2014 Emerging Photography Contender: Tessa Dekker

Bangkok-based documentary photographer Tessa Dekker travels the road less traveled in Shanghai, capturing the nine decentralized towns that were once erected in hopes of disseminating the population throughout the city. Many of these areas—modeled after Western townships— have since been abandoned. 

Writes Dekker in her Artist Statement, “In the outskirts of the metropolis, the Shanghai Planning Commission decided to build nine towns, based on cities elsewhere in the world. The initial idea for the “One City Nine Towns” project was not just based on China’s love for copying everything that is Western; it was intended to decentralize Shanghai. Even though the construction of the towns started in 2001, this goal still hasn’t been reached. Some of the towns are still in the building process, but the ones that are finished are deserted, leaving nothing but unoccupied houses and buildings."

All images © Tessa Dekker

Each week, Feature Shoot editors showcase the work of one photographer who has applied to the Emerging Photography Awards in order to highlight the diverse array of applications we receive. This is not an endorsement of the photographer for the award.