Forgot where I came across a Tim Franco reference/link but it must have been about his Metamorpolis project in which he documents the rise of Chongqing, the world’s fastest growing and least known metropolis. Mr. Franco is based in Shanghai, and has a history of a decade engaging with the country.
He seems to have found his niche. And does well, as the commercial work on his site shows. Well enough to have time to pursue his personal interests. I liked his older Shanghai work a lot. His videos that is. Time lapse that adds to the visual experience rather than just displaying slick technique, and ensuring a soundscape that you’ll remember. Both of the below are 5 years old.
As an aside, this is the second time within a week I come across Pearl Jam. Apparently David Foster Wallace was a big fan, and now Mr. Franco. Music has a strong generational aspect to it. Whatever shit you grow up with becomes part of you. Some generations are luckier than others.
Many other views on Shanghai are possible, the most different probably being through the rose-tinted nostalgic lens:
But it is telling one needs to go to another art form to really break new ground. A beautiful illustration of that is this photograph (not his): the image is very much within the Tim Franco aesthetic, but the drawing within it transcends it.
Accomplishing this using the camera can only be done by a very literal shift of perspective: have a look at some of the street photography of this Brazilian girl:
Let me end with another Tim Franco video, about a Shanghai that is not mine at all, but figures prominently in its status as a cool city for millennials.