In today’s interconnected world of information, advertisements and technology, many places have been transformed into global ones. Simon Chi-Chung Wan intentionally worked on the renowned cities of Asia. Shooting respectively in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore, in these metropolises he played with the night time cityscapes of the busiest and the brightest street of each location.
The work reveals the artist’s acute observations of social realities in Asia. Wan’s construction of his work is methodical. With the use of multiple exposures he overlies images of international brands, advertisements and even traces of city dwellers lives upon each other. The details of these symbolic icons reflect the social phenomena of globalization, consumerism and economic growth.
These resulting images are powerful. We are suspended between fantasy and reality. Our inability to separate ourselves from these two dimensional images comes on and goes. According to the intersecting structures of lines in these photographs, we are able to see the distinctive urban style of each city and so there remains a sense of individual characteristic. In fact, it is only when we find the common features such as brand names, chain stores and celebrities in the advertisements between the locations that we realize what resonates among them. For both better and worst globalization draws upon us all at some point and unifies the people of the world to function together. On the contrary, the impact of the capitalism has also demolished our uniqueness. In City-Glow, we manage to understand Wan’s perspective of how our societies are interchanging at all times, as always.