Over the past 30 years, China has grown from an agricultural-centric country to a largely urban society. Hundreds of millions of rural residents have left the countryside for larger cities, many in the hopes of finding better jobs.
Photographer Dheera Venkatraman spent a few years travelling around the country to create a series he called “Time Travelling in China”. The project involved finding images from the 1900s and revisiting the locations they depicted, taking his own photos of what the landscape looks like today.
“Having studied physics before, I thought doing a trip in time, instead of space, might be an interesting thought,” Venkatraman told Business Insider.
Below, see 13 images of the drastic changes China’s landscapes have undergone.
'To a local who has been around for decades and seen the old side of some of these photos, it might bring memories of those times,' Venkatraman said. 'To a young cosmopolitan person, they might view these photos with curiosity and awe about what things really looked like before. To a futurist, it might invoke thoughts about what changes are yet to come in the next 30-40 years.'
'There are many thoughts that can be taken away from these, positive, neutral, negative alike, and I'd like to leave that up to the reader to interpret,' he said.
Many people in China live in high- or low-rise buildings made out of cement, unlike in the US, where most houses are made of wood.
Venkatraman decided to photograph in black and white to create a more 'apples-to-apples' comparison.
'I decided to flatten everything to black and white to eliminate all the distractions from insignificant objects -- e.g. bright street signs, neon-coloured rain jackets -- and allow the viewer to focus on the more massive changes in buildings and cities,' Venkatraman said.
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