The population shift of Asians toward large cities has captured the imagination of Kirk Pedersen, and he in turn has captured its complexity in a series of photographs and photographic montages on display at the Asia Society.
Photo courtesy of the artist A haunting cityscape, Night Rain, Dalian, by Kirk Pedersen
Rudyard Kipling's dictum "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" has consistently been eroded since Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853 opened up trade with Japan through "gunboat diplomacy", according to U. S. Naval records. But, while there are tacit references to East and West, Pedersen has really centered on Urban Asia today vs. Urban Asia of yesteryear.
They photographs indicate both urban decay and the construction of residential units in buildings so high they would have seemed impossible a few years ago. There is an impersonal element to many of the photographs, as we see architecture, but no humanity.