Catherine Hyland's Photographs of China's Abandoned Wonderland


Thu, Aug 16th, 2012 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

London-based Catherine Hyland has this truly poignant yet captivating gallery of an abandoned theme-park in China. Her remarkable photographic skills, combined with the park's derelict and desolate state should give you a pretty good idea of what a post-apocalyptic Disneyland would look like.

Wonderland is an abandoned structure left over after funding was cut on another of China's legion of newly developed tourist attractions. The project first began in 1998 but with developers and local farmers still unable to reach an agreement over the rights of the land, the discarded structures of the half built theme park have remained dispersed and vacant throughout empty cornfields for over a decade. The aim of the Wonderland developers was to create the biggest theme park in Asia, set to cover 120 acres of land. Adopted by the locals, these dilapidated skeletons now exist as unconventional playgrounds within the town. Concrete objects that somehow become more remarkable due to the ever-present option of a direct comparison, between reality and representation.

Trapped in limbo, a hybrid space between the 'real' and the artificial, this environment induces a sense of transformation or manipulation that appears to permeate and displace the realm of fantasy. Tamed by the locals, the uncompleted remnants of Wonderland become the antithesis of everything it was supposed to be, its value altered permanently.

Permission to use the above image was kindly granted by Catherine herself.



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