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Theoretical Papers

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2019): Visual Spaces of Change: Unveiling the Publicness of Urban Space through Photography and Image

Visual technological enthusiasm: An industrial urban spectacle in the “Tenth Anniversary” commemorative albums of China




The nationwide industrialization in China initiated from “First Five Years’ Plan” in 1953, catalyzed the unprecedented boom of construction reshaping the urban space, and of photographic production that witnessed this movement. This paper focuses on a nationwide photographic survey and following albums organized by Ministry of Construction Engineering of China to widely demonstrate the achievement of industrialization and other constructions in commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of China in 1959. Hence, within the collective and institutional system of architectural design and photography, this paper analyzes the photographic archive from two perspectives: new topography of layout and monumentality of architecture and space to discuss the interaction between new visualization and emerging industrial urban spectacle. It concludes that an underlying visual technological enthusiasm formed by the social and professional context, constitute a visual subject-matter in the initial industrialization in China.