About the Photographer
Leong, Sze Tsung
American and British, b. 1970
They are records of cities in time, in the process of perishing, disappearing, or starting anew … caught in the tenuous period after the end of one history and the beginning of another. – Sze Tsung Leong
Sze Tsung Leong's series History Images (2002-2005) documents the physical transformation of China's major cities in response to an unprecedented economic boom and widespread relocation of the country's population to urban centers. The power of industry (and its accompanying wealth) to alter landscapes, infrastructure, and social patterns is evident in Leong's pictures that center on destruction or construction, but the change is more acutely felt in the pictures that juxtapose both old and new. The photograph Ciqikou, Shapingba District, Chongquing, for instance, features a wooden footbridge leading to a traditional plot of individually tended gardens in the foreground, while the concrete supports of a highway still under construction rise in the background. In between them a harbor references the site's history as a shipping port and a jumble of architecture indicates a variety of needs and influences those structures were designed to meet at different points in time.
Sze Tsung Leong was born in Mexico City in 1970. He is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a New York State Council on the Arts Grant (both 2005). Solo exhibitions of History Images have been held at Yossi Milo Gallery and Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. His work has been exhibited at and collected by The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and High Museum of Art, Atlanta.