The Ode of Happiness
Amusement parks are usually associated with the warm buzz of joy and dreams, but under Chinese photographer Ao Guoxing’s archaeological eye, these deserted sites are reduced to ruins in a derelict wasteland. Destined for demolition, these transient spaces, or what he calls “carcasses of happiness”, symbolise a deepening void and sense of lost in Chinese society as the nation hurtles towards frenetic modernisation and transformation. Inspired by the German aesthetic of New Objectivity, the images are Ao’s desperate attempt to render these architecture as timeless and eternal monuments at a time when human experiences and relationships are being increasingly being supplanted by commodification. Can happiness truly be found in a nation where mass consumption and entertainment are in overdrive? Would silence and emptiness reign again after the party has ended?
About the Artist
Ao Guoxing (b. 1974, China) graduated from Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. In 2013, Guoxing was nominated for the Best Photographer in Dali International Photography Festival . His other achievements include the Gold Award in Shanghai Biennale (2013) and the Best Work Award in Shanghai New Media Visual Festival (2012).