Speculative Histories

In a photo-essay that seeks to bring “future-oriented fictions and urban-centred theories of China and India” together, historian Kavita Philip writes about my photos, along with those by Dipti Desai. “How might we think dialogically about the material geographies of China and India, while not overplaying the familiar comparative analytics of borders and populations, communism and democracy, economic and cultural difference? How might we think in the longue durée about

When lightning strikes twice

This past January, the 80-year old Jinno-san was evicted by the government for the second time in his life. He moved into this apartment in central Tokyo five decades ago in order to make way for the construction of the main Olympic Stadium for the 1964 Games. Yet, in order to build the new stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games, the entire 1964 resettlement neighborhood, along with Jinno-san’s old home

A Dialogue between Landscapes

Today is the last day of my exhibition at the Museum für Asiatische Kunst, one of Berlin’s state museums. This five month exhibition has been an innovative and experimential project in that my photographs of China’s post-socialist urban transformation are in dialogue with several traditional-style Chinese landscape paintings from the 1960s. Among other things, the exhibition shows contrasting landscapes, media forms, early/postsocialist modernity, and utopian/dystopian visions. Here are the links

Debris of Fake History

Here are some images about the manufacturing of military spectacle ahead of China’s V-Day military parade. Hidden in the mountains of Hebei is this defunct PLA military base that has recently been turned into movie props for an anti-Japanese propaganda film. The site, which contains fake war ruins as well as real military ruins, is now a post-production ruin.          

Berlin to Beijing and Back Again

Near the northeastern edge of Berlin, in what was once part of East Germany (aka the German Democratic Republic or GDR), is a place called Mörderberg (Killer Mountain), which contains a cluster of derelict buildings. Abandoned since the 1990s, they were once the barracks of the GDR’s Volkspolizei-Bereitschaft (People’s Police on Standby), which was under the command of that now-extinct country’s fearful Interior Ministry. During the final weeks of the