Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura Asian Photography Landscape Cities Identity
Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
Rossl, S. (2016) ""Contemporary Asian landscape. Photography as identity"" En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.), en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Intersecciones"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp.256-269)
Referring to the important exhibition New Topographics (1975), William Jenkins wrote “the
pictures were stripped of any artistic frills and reduced to an essentially topographic state,
conveying substantial amounts of visual information but eschewing entirely the aspects of
beauty, emotion and opinion”. This transformation in photography reflects the deep and quick
changes that are happening in the world, focused on the urban transformation. Over half of
the world’s population now lives in cities and this change of lifestyles has led to a dramatic
transformation in the landscapes that surround us. Particularly from “New Topographics”
can be taken the idea of the use of photography like an urban narrative and descriptive tool.
The cities, in particular the Asiatic ones, are growing frenetically changing skyline and the
perception of the public space. Contemporary landscapes are changing: urbanization caused
a strong impact on the relationship between man and nature, and like the development of our
cities to follow specific urban planning, we try to control our human experience with nature.
These new developments are connected not only to the way that the physical landscape is
changing but, perhaps more importantly, to the way that we are dealing with these changing
environments. The new “documentary” photography reveals not only the impact of the man on
the landscape, but the way it occurs and contracts the interaction between the two. Through
a selection of eastern photographers that use the image as critical reading of contemporary
Asian landscape, this research highlights the role of photography as a needed document
to reflect on the extent of the landscape changes and the antithetical relationship between
permanence and change in urban and extra urban contexts.