Thousand Pictures for One Asia

1000 Asia from nsr on Vimeo.

Thousand Pictures for One Asia is a collection of 1000 photographs taken by Kyong Park from the cities of the New Silk Roads, each tagged with certain words. Software organises these photos according to their tags, to suggest certain organising tendencies present among these cities. Yet within these shared tendencies, there are also certain differences, determined by the particular conditions of each city, which alter such intruding global formulas as "Globalisation with Chinese Characteristics." Here, one can imagine that globalisation is not a one-way street. Beyond the intrusion and domination of a globalising system upon local distinctions, the particularity of certain indigenous urban structures might contribute to globalisation in a different way.

At times, these collections of photographs will also run in random sequences, beyond the control of our subjective or categorical tendencies. The idea is that we can sometimes learn more from our research when we have less control: the random sequences can give rise to understandings that elude us when we organise our materials to support our preconceived theories.

The most important aspect of 1000 Asia is the notion that cities cannot be explained by few selected photographs. Instead, the indefinable reality of its overwhelming complexity can only be captured by a virtually unlimited number of images. This less editorial approach to the depiction of cities is consistent with the immense multiplicity of images collected and consumed by the public in the age of digital photography, which goes far beyond the older urban photography once dominated by professionals. Urban images are increasingly matters of public consumption and contribution, and 1000 Asia reflects the public, globalising representations of cities today.