For the photographic project Forest, the British-Chinese artist Yan Wang Preston spent eight years (2010-2017) investigating the politics of recreating forests and “natural” environments in new Chinese cities.
In Chongqing, China’s largest metropolis with 30 million people, the policy of having a “Forest City” has been implemented. While saplings are a common choice, hundreds and thousands of mature trees are also purchased and transplanted into the city to make “readymade” forests.
Often the trees become trophies, decorations, and a commodity to raise property prices with. Their prices depend on their rarity, size, and age. Their origins include demolished villages, newly deforested areas, and beyond. Their futures are uncertain.
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