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Conference Paper: Polluted landscape: photographs of post-socialist China by Edward Burtynsky and Lu Guang

TitlePolluted landscape: photographs of post-socialist China by Edward Burtynsky and Lu Guang
Authors
Issue Date2015
Citation
The 11th Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE 2015), The University of Idaho, Moscow, 23-27 June 2015. How to Cite?
AbstractIn China, the link between urbanization, ruins, and media reflects a growing trend to tell the inconvenient truth in visual arts. This paper attempts to shed some light on the impact of urbanization on nature, urban landscape, and everyday life by comparing photographs of two award-winning photographers, Lu Guang and Edward Burtynsky. Works of Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang reflect a growing awareness of the combined social and economic consequences of China’s postsocialist experience. The Polluted Landscape (2012) portrays, on the one hand, the ruining of China’s manufacturing centers and nature because of development and reconstruction; and the withering of life under the unknown forces of global modernity on the other. The dismantling of China’s industrial compounds and the urban transformation that has entailed tearing down and rebuilding entire cities, provide a sense of loss that his works try to come to terms with. Images are used to visually marginalize the eventfulness of history through accumulation of quotidian moments. While The Polluted Landscape depict the presence of the wastelands as result of reckless urbanization, Edward Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscape (2006) hinges on the historicity of disjointed time and the cultural logic of post-socialism. The failures of Chinese urbanization are represented through the physical ruins of the ghostly spaces of pollution. This paper aims to relate Michel Foucault’s idea of “heterotopia” and Sigmund Freud’s notion of “uncanny” to the urban landscapes of China and examine the manifestation of underground space as represented in their works. The discussion also highlights the way marginalized space of deserted land serves as resistant spaces against the grand narratives of social progress.
DescriptionASLE 2015 entitled: Notes from Underground: The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/218648

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYee, WLM-
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-18T06:49:21Z-
dc.date.available2015-09-18T06:49:21Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationThe 11th Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE 2015), The University of Idaho, Moscow, 23-27 June 2015.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/218648-
dc.descriptionASLE 2015 entitled: Notes from Underground: The Depths of Environmental Arts, Culture and Justice-
dc.description.abstractIn China, the link between urbanization, ruins, and media reflects a growing trend to tell the inconvenient truth in visual arts. This paper attempts to shed some light on the impact of urbanization on nature, urban landscape, and everyday life by comparing photographs of two award-winning photographers, Lu Guang and Edward Burtynsky. Works of Chinese photojournalist Lu Guang reflect a growing awareness of the combined social and economic consequences of China’s postsocialist experience. The Polluted Landscape (2012) portrays, on the one hand, the ruining of China’s manufacturing centers and nature because of development and reconstruction; and the withering of life under the unknown forces of global modernity on the other. The dismantling of China’s industrial compounds and the urban transformation that has entailed tearing down and rebuilding entire cities, provide a sense of loss that his works try to come to terms with. Images are used to visually marginalize the eventfulness of history through accumulation of quotidian moments. While The Polluted Landscape depict the presence of the wastelands as result of reckless urbanization, Edward Burtynsky’s Manufactured Landscape (2006) hinges on the historicity of disjointed time and the cultural logic of post-socialism. The failures of Chinese urbanization are represented through the physical ruins of the ghostly spaces of pollution. This paper aims to relate Michel Foucault’s idea of “heterotopia” and Sigmund Freud’s notion of “uncanny” to the urban landscapes of China and examine the manifestation of underground space as represented in their works. The discussion also highlights the way marginalized space of deserted land serves as resistant spaces against the grand narratives of social progress.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofBiennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, ASLE 2015-
dc.titlePolluted landscape: photographs of post-socialist China by Edward Burtynsky and Lu Guang-
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailYee, WLM: yeelmw@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityYee, WLM=rp01401-
dc.identifier.hkuros250342-

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