Mobile photography touched on a very contemporary issue, which is the democratization of images. With the spreading power of the Internet, the production of images has become extremely daily, touching almost every aspect of urban life. These “excessive images” actually reproduce the city in the digital world, and the city is subject to wider public scrutiny in the digital world. The resulting public opinion will in return affect the construction and evolution of urban life in the physical world. In this era, when we talk about urban renewal, mobile photography has already become a strong driving force.
As an architect, mobile photography has become Junfeng’s tool of city observation. This short photo album intercepts his observations of the three cities he has worked and lived in, and uses a brief “presence” to randomly extract certain moment sections of the city. Each section is firmly rooted in the scene, mapping its instant condition, and the city is a complex collection of these conditions. Some of these conditions are short-lived and some are lasting, but in any case, they are the most vivid texts to understand, reflect, and even predict the city.
“When you arrive in a city for the first time, I think it’s very important to let go of many subjective settings that have been instilled in order to understand a city more thoroughly. Go to places with more local residents, and go to the logistic entrances of the buildings, these are often places that have not been over-consumed, so it is the most likely to see a city in its truest form. In addition, walk in the city during late night, when the hustle and bustle fade away, you can hear the breath of the city in the middle of the night.”
“Three Rooms, Three Cities” Exhibition in Guangzhou Design Week
“I came back from the United States in 2015 and then lived in the Huangpu District of Shanghai. Quite often I saw old houses being demolished when I walked through the narrow streets, while the skyscrapers in Pudong New District are flourishing on the opposite side of Huangpu River. The contrast between the old and the new is very eye-catching. I think we are too used to seeing Pudong has a beautiful and glamorous skyline and regard it as Shanghai, but from my opinion, the Pudong skyline seen from the old houses in Puxi is the most Shanghai look. The exquisite seen from the rough, the modern seen from the old, is the most authentic look of the city.”
“I lived in New York briefly for two years because of work. I once felt that I was forced to live there because before I lived in this city, all I felt was it’s a messy and noisy place compare to Boston where I lived before New York. But when I really took root in the life there, I saw the vitality and tension of this city, and I felt that I was being refreshed every day, since in the rigorous and almost rigid urban grid, in the stifling cluster of skyscrapers, there is the most imaginative urban life. In New York, you could never become the craziest one.”
“In my eyes, Beijing is an ambitious city, and it urgently needs huge urban landmarks to complete its grand narrative structure. When the new hustle and bustle is ignited, behind it is the suddenness of decadence. Time and time again, the city completes the evolution in this cycle of prosperity and depression. Fortunately, the life in the crevices of the city has not been reduced to the victims of scaling violence. They are still flowing like water, nourishing this radically changing city. ”