Leiden Special Collections Blog

Urban Jungle: Megacities in Asia

Urban Jungle: Megacities in Asia

The world's largest cities and acclaimed photographer Martin Roemers

More and more people are living in large cities and this is especially true of Asia. The majority of the world’s megacities are to be found in India, China, Japan and neighbouring countries. Tokyo tops every other city with more than 38 million inhabitants but the United Nations predicts that many Asian cities will grow exponentially in the next decade, either randomly, like Mumbai and Jakarta, or meticulously planned, like the cities in China. The exhibition Urban Jungle: Megacities in Asia presents images from these cities, centering around Martin Roemers’ captivating photographs from his series Metropolis. These cities are presented here in a visual way, as images of bristling urban life, through a wide range of captivating photographs.

 

Martin Roemers, Jakarta, Collection Leiden University Libraries

 

Martin Roemers

Martin Roemers (1962) is a an acclaimed Dutch photographer who, after having portrayed the face of warfare in several corners of the world, turned to the megacity as a paradigm of contemporary city life. His book Metropolis (2015) portrays cities from around the world, with Asia taking the lead. A characteristic of Roemers’ photographs is the combination of time induced blurriness with razor sharp details, creating the illusion that for one second the world stopped turning, in order to let the artist zoom in on one isolated detail.  His dazzling images are combined with older photographs from  Asian megacities and with modern and contemporary photobooks.


 

Exhibition

What is it like to live in a megacity? To have more than ten million fellow citizens? How do you get from home to work, is there enough green space around and are there enough facilities to relax? These are some of the questions addressed in the exhibition, on view until 14 January 2018 in the University Library in Leiden, Witte Singel 27. Access is free. More information on Exhibitions at Leiden University Library.

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