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Precarious Living

November-December 2014

  • Show Dates:
    November 13 - December 7, 2014
  • Show Reception:
    November 13, 2014
  • Featured Artist:
    Tong Lam

In China, progress is often synonymous with a particular vision of urban development. An evidence of this is the prevalence of urban billboards and hoardings that promise an utopian future with spectacular skyscrapers and happy citizens. Yet, this desire of having a harmonic and dreamlike future collides constantly with the harsh reality of the dystopian present.

In this project, Tong Lam captures the surreal and yet actual living conditions of an urban village that is caught up in China’s urbanization and urban renewal processes in the southern city Guangzhou. In addition to documenting the widening social and economic ruptures amid China’s high-speed growth, he also uses images of everyday life as a light source to create night images of catastrophic dreamscapes. By casting light literally on the city’s spatial ruptures, his work further suggests that in societies where state-sanctioned facts are inseparable from spectacle, conspicuously constructed fictional images may in the end come closer to the truth. The exhibition is comprised of photographs and a video installation.


Flickr Images of Opening Night