Aug 16, 2018

1997 No. 2 Beijing

Ruin Series

1997 No. 2 Beijing


Rong Rong 榮榮

(Chinese, b. 1968)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 61 x 77.5 cm (24 x 30 1/2 in.)

Purchased with funds from an anonymous donor and Dudley P. Allen Fund 2018.35

Edition: Edition 10/12



In this and other images from his Ruin Series, Rong Rong laments the razing of Beijing’s traditional homes and old neighborhoods as part of the city’s widespread redevelopment in the 1990s. Residential neighborhoods were replaced by shining glass office towers that reflected the nation’s sudden drive toward modernization and commercialization. In the center of the rubble stands a wall with a relief showing two dragons. Symbols of power, strength, control over natural disaster, and good luck—the dragons symbolize China itself. If the piles of rubble represent collapse, does the dragon wall offer hope for survival? Or will it just be the next wall to be flattened?

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