Past Exhibition

Suburban Developments

Daniel Traub and Robert Harding Pittman - 10 August to 14 September 2007

An exhibition of photographs by 2 photographers working with similar issues –urban sprawl and the rapid proliferation of suburban developments, their environmental effects and the continued segregation of the wealthy and the poor.

City's Edge (China) by Daniel Traub

Daniel Traub’s photographic study City’s Edge, explores the phenomenon of accelerated residential and industrial development occurring around the edges of Chinese cities. The series consists of typologies of key elements found in these new environments: gated communities, industrial parks, high-rise residential developments, migrant worker shanty towns and the automobile and its attendant culture of strip-malls, filling stations, roads and highways. City’s Edge considers many of the fundamental issues China faces including the income gap between rich and poor and the degradation of the environment. In the suburbs, the wealthiest Chinese often live in ‘McMansions’ beside migrant workers who can only afford to erect their shanties on temporarily vacant land.

Desert Real Estate by Robert Harding Pittman

Desert Real Estate describes how the desert terrain of Southern California and Nevada is being rapidly flattened and terraced to make way for enormous plots of tract housing, essentially new “planned communities” with green lawns and golf courses for the ever-expanding populations of Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In order for these new ‘communities’ to be able to function, massive infrastructure projects, including freeways, must be built. Electric and telephone lines must be laid, and water must be supplied. The only areas of the desert that are protected as nature reserves are national parks. But these too are increasingly under threat from the economic forces driving large-scale suburban expansion.

Artists’ Biographies

Robert Harding Pittman grew up in Boston and Hamburg. After taking his undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental engineering- an area of interest that continues to inform his work- he received an M.F.A. in Photography and Film/Video at the California Institute of the Arts. He is interested in how different cultures interact with the environment and how they manage ‘development’. Recently he traveled through China, on an Avery Grant, photographing the Chinese National Railways. He is also working on a photography and documentary film project in Spain called Concrete Coast, examining the impact of tourism on the culture and environment of Mediterranean Spain.

Daniel Traub is an American photographer and filmmaker that has been based in China since 1999. As a photographer he has been engaged with long term projects including a body of work entitled Simplified Characters which explores the transformation of China’s cities through street portraits and urban scenes and the large format series City’s Edge which looks at the border region where urban and rural China meet. His images have been exhibited in Asia and the United States and have appeared in various publications including The New York Times Magazine, Telegraph Magazine and Wallpaper.