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French photographer Raphael Olivier visited China‘s largest ghost city Kangbashi
Once intended to accommodate over one million residents, the new town of Kangbashi in northern China is today home to just one-tenth of its projected population.
In the early 2000s, Chinese government officials poured over $1 billion into the development of the city, several miles south of Ordos in Inner Mongolia. The result, according to French photographer Raphael Olivier, is a “very beautiful city, full of contradictions.”
Drawn to the “post-apocalyptic” feel generated by the juxtaposition of vacant, large-scale buildings and the surrounding desert, Olivier documented the ghost town and its partially complete architectural marvels.
Entitled “A Failed Utopia” his stunning — if oddly surreal — series of images focus on the city’s ambitious developments, rather than its “empty streets.”
“I was just keen to take my time, and walk through different districts, and almost in a catalogue way, find as many interesting structures as possible,” he says of covering parts of the 355-square-kilometer (137 square mile) sprawl. […]