“I felt that Chongqing encapsulated the transformation that was underway across China – albeit as a more intense city-size simulation.”
Tim Franco documented the change in the Chongqing area of western China over a period of five years in his series Metamorpolis. On every visit, changes had taken place in the area. Patches of the rural land that has been buried under the development of the metropolis can still be seen in the green strips and banks of soil.
China is undergoing the largest urbanisation process in world history. Most growth is seen in metropolises of more than 5 million inhabitants. Authoritarian bureaucracy, evictions and the forced displacement of rural populations to cities have been measures used by the Chinese government to accelerate urbanisation.
The change in the Chongqing area has been so rapid that many of the people relocated to the city are still trying to cope by farming. The older generation, in particular, is struggling to find new jobs in the city. They continue farming by the side of motorways and next to skyscrapers.
Tim Franco (born 1982) is a French photographer who has lived in Shanghai for many years.