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Catherine Hyland’s Universal Experience

Photographer Catherine Hyland has been travelling the mountains of China and Mongolia to capture its vast, nearly uncanny and empty tourist destinations. Shot on film, Catherine’s large-format photographs show the impressive landscapes together with their barren tourist-targeting additions, contrasting the natural and manmade elements.

“The aim is to shine a light on both the strange and sublime nature of these spaces.”
The dusty mountainous pictures feature gradated colours and uniformly earthy-brown tones. For her latest series named “Universal Experience”, the artist deals with themes of nostalgia and abandonment, capturing giant Buddhas located in small desolate villages in rural China and expansive mountainscapes with barely any visitors. With the focus on historical importance or natural splendour, each photograph contains the significance as a place of beauty and grandeur. The project highlights the fact that landscape is seen primarily as a cultural construct and only secondarily as a natural phenomenon.

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