Yangzhou was a small Chinese village, until the mayors decided they wanted to transform this small village into a metropolis. Therefore they invested billions to build new districts around this village. These new neighborhoods were modeled after a Western example to make it look modern and attractive. But the houses in these new districts were very expensive and most Chinese people couldn´t afford them. A bizarre city emerged: all citizens lived in the centre (previously the village) and surrounding this centre there were numerous suburbs…empty.
Recently the mayor gave order to rebuild the centre. The citizens were kicked out of their homes, but couldn´t afford a new place.
In Yangzhou I met a girl, Wu Yazhi, who belonged to the happy few who’s parents could buy an apartment in the suburbs. But she wasn´t happy living there: she lived there by their selves, all her friends lived in the centre. And as their housed would be demolished it wasn´t clear where her friends will go.
In this series you´ll see several kind of images in Yangzhou. Images of the centre in demolishment and images of the suburbs: some districts under construction, some districts completed. And I portrayed Wu Yazhi. Put together the images give a reflection of a metropolis under construction. The shell stands, but the soul misses. It is a bright and shiny product in the shop window of the Chinese government: everybody can look at it, but nobody can buy it.
(more photos are following)