This series of portraits is a pessimistic take on the relationship between an individual and a megacity. The scale of the city can easily crush people. Concrete seems to be everywhere and there are not so many natural spaces. The repetitive patterns in this cityscape made of awfully similar series of buildings can be maddening. The contrast between abandoned places or places in construction where a few people live illegally surrounded by garbage and proud tall buildings created by world-famous architects is extremely striking. On the street, we are surrounded by people and vehicles but in the end, it isn’t easy to genuinely meet another person and we are often left alone. The lights of the city try to create an artificial paradise but when this façade is gone, individuals are often left with depression and alienation. In such a situation, “the dream of a shadow” (Pindare) seems to be the only thing individuals are left with, and they might be doomed to become shadows themselves. In this visual story, the character gets deeper and deeper into darkness.
For this series, Laurent Hou worked with Italian artist Filippo Cardella. The model is Han Xiao. The series was shot in Beijing, China.