Side-By-Side Photos of Paris and Its Chinese Knockoff

March 13, 2018 - photo frame

At initial glance, Francois Prost’s sketch of a Eiffel Tower looks like it was taken on any given day in Paris. But only outward a support are clues that a structure in his design is nowhere nearby a Champ de Mars: Chinese book adorns all a emporium signs, and there is no necessity of canteens portion adult boiled rice. That’s since Prost didn’t constraint that picture in France—he prisoner it 6,000 miles divided in a mock-up of a City of Light.

Tianducheng is a Paris-inspired housing growth on a hinterland of Hangzhou, China. Its 12 block miles underline rows of Haussmann-style unit blocks, neoclassical statues, and a third-scale indication of, yes, a Eiffel Tower. You can even revisit a Arc de Triomphe and a gardens of Versailles.

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“The monuments demeanour a same, though it’s a totally opposite context,” says Prost. He explores a weirdness in Paris Syndrome, a surreal print array juxtaposing travel scenes from a genuine Paris with their Tianducheng knockoffs. “What we like about saying them corresponding is that you’re kind of lost,” Prost says. “You don’t know that is a strange or that is a copy.”

Tianducheng opened in 2007 with adequate room for 100,000 inhabitants—presumably some who wish they lived in a genuine Paris. But it’s reduction an accurate duplicate than a thesis park-like mish-mash; a Eiffel Tower sits within a gardens of Versailles, and—more inexplicably—near a Arena of Nimes, a Roman amphitheater in southern France. “They try to brew those clichés in a opposite way,” Prost says. “There’s not most clarity behind it.”

Prost became preoccupied by supposed “duplitecture” several years ago after training about China’s European knockoffs—Dutch windmills, Venetian canals, and a like. But it wasn’t until saying a feign chronicle of his possess city, Paris, in a Romain Gavras song video that he motionless to investigate. So final October, he flew to Hangzhou, took an hour-long cab to Tianducheng, and checked into an Airbnb right subsequent to a Eiffel Tower.

He immediately set out exploring. The design looked surprisingly real, though he kept saying things he didn’t in Paris—unsightly atmosphere conditioners swinging from windows, whole families piled onto singular scooters, workers unconditional a streets with straw brooms. The buildings themselves lacked any snippet of time, and a faces of some statues seemed somewhat off. “Even when we try to duplicate it as best as possible, there’s always a bit of awkwardness, some sum that are not right,” Prost says.

He spent a week erratic Tianducheng with his DSLR and tripod. After returning home, he orderly a photos into categories for buildings, monuments, and people. Then he set out evenly documenting their genuine counterparts—about 50 total—always sharpened in a same soothing light.

The matches are infrequently eerily close, though there’s roughly always a fact or dual that signals something is off. That’s what creates them fascinating. Tianducheng doesn’t totally demeanour like France, though it’s not accurately China, either.

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