Exhibition | Musee d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux

From june to october 2016, I have the chance to be exhibited among great photographers and artists at the Musee d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux for the Arc en Reve Architecture and Urban Space of the future exhibition. Here are some photos

Those photos are part of my metamorpolis project and are available in my book on purchase. Please don't hesitate to contact me for exhibition opportunity.

Metamorpolis Book Launch in New York City

Last Wednesday, I had the pleasure to be invited to give a talk at the Asia Society Museum in New York city for the launch of my new book Metamorpolis . The presentation was recorded, you can view it here if you wish to know the stories behind the book and the photos !

If you want to purchase the book or to have information on where you can get it - please check the book official website : Http://www.metamorpolis.com.

Chongqing - destroying the past

Since my first time in Chongqing in 2009, I have been going back as regularly as I could strolling and exploring the city.  in 2011 as I was visiting the older part of the Yuzhong district, I came across an interesting area pictured in the below photograph. As I asked about it, I soon found out that it was the remains of an old Ming dynasty Government building. The site was quite amazing as it was surrounded by gloomy looking housing project. Last month, as I went back in this particular area, I found out that a construction site has been started on the western part of the lot and all the rest of this archeological site has been left to total chaos. This really shows again how the city struggles with its growing population and its urban planning.

2011 photos of the Remains of Ming dynasty government building in the middle of Chongqing  

Same site in 2014 - a construction site has been started and the remains of the archeological site has been abandoned.

Chongqing IFC or Hong Kong wannabe

In another case of copied architecture, the Chongqing CBD in Jiefangbei also includes an IFC office tower which is extremely similar to its Hong Kong building. Another case of how local urban planner loop up to famous cities and architects and try to copy / paste them instead of trying to come with their own identity. The Chaoptienman ( tip of chongqing peninsula ) is also seeing its old port destroyed to give a place to a similar building to the famous Singapore Sands hotel & casino... Chongqing, wannabe the modern metropolis of china but if the trend continues, it will look more like a mix of other famous cities paste into one.

Chongqing IFC in the middle of the Jiefangbei area

Fake Zaha Hadid in Chongqing

As Chongqing is running towards its urbanisation and modernisation, local urban planner and authorities want to have the best and the fastest, even if it means cloning famous buildings from architects from other cities. In the new development area of Chongqing, a copycat of unfinished Beijing Zaha Hadid project has been build in the middle of the fields

The copycat building is located in the Jiangbei district of Chongqing

Some workers taking a rest inside the project

the project is surrounded by farm field, factories and housing projects

The issues has been raised in many publications, you can read more here in an article from the Spiegel online:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/pirated-copy-of-design-by-star-architect-hadid-being-built-in-china-a-874390.html

here is a render of the original project currently being finished in Beijing  | render from Zaha Hadid 

Urban Farming in China | Chongqing Series

The latest part of my Chongqing project is focusing on the Urban Farming phenomenon in China

Ren Yindi. After following the transition from an Rural Hukou to an Urban one, he could not find any other way to provide for himself and his family than to go back to farm whatever lands was available around his apartment in a high rise tower.

Ren Yindi. After following the transition from an Rural Hukou to an Urban one, he could not find any other way to provide for himself and his family than to go back to farm whatever lands was available around his apartment in a high rise tower.

Urban farming is so common in Chongqing that it is part of the city’s landscape. From small pieces of land on the side of a road to mud hills on giant construction sites, every piece of earth is good to be farmed. Unlike in the West, where well-educated urban residents are turning to urban farming as a hobby or as part of a hip, modern lifestyle, urban farming in China instead points to the heart of several issues surrounding rapid development and, at times, forced urbanisation. China faces the need to alter its economy away from an over-reliance on exports and towards an economy that has a healthy domestic market of its own. While China’s urban population is developing consumer habits already, China’s rural population exists largely at subsistence level, and contributes almost nothing the consumer economy. The Chinese government understands that if this population were moved in to cities then it would no longer be self-sufficient, and would therefore depend on - and contribute to - this consumer ecosystem. Urbanisation then, is one of the most important tools China has in strengthening its economy. Of the four municipalities of China, Chongqing is the only one that holds a significant rural population - around two thirds of the municipality’s 30 million residents are rural - and as such, Chongqing is leading the way for urbanisation in China.

Chongqing plans to urbanise half of its rural population within a 10-year period, meaning a full 10 million residents will need to transform their lives from that of a rural existence to that of an urban consumer between the years of 2007 and 2017. While some rural residents move to the city out of choice, others are relocated to the city by the government, and many of these are ill-equipped to deal with city life. They may have little or no formal education and a great deal of residents struggle to adapt to urban life. Instead of joining the commerce economy, some return to what they know; farming, and they do this wherever they can find unused land.

Huang Chunying and her husband work barefoot on a land above the new business developments of the Tiandi Project.

Huang Chunying and her husband work barefoot on a land above the new business developments of the Tiandi Project.

One of the many walls of china | between fast urbanisation and its population trying to catch up.

One of the many walls of china | between fast urbanisation and its population trying to catch up.

Wang Chengyun helping his uncle to clear lands in the new developed district of Jiangbei in Chongqing

Wang Chengyun helping his uncle to clear lands in the new developed district of Jiangbei in Chongqing

One of the newest addition to the modern Chongqing landscape, the Tiandi business center.

One of the newest addition to the modern Chongqing landscape, the Tiandi business center.

More of those photos directly on the website porfolio:
http://www.timfranco.com/chongqing-urban-farm/

China File also published the story this week :
http://www.chinafile.com/multimedia/photo-gallery/Between-Rock-and-Hard-Place

Green Underground | Chongqing

More from my chongqing work - Since everywhere, the city seems to grow vertically above former mountains, rivers and farm lands. I wanted to have a look beneath the city, below bridges, highways and other urban structure.  This led me to some extraordinary places where the nature was claiming back its territory in the city's underground. Here a few images, to be continued.

chongqing | underground nature

chongqing | underground nature

chongqing | underground nature

Chongqing - Mega Urbanisation

As I was back in Chongqing for a special assignment on urban farming, I also continued working on some images of this incredible megapolis. From construction site to amusement park and a view of the city at dusk.

Chongqing Chaotianmen at dusk

Man vs the city | New Development zone of Jiangbei distrcit in Chongqing

A couple enjoying a ride in the Foreign Street Amusement park in Chongqing

A giant housing development construction site in the new district of Jiangbei in Chongqing

Young migrant workers near their houses in the new development district of jiangbei in Chongqing