polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Unregistered City

by Vivien Park

When Jiang Pengyi first moved from his lesser developed hometown to Beijing, his impressions of an ancient city in rapid urbanization left him with a deep sense of cultural shock and alienation. Once a cityscape and architecture photographer, he now uses the medium to recreate a personal viewpoint of the city he lives in.

In his new series "Unregistered City", Jiang digitally manipulated high-rises and expressways and placed them inside abandoned buildings, where an old world was dismantled to make way for a newer, slicker, and more generic version. The inverted scale is almost a psychological attempt to reverse the power position between culture and expansion, but in the end human presence will merely become traces of activities it has left behind.

Credits: Image of Unregistered City 02 via Rebelart, courtesy of Jiang Pengyi and Blindspot Gallery.