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Cities Unknown

HG Esch

HENN Gallery, June 22 - September 20, 2012

The 21st century is known as the “urban” and the “pacific” century. In East-Asia, mega-cities grow into the sky at break-neck speed like never before in the history of mankind. They grow quickly and not always with a concept, yet will soon be home to two billion people.  Mega-cities like Hangzhou, Chongqing, Wuhan or Chengdu are living examples and places that very few Westerners can locate on a map. 

Already today East-Asia is home to three times as many city dwellers as the whole Western world combined. Their dynamic, hunger for space, energy, their youth and their ugliness are at the same time attractive and repellent for architects, planners and journalists from the West. These new Mega-Cities without names owe their existence to the explosive economic growth.

HG Esch shows the cities as they are: faceless, smoggy, lacking identity, radically heterogeneous, self-similar to the point of beyond recognition and newly planted into the countryside. Esch‘s view is unique, fascinating and oppressive, documenting the new metropolises as they develop and grow.