Take a quick look at Chinese photographer Yao Lu’s “New Landscapes” photos, and they may look to you like old Chinese paintings of misty mountains, green hills, and choppy brown rivers. Each one even bears a red seal stamp that artists use as signatures on finished works.
Look a little closer, however, and it becomes apparent that something isn’t quite right. “Those are some strange looking mountains, you think to yourself.” Well, they aren’t actually mountains, but rather mounds of garbage covered with green construction netting.
Yao arranges each scene shown in his large color photos, using the landfill materials to create various landscapes. He then photographs them, and adds in artificial elements (e.g. pagodas, waterfalls, trees, people) that make the scenes look more believable.
The images are a commentary on the state of China, its modernization, and its rampant pollution (which has been photographed quite a bit in recent days).
You can find more of Yao’s work over at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York City.
Image credits: Photographs by Yao Lu, courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery, NY