Tag Archives: alleys

Hutong vs. highrise: A photo essay on China’s radical urban changes

Beijing is one of the earliest still-existant cities planned around a grid: the old city is organized around a chessboard-like matrix of alleys, known as hutong, that date back at least a millenium. But as developers in Beijing scramble to built modern towers in the urban core, hutong are disappearing.

German photographer Christopher Domakis has made it his business to document them. Domakis spent three months in China earlier this year, and during his stay, he ended up photographing dozens of hutong, documenting the narrow, centuries-old alleys and corridors as he ran across them. He also traveled widely throughout other Chinese cities, documenting the construction of hundreds of new towers.

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Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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