Photographs of Empty and Abandoned Amusement Parks Explore China’s Architecture of Leisure

Shijingshang Park-Beijing

Shijingshang Park-Beijing, all images by Stefano Cerio

In Stefano Cerio's series “Chinese Fun,” he explores the facades of amusement without an audience’s reaction. The photographer enters areas built for fun and leisure in the off months or closing hours, exploring the absurdity that creeps into the architecture of entertainment when there is no one to enjoy it but a single camera.

Within the series the Italian photographer explores amusement parks, water landscapes, and sports grounds set in front of the background of gray skies and atop rain-soaked cement. The images were taken in the four cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Hong Kong, and show a colorfully decorated food stand with an anthropomorphic hamburger, an overflowing basket of fruit the size of a car, and various rides that look like absurdist pieces of architecture when not in use.

Cerio’s photographic work has increasingly focused on the theme of representation, and he explains his work as “exploring the boundary line between vision, recounting the real and the spectator’s horizon of expectation, [and] the staging of a possible reality that might not be true but is at least plausible.” Through these examples he views places of leisure as “the other,” locations built for the suspension of day-to-day life.

Some of Cerio’s works will be included in the Fondazione Volume! in Rome from September 23 to November 3 and a composite book of this series, Stefano Cerio: Chinese Fun, is available in the US starting tomorrow. (via Hyperallergic)

Treausure Island PirateKingdom-Qingdao

Treausure Island PirateKingdom-Qingdao

Stefano Cerio 025

Stefano Cerio 036

Shilaoren Bathing Beach-Qingdao

Shilaoren Bathing Beach-Qingdao

Huairou

Huairou

Shanghai Happy Valley-Shanghai

Shanghai Happy Valley-Shanghai

Tuanjiehu Park-Beijing

Tuanjiehu Park-Beijing

Water Cube-Beijing

Water Cube-Beijing

Polar Ocean Park-Qingdao

Polar Ocean Park-Qingdao

cover

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