We built these cities. All over the world, the crumbling ones, the glistening ones, the towering ones, the little ones — cities are built for people. So when you see one that’s empty, it’s usually eerie. Somehow, however, Hungarian photographer Bence Bakonyi makes them beautiful.
The 23-year-old’s “Urbanites” series depict various cityscapes in China. Bakonyi describes the photos as “self-portraits projected onto Hong Kong and Shanghai” as well as “an account of how [he] found his home in the unknown.” The unknown is apparently awfully desolate, littered with trash, and devoid of human beings.
And yet there’s a quiet beauty in all of the frames. You see the ugly sides of urban living — the garbage, the decay, the squalor, the filth — but it all seems more pensive than off-putting. Baekonyi’s long exposures make night look like day and day look like daydreams.
Again, you won’t see a single person in the series, so you’re left to ask yourself, “Am I the only one left?” That’s a weird question when you’re staring at the middle of Hong Kong or Shanghai. But that’s also kind of the point. [Bence Bakonyi via Kateoplis]