Chongqing, Western China, is the ultimate urban jungle. With a municipality covering the size of Austria and home to almost 30 milion people, some call it the world’s largest city. Eventhough most of its territorry and population are still rural, the urban core is under massive expansion and Chongqing is now the fastest growing city in the world. Yet this development is mostly wild and unregulated (the city is notorious for its corruption), which over the past years has led to an incredible forest of buildings taking over mountains and surrounding farm-lands, creating one of the most overwhelming urban landscapes on Earth. The hot and humid weather of Chongqing coupled with the total absence of coordinated landscape design allows for an abundant and lush vegetal wildlife to thrive everywhere in the city, taking over streets and buildings in a wonderfully chaotic way. This photo essay aims to show the unique scenery created by Chinese mass urbanization, endemic lawlessness, moutainous topography and subtropical climate, as a very organic urban sprawl out of a science fiction movie.
Raphael Olivier is a french photographer based in Shanghai, China, with an interest for urban development and mega-city lifestyles. He works on commercial assignments around Asia covering architecture, interiors, corporate, industrial, hotels & resorts, lifestyle and documentary.