Hidden in Plain Site
Beijing is a world-class boomtown, throwing up new buildings at a staggering pace. While traveling around the city observing all this raging architectural growth one can’t help but be intrigued by the way a kind of urban camouflage is being employed to hide all the activity.
As you can see in these pictures, large format photographic/digital images are printed onto an all-weather material and wrapped around the construction sites. These wrap-around prints often operate as a kind of large scale Trompe-l’œil piece, portraying the site prior to the demolition.
In other cases they depict what the site will look like following completion of the construction. This is more in line with the billboards you often see in western cities at the site of new development.
One could speculate that this practice is intended to soften the psychological blow of the lost architectural and personal history. Or perhaps it’s just a pragmatic means to hide an eyesore. Whatever the case, this practice creates strange moments of dissonance and make one wonder what other ways this technology might be employed.
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