Shanghai’s skyscrapers in the mist (all images courtesy Blackstation)

LOS ANGELES — I’m a sucker for skyscraper photos. Ever since I first set foot in downtown Los Angeles and then Manhattan, I’ve loved looking up at buildings. Tall ones, fancy ones — almost every major city has at least one interesting one, and in a place like China, there are more tall buildings than you can shake a level at.

A little while back I came across the work of Shanghai-based photographer Blackstation, aka Wang Dong. Wang, a graphic designer, took these stellar photos of some of Shanghai’s more iconic skyscrapers, each of them enveloped in mist. The two he’s focused on are the Jin Mao Tower (1,380 feet) and the Shanghai World Financial Center (1,614 feet), with glimpses of the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower.

While the photos themselves are not super innovative in terms of skyscraper photography, they show a city and country on the rise through its skyscrapers. The element of fog or mist captures the haze in which I often see Shanghai’s skyline, whether that be pollution or water droplets.  It’s quickly becoming an iconic world skyline, and yet I rarely see it depicted outside of Chinese media. This will change, I think, with the new James Bond film coming out, and as media empires like Dreamworks build a home there. But for now, we have photography.

AX Mina (aka An Xiao Mina) is an author, artist and futures thinker who follows her curiosity. She co-produces Five and Nine, a podcast about magic, work and economic justice. 

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