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Life of Big City by Ben Tam

Life of Big City, 2017

Ben Tam

What seems at first glance a monolithic wall reveals itself to be row upon row, stack upon stack of identical apartments, shiny window-eyes reflecting the world outside. The dwelling units follow a mechanistic, repeating structure, each with a terrace, the units separated by thin vertical walls, the sections divided by thicker concrete walls, and the towers demarcated by even wider strips of concrete. Our knowledge that we’re looking at a building dissolves in the geometric reality we see: gridded lines, squares and rectangles arranged in a repeating pattern, stretching beyond the image’s frame. The artist wrote: “Life of big city is crowded and repeated. Everyone is in his/her fixed position, like a part in the machine.”

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