Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Although I grew up in a developing nation, I have been fortunate enough to live in residential areas far away from industrial sites for my entire life. I remember, when I was young, the television was inundated with commercials depicting the bright future of a fully-industrialised nation - how lives are made so much easier with the latest technology and infrastructure. That may be true, but the journey towards it is often not quite as glorious. Ian Teh’s series, titled Dark Clouds, is “an intimate journey into some of China’s most industrialized cities; an exploration of the darker side of the economy’s bright, shiny facade. It portrays the bleak landscape and daily lives of people living within the country’s coal industry. Here, humanity has become the anonymous cogs that work this great industrial machine in order to perpetuate the ambitions of a Chinese nation. This is a glimpse of another life and another world rarely seen.”
A thick layer of grey ash covers the road leading to an industrial site. The air in the city is acrid and dense. Industrial plants and factories loom out of the haze and disappear once more as one travels beyond the city. Further into the mountains, there are sounds of explosions as workers use dynamite to extract limestone for the steel plants. In another valley, not too far away, miners go deep into a pit shaft in the early hours of the morning.
Images and additional text by Ian Teh. Please visit his website to view more of his work.