‘Wu Da! 雾大!’


  • $24,000

  • Ended

A photographic essay about the polluted city of Beijing.


  • $24,000

  • Ended

Montague Fendt has lived in Beijing, China, since 2003. There, smog is a reality, and he asks if this is the city of the future? His crowdfunding project is a photographic essay in book form, about China and its problems. The reality described by Mr. Fendt is horrific:

As you would check the weather or temperature, we Beijingers check the air quality on our smartphones, the AQI (air quality index) measured at the US Embassy confirms the deadliness of the smog. We then carefully take the necessary steps, close all windows, get the pollution masks out and turn our air filters to the maximum setting. Still, the little icon on the lcd shows a red frowning face.

AQI 452/500. Mamiya 7II, Fuji Velvia film stock.
AQI 452/500. Mamiya 7II, Fuji Velvia film stock.

This doesn’t sound pleasant at all, and yet it’s the reality for over 21 million people.

‘Wu: Da:! (雾大!) translated from Chinese means ‘Heavy Fog’. It is also the answer you get from most people in the Chinese capital if you ask them what’s wrong with the sky. But this ‘fog’ has hardly anything to do with water droplets in the air, actually Beijing is one of the driest cities in China for most months and fog this heavy would more likely be a strange natural phenomenon.

My goal is to show you and the world a window onto nowadays Beijing. I want to share these strange apocalyptic vistas with you, creating a surreal photography exhibition portraying Beijing in its 50 shades of haze. The exhibition will consist of a series of fine arts prints and if i manage to get enough funds, also a self published art book. The book will not only consist of the ‘Wu: Da:!’ series, but also incorporate many fellow photographer’s and artist’s thoughts on the smog problem of our city. The main focus of the campaign is not to be shocking, judgemental or critical, i rather want to intrigue people by portraying a poetic and beautiful image of the city calmly covered in this mist. I want to show how this flaw, how this limitation actually manages to inspire creation.

The perks offer polaroids and prints.

Favorite perk ($50)

All contributors with a pledge of 50 dollars will receive a signed mystery Polaroid from my stack of original expired Polaroid film. I will take my trusty SX-70 along on my quest for smog and snap my last two packs of film! Hopefully they will find their way onto a Polaroid lover’s fridge!

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