China! Which China?



The Future of the Past

Wolfgang Zurborn

Whereas in Europe the future of the city is the subject of discussion and at the same time the city centres degenerate into museum-like establishments, major cities in Asia grow into mega-urban structures which seem to have lost any kind of human dimension. The visions of science-fiction-films like “Blade Runner” have already taken place here. More than 5000 sky-scrapers have rocketed upwards explosively in China, particularly in Shanghai in the last few years. This results in irreversible changes to everyday life.

The challenge of the encounter with this unfamiliar world is to transform the personal experience of the highly complex and interlaced parallel worlds of the “Megacities” into an individual picture language which should not keep the unknown in the realm of the exotic but which discovers the nearness in the strange. The life in these cities seems to us like a too dense collage of signs, people and structures, a kind of semiotic overkill that is hard to decode at first. It appears at first glance that individual needs of human beings meanwhile lack space in these anonymous seeming metropoles.

In my photographs I want to take a closer look at details and structures in everyday life which can tell of an approach towards harmonisation in this utopic seeming world.



China! Which China?
with 16 colour images in the format 39 x 30 cm as Leporello.
Publisher: Verlag Schaden.com, Cologne
Design: Heine/Lenz/Zizka, Frankfurt/Berlin

Solo exhibitions
2016 China! Which China?
The Photobook Exhibition, Athens Photo Festival, Athen, Greece
2009 Drift – Fotografien 1980-2006
Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany
2008 Book Launch - China! Which China?
Rencontres d'Arles
Buchladen Schaden.com im Espace van Gogh, Arles, France
2008 China! Which China?
V8 Galerie, Köln, Germany
2008 China! Which China?
Galerie Ruhnke, Potsdam, Germany
Group exhibitions
2014 Asia Express
Brügge, Belgium
2014 Editionen der Internationalen Photoszene Köln
SK-Stiftung, Köln, Germany
2014 Chine Today
curated by Tina Schelhorn
Arles, France
2013 China Stories,
Kolga Tbilisi Photo Meeting
Tseretili Museum, Tiflis, Georgia
2012 PIMP the TIMP Volume II
21. Internationalen Photoszene Köln
Ehemaliges Hotel Timp, Köln, Germany
2011 Street Photography Now
London Street Photography Festival, United Kingdom
2010 Street Photography Now
Galerie Lichtblick, Köln, Germany
2010 China Stories
Athens Photo Festival
Esplanade Gebäude, Athen, Greece
2010 Street Photography Now
Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff, United Kingdom
2010 Regionale 2010
Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany
2010 Street Photography Now
Trail Show in Schaufenstern der Gegend Canal St. Martin, Paris, France
2009 China Stories, curated by Tina Schelhorn
Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge School of Art (CSA) at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
2008 Western Eye on East
Fotofestiwal 08, Lodz, Poland



RES magazine, September 2009

by Celina Lunsford


British Journal of Photography, 23/7/2008