Mountains and Skyscrapers Made from Maps and Books

Blocky skylines made from stacked books dominate one side of the gallery in Chinese artist Ji Zhou's new show at Klein Sun Gallery and first U.S. solo show, Civilized Landscape, while crinkled maps become mountain ranges on the other. This dichotomy is at the heart of the exhibit, Ji Zhou tells The Creators Project. "My concerns lie in why more and more cities are becoming visually identical and boring in their cityscapes," he says.

Ji Zhou specializes in capturing ephemeral ideas and moments in beautifully composed photographs. For example, after a fire in his Beijing studio coated it in ash, he responded with Dust (2010), a photo series in which every surface is colored with monochrome, ashy grey. In Civilized Landscape, he responds to the construct of civilization as a whole. Which is more civilized, he asks, a peaceful mountaintop with a thriving ecosystem, or the concrete jungle?

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