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Posted 03.26.10 | PERMALINK | ESSAY

Gavin Browning, Greta Hansen & Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong: Trans Siberia



Changchun (7820 km from Moscow)
Changchun’s inhabitants call it a “new city.” A fishing village in 1800, Changchun was officially named by the end of the century and was heavily influenced by a Japanese military presence. The last Chinese emperor Pu Yi was installed here by the Japanese as a puppet leader for over fifteen years, until the end of WWII. Many of the buildings recall the era of Japanese control — hodgepodge structures with Japanese foundations and Chinese enclosures.

Changchun is no exception to the Chinese tendency to modernize through the organization of large, expansive cities. Renmin Road — the principal North-South axis — boldly strides through the center of the city. Past and present governmental buildings are situated along it, unable to break free from this municipal focal line.

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ABOUT THE ESSAY

Trans Siberia
On Places, selected images from Trans Siberia, the new exhibition at Columbia's Studio-X New York, focusing on the administrative buildings of the Communist party in the former Soviet Union and China.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong is a partner in the creative duo Warm Engine.
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Gavin Browning holds an MS in Urban Planning from Columbia University and a BA in English from The New School University. He was the director of Studio-X, a downtown Manhattan extension of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where he curated events and exhibitions, and edited The Studio-X NY Guide to Liberating New Forms of Conversation (GSAPP Books, 2010).

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Greta Hansen is a partner in the creative duo Warm Engine.
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