As an important aspect of urban culture, urban landscape is the beginning of understanding cities. In the Chinese cities in the transition period, the realistic landscape seems to be full of meaning of super reality. In this day and age, when our cities are constantly moving forward, we are always presented with absurd and hyper-realistic landscapes with diverse plots. The seemingly absurd plots are actually thought-provoking. The concept of hyperreal landscape has both a meaning of hyperreality and a metaphor for reality.
Jean Baudrillard believed that hyperreality, as a concept in postmodern discourse, refers to a situation that is more real than reality. In a hyperreal world, everything is real. The urban landscape presented here seems to be, as Baudrillard pointed out, “the reality of today itself is hyperreal, and we all live in the aesthetic illusion of reality.”
Hyperreal landscape is a work of gazing at the landscape and combining personal feelings.
— Wentao Li, Liaoyang, China
River Indus is the place I often visit at weekends. It is located in one of the few quiet suburbs. However, with the introduction of the government’s massive urbanization plan, both sides of the river will be transformed into a huge residential area which houses more than 100,000 dwellers. Over the past winter, I went to the banks and tried to photograph the places that haunted me repeatedly.
This project documents the temporal existence of the suburban landscapes and the beauty of everydayness. It explores the tension between temporality and transcendence.
— Max Li, Hong Kong
When I first came to the United States five years ago, my first impression was that everything in America is bigger, such as big trucks and huge shopping centers. Slowly, during the course of the five years, I realized that there is a link between “big” and abundant resources. As if “big” is the consequence of excessive needs, and excessive needs are supported and encouraged by abundant resources. China is also big in a lot of ways, but we still sell pencils in ones instead of dozens.
I decided to photograph the abandoned. My work represents “big” in an indirect way. In a society with abundant resources, we easily lose ourselves in materialistic items when there are too many choices or too frequent updates. We are no longer satisfied with getting the things that we need, but are rather obsessed with getting better and newer things; we are trapped in the process of updating instead of enjoying what we have in our hands. In an era when the speed of the aging of an object can no longer catch up with the speed of our boredom with the object, abandonment seems to be the only way out for this object.
— QiYuan Li, Pasadena, California, USA