China is cement-ifying itself. There are few trees and no grass to speak of in these shots of several cities like Nanking, Beijing and Hong Kong. Nature can’t possibly hang out here, except where it’s manicured and tended as in the playing fields in this picture.

The gallery attendant said the artist was born in Mexico of British parents and he now lives in the U.S.

As with Candida Hofer’s pictures, there are vestiges of human beings but mostly you won’t see any people in the shots. I have a few more pictures, which I got from Sze’s website, on flickr.