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Rising above China

'The person who coined the term cityscape must have had China in mind. From above, it looks like a space full of contrasts and unexpected combinations. In some ways, it resembles Chinese cuisine - you recognise all the ingredients but you would never put them together in the way the Chinese do. An industrial complex next to a school and playground; a colony of high rise buildings girt by rice paddies; a riverbank scarred by a giant harbour next to housing development, a school and a construction site. Lots of construction sites raising identical towers into the skies, tightly packed together - a sea of concrete as far as the eye can see. There's little nostalgia about old buildings - they're simply razed to the ground to make way for the brave new world of modern China. With unparalleled efficiency, whole district are planned and built in record time, creating new communities, replete with schools, shopping centres, roads and housing, to accommodate the ever swelling numbers of urban dwellers. Natural features such as mountains or lakes will simply be removed - or moved, if necessary. China is creating a new reality, searching for a new identity and developing in unpredictable directions.

Kacper Kowalski explored the landscape of contemporary China from the air, finding strange constellations and unfamiliar colours and shapes.
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