These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

At first glance, Yao Lu's digital collages look like watercolor paintings of misty Chinese mountains. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the real subjects of these photographs aren't plant-covered hills but landfills, and the initial beauty of the images takes on an entirely different meaning.

Lu takes photographs of Chinese landfills covered in green protective netting and then digitally adds the sort of imagery we'd expect to see in a classic watercolor landscape: mist, trees, waterfalls, and the occasional building dotting the hills of trash. It's a clever way to use photo manipulation to convey his message about the natural world and how it is in danger of being displaced by the castoffs of urbanization.

You can see many more of the images from Lu's New Landscapes series at the Bruce Silverstein gallery.

Yao Lu [Bruce Silverstein via Ian Brooks]

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills

These serene Chinese landscapes are actually photographs of landfills