Artus de Lavilleon
Lever de drapeau sur la place Tian'anmen à Beijing © Artus
Le "restaurant Chinois" du quartier touristique de Beijing © Artus
L'entrée de la muraille de Chine à quelques kilomètres de Beijing © Artus
Un dessin dans une friche au pied des CCTV Tower à Beijing © Artus
Une famille de ramasseur de déchets à Beijing © Artus
L'héritage soviétique dans 798, le quartier des galeries de Beijing© Artus
Dans les quartiers nord de Beijing © Artus
« I leave for China on Friday, I offer to photograph my journey « walking towards the last communists! » There must be something, inevitably an alternative. I can’t cheat. The biggest censorship is when everything is permitted and I have never been in a country where the limits are still relatively strict. Is everything really a matter of money!? Who are all those people who leave to invest, who expatriate themselves, and what about Mao!?! There it is… ».
And there it was… Beijing through the eyes of Artus de Lavilléon.
« I lived for six months in Beijing, the year in which the Chinese were preparing for the Olympics. I wanted to discover the remnants of communism, with a certain memory of my father. I saw the poverty pushed out beyond the fifth ring road, those internal peripherals that surround the Forbidden City like concentric circles. I wanted to believe that there existed an alternative to capitalism and I saw a country in the process of becoming the most powerful in the world as it began to dictate its rules to the whole world. In a certain way, Mao had succeeded well with his project, but my dreams of a difference were still not confirmed by a people’s commissioner at every street corner. Here, like elsewhere, the State watches, controls, and is not much concerned by its inherent contradictions. Despite that, Beijing fascinated me, and the few months that I spent there could easily have turned into years. Once you got passed the islands of expats, there remained a touching city in rapid development, which, for a time, was my country, despite the almost insurmountable language barrier, that separated me from the man in the street, and the walls of the City which will remain for me my greatest source of inspiration, here as elsewhere – freedom. »
Famous in the fashion and the skateboard domains, Artus de Lavilléon is a complex artist yet not a complicated one.
The book, “Pékin” by Artus de Lavilléon, has been published in march 2010 and is part of the collection of city portraits by “les éditions be-pôles” based on the philosophy : One photographer, one city. A unique vision of each city through the eyes of an artist.
© les éditions be-pôlesTM, 2010
6 rue Beaubourg F-75004 Paris