Approximate Joy by Christopher Anderson 2nd Printing
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The photographer’s study of the melancholy faces of young émigrés pursuing their dreams in one of the world’s largest cities
“Growing up in America in the 1970s and 80s, cinema presented us with three versions of what the future might look like,” says Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson. “There was the pristine future of Star Wars, there was the post-apocalyptic Mad Max version, and then there was this maybe more disconcerting dystopian future of Blade Runner. Arriving in Shenzhen, I remembered being told this is what the future would look like, and in fact, it does indeed look like they said it would.”
What is striking is the color palette that dominates Anderson’s book, Approximate Joy, made with work he started in China’s fifth largest city, Shenzhen before going on to work in other cities China.
“I think part of my mind was referencing, in a visual sense, the original Blade Runner, and the idea of how the city of the future could be anywhere: could be New York, could be Hong Kong, could be Shenzhen, could be London, where culture has melded together and the West has become East and the East has become West.”