1993, Beijing, China
Plate 45, 27x18
This is the most beautiful city in China, and I believe, in the world. The structures are built exquisitely. The detail and materials are superb. What adds so much to this is the layout of the entire large complex. Every item fits with the others and each enriches the other. The inlay work of the mother of pearl in the ceiling of one house was remarkable. The screens and panels spread over so many of the buildings meant that the rulers had a grand and expansive view of themselves and their powers.
The modern Chinese seem to care little for environmental issues, however. Just a bit beyond the great wall of the city, they have built a large smelting mill. The air is so bad and the contrast so great. How can this magic city exist next to the contamination of the steel mill? The Forbidden City was a world beyond, a world within a world, floating in timeless space, far above and beyond this present reality.