Architectural extravagance in China has attracted a great deal of attention in recent months, with a Harbin pharmaceutical company and the Jiangsu village of Huaxi offering particular highlights, and a Los Angeles Times article examining the phenomenon more broadly. Now, Shanghaist presents a photo gallery of palatial government offices from around China:
Baixiaoci (白小刺), whose real name is Shen Xiaoming (沈晓明) is a photographer from Zhejiang who has made a name for himself in the last year for his portraits of government buildings around China. From 2005 to 2006, China witnessed the biggest surge in the construction of government building, many of which are located in the new development zones. Such buildings have become the key strategy for the new zones to draw economy and draw investments, he says. The political symbolism comes of these buildings come in the second place ….
Baixiaoci is also a social activist, who has helped design quake-proof buidlings after the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008. He has also campaigned for “equal right of the way” for cyclists in Shenzhen. He says sometimes it saves time to travel on bicycles, but urban construction is marginalizing cycle tracks. He even successfully pushed the government to allow passengers to carry his bicycle in the subway.