From a while back….
1962. JG Ballard writes The Drowned World. His post-apocalyptic vision folds the line of time. As the planet overheats, a primeval swamp swallows the great urban centers. The ‘white faced buildings of the 20th century’ lie derelict, half submerged by an overgrown jungle intruding from another time.
Ballard was born in Shanghai. He is writing of his native place.
2008. On the main street and thoroughfares the city’s vegetative life is contained, managed, supervised. Peering through the city’s walls, however, is a hidden world of uncontrolled and uncontrollable vitality.
Through the iron gates, inside the labyrinthine laneways, in the cities empty spaces where torn down buildings have left fields of concrete and rubble, the subtropical flora seeps its ways through cracks in walls, pushes through the bricks and gratings, climbs over windows and doors.
Here is Shanghai’s unplanned growth, its urban jungles…
More photos online here