Cities have a power that’s highly impressionistic. More often than not, what we remember best about the ones we’ve visited isn’t the famous monuments but the mood of particular neighborhoods and streets.Sze Tsung Leong’s series of photographs “Cities,” on display now at Yossi Milo Gallery, consists of big, bird’s-eye views of different cities around the globe. In capturing the organization, architecture and geography of each metropolis, they go a long way to convey the character of these places.
Most of Leong’s photographs don’t fall into easy postcard views. They’re elegantly composed but richly textured and shadowed so that they have an impressive tactility. And they have a greater depth and angle of vision, so that they take in broader stretches than a typical cityscape. It’s a point of view that reveals some of the historic and technological forces that have shaped each place. In Ghent the low, twisting streets around the Medieval Cathedral give way to square blocks with modern commercial buildings. And in Cairo satellite antenna sprout from the debris-strewn roofs of dusty concrete apartment buildings.
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