Puhejing Quarry Ecology Recovery Project, Dali, China, 2017

Yan Wang Preston.

1st Place, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

2019 Image Description:

An image showing a detailed ecology recovery landscape. The background is a quarry face covered by green/cyan plastic netting. A young sapling stands in the centre, supported by a bag of nutrition liquid and a pile of semi-artificial red soil. Series Name: To the South of the Colourful Clouds

Series Description

To the south of the colourful clouds (2017) depicts the otherworldly ecology recovery landscape in Haidong Development Zone in Dali, Yunnan Province, China. Here, a small rural area is being urbanised systematically to create an international leisure town and an ecology model town. In doing so, the topsoil of the entire area is replaced by a type of red, semi-artificial soil, which forms the base for introduced, mostly non-indigenous plants, including thousands of mature trees. Meanwhile, green plastic netting is used to cover everything unappealing to the eye, from construction waste to disused quarries. The town objective here has shifted from an ecological concern to a cosmetic one of trying to be visually green. The images are part of an eight-year project Forest (2010-2017), for which the photographer investigates the politics of recreating forests and natural environments in new Chinese cities.

Copyright: © Yan Wang Preston, United Kingdom, 1st Place, Professional, Landscape (Professional competition), 2019 Sony World Photography Awards


Judged by international photography experts from across the media, museums, publishing and academia, the Professional competition awards outstanding series of five to ten images that demonstrate artistic prowess, across ten diverse categories. These prestigious Awards give audiences insight into the world’s finest contemporary photography captured over the past year and offer artists working across the medium of photography unparalleled exposure and opportunity.

All the Awards’ winning and shortlisted work, including the British winners announced today, will go on show at 2019 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London until May 6, before going on a global tour.

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