Hallstatt, China is a project about copied architecture by artists Sebastian Acker & Phil Thompson.
Funded by the Duveen Travel Scholarship we went to China in late 2012 to research the phenomenon of ‘copy towns’, iconic European towns and buildings which are being replicated in China. Our focus is on Hallstatt, a UNESCO-protected Austrian town recently copied complete with artificial lake and imported local doves in the Guangdong Province, but we also went to document Thames Town near Shanghai, World Parks with replicas from around the World, an abandoned Theme Park, the Dafen Oil Painting Village, Ai Weiwei's Beijing home and several buildings inspired by it, and many 'ghost towns' on the way. This blog is to share some images and film footage from our trip as well as articles and other relevant findings. Throughout 2013 we have documented the original counterparts of these towns in Europe. We are currently producing works about our experiences including a short film. To keep updated follow @AckerThompson on Twitter.
This image has been published on most major media outlets last week suggesting Beijing residents gather to watch sunrises on giant screens during heavily polluted air. According to Techinasia the virtual sunrise is actually a rather short sequence in a tourism ad. Apart from the obvious issue of poor journalism, Gwynn Guilford points towards the western hunger for stories about China as ‘dystopian hellscape’. (read below)