lørdag 19. mars 2022

Ai Weiwei on the new Silk Road: ‘This is China’s counterattack in a global game of chess’

The landscapes in Davide Monteleone’s images of China’s belt and road initiative are very familiar to me. We can see desert, uninhabited wasteland and views along the Yangtze River and in north-west China. There are also photographs showing the characters “Stay strong, Wuhan!” on skyscrapers in neon lights.

They are reminiscent of images I took in China, which captured dilapidated cities before they were rebuilt; energy plants; the development of impoverished areas and large-scale architecture. At that time, I wanted to write a new encyclopedia to elucidate new concepts and thoughts that emerge with rapid urbanisation, and to form a new language. The project was too ambitious, and I did not complete it. It was my failed “belt and road”.