221-224 Splendid China 2009

The tourist attraction Splendid China was built adjacent to Disney World; it was constructed to 1:10 scale and was short lived, in part because of protests about China’s civil rights abuses. Soon after closing it became a haven for skateboarders and others, many of whom had destructive tendencies. Spray-painted graffiti and sledge-hammered structures soon re-defined the once pristine place. Eventually it looked like a bomb had been dropped on the site.

By this time I had purchased a medium format camera (Mamiya 7) to use to photograph Florida’s changing topography, which caught my attention at the millennium, after using my Leica for this and everything else since my college days. But then, for the first time and unimaginable to me prior, the larger negative and slightly different full-frame ratio became an interesting proposition. I thought I would sell the camera after photographing the altered landscape, but decided to keep and use it sometimes. Still, the Leica remains paramount, defining my work, aesthetic and ideas.