Once filled with nothing but beautiful, natural, mountainous, tree-filled landscapes, the now over-populated China has some views that aren’t quite so serene: landfills. To contrast the idyllic past with the realistic present, Chinese artist Yao Lu photographed the landfills, covered in green netting, then digitally manipulated the photos to look like the familiar vintage landscapes in traditional paintings. He adds mist, trees, and buildings to the heaps of rubbish, making them appear beautiful and serene until you look closely enough to realize that they are not actually mountains.
“Lying somewhere between painting and photography, between the past and the present, Yao Lu’s work speaks of the radical mutations affecting nature in China as it is subjected to rampant urbanization and the ecological threats that endanger the environment.” (BSG)
Yao Lu is a photography photography teacher at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and placed 5th for this set in the 2008 BMW-Paris Photo Prize for contemporary photography. See more works by Yao Lu and biographical details on Bruce Silverstein Gallery.