One of the worlds greatest architectural photographers, Iwan Baan braved the winter in Heilongjiang, China and captured the breathtaking Harbin Opera House in all its glory. The building, designed by Ma Yansong of Beijing-based MAD Architects, is a masterful ‘piece’ of architecture that contrasts and ‘fights’ the harsh and bitter elements of winter.
We envision Harbin Opera House as a cultural centre of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature
The Machurian Ash Timber that carves its way through the halls of the Opera house, provide a polar-opposite texture and relief to the conditions outside.
The series of photographs not only capture the mesmerizing architecture, but the Dutch photographer also managed to show us the life that surrounds this piece of art. From people walking their dogs, tourists enjoying the Opera House to residents trudging their way through the snow, the full spectrum of diverse light and life is portrayed.
I want to depict whats happening in the building, what people do there and what kind of role these projects have for people, my aim with every shoot is to capture the life both within and surrounding the built environment.
Video: Photographers in Focus: Iwan Baan
Director Rasmus Daniel Taun turns the lens on Dutch photographer Iwan Baan as he undertakes the painstakingly precise process of documenting the breath-taking Harbin Opera House. Watch the film by NOWNESS and discover what it takes to produce these dramatic architectural photographs.
I’m not trying to create timeless images that could be in any moment in time...They should always have a strong connection to a specific place, time, people, context, or culture.
Video via NOWNESS and images courtesy of Iwan Baan
Article written by Lewis Wilson