Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

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Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Photographer Manuel Alvarez Diestro has sent us these photographs documenting growing high-rise cities in Asia.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above and top: Busan, South Korea

The Natural series illustrates high-rise buildings situated on city peripheries in China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Busan, South Korea

Each photograph depicts the contrasts between the large scale urban developments and the surrounding landscapes.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Busan, South Korea

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Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Busan, South Korea

Below is some more text explanation from the photographer:


As a visual artist using photography as medium to challenge our appreciation of cities could not resist to the possibility of documenting my perspective of the Asian Metropolis nowadays.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Hiroshima, Japan

In the peripheries of Bejing, Busan, Hiroshima, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Fukuoka, Seoul or Chongqing I discovered the multiple relations of the growing mega city and its surroundings. Somehow, I witnessed the confrontation between nature and the imposing satellite towns.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Hong Kong

In these dehumanized landscapes I pretended to unveil the beauty that unfolds in the city limits of Asia’s new towns.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Hong Kong

At the end, as I did with other photographic works I wished to portray the current changes in the world’s metropolis.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Hong Kong

I truly believe that cities transform with the passage of time same as human beings.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Hong Kong

The more aware we are of these changes and the fragil environments that they generate the more we will be capable of understanding ourselves.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Hong Kong

While living in Cairo, Egypt I decided to travel to those Asian cities with a large amount of city developments and potentially vertical.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Chongqing, China

My eyes were too accommodated in the horizontal new towns in the desert.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Chongqing, China

I needed to challenge myself and search for new towns with a heavy concentration of structures in the city outskirts.

Above: Chongqing, China

At a first stage I selected Chongqing, Beijing, and Hong Kong. In a second trip I have traveled to South Korea, followed by Japan and later Thailand, and Malaysia. Previously I photographed other cities such as Manila, Macau, or Taipei.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Chongqing, China

All the images were captured in an unplanned way and under the effects of the jet lag. I normally walked for hours in the margins where the metropolis meets the wilderness.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Chongqing, China

Once in Hong Kong I even walked from the airport to the city and experienced the suburbs at a first hand. My strategy was to take any form of public transportation which would take me to the last station. From there, I got lost with the camera in purpose with no map or GPS. For the coming days I would cover the rest of the stations until I covered the city perimeter.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Chongqing, China

This series of photographs that I entitled “Natural” are a product of pure enjoyment and unpredictable visual challenge.

Natural by Manuel Alvarez Diestro

Above: Chongqing, China

  • xtiaan

    great photos! but my god the buildings are so impressively ugly, and whats with the crazy disney castle/hi rise, what are these people thinking?!

  • http://www.354.be M@D

    I don't really undurstand this post, the images have very poor aesthetics quality, and the way he's treating the subject (flower/concrete) is so easy. THere are so many photogaphers treating the same subject with more subtility.

    • opinionator

      I agree, the photos look like they could have been taken on a point and shoot. Shame. The work of Peter Bialobrzeski on this subject matter is exemplary – 'Neon Tigers' is a book packed full of photos of infinately better quality than the above…

    • stooge

      …I think you are partly right, the sunflower picture is surely not the most interesting shot, but the foggy busan pictures and the graveyard shot are definitly worth posting them!

  • http://bravdesign.net Joao Sousa

    The density of high-rise housing buildings in Asia is quite an impressive phenomena. This series of photographs illustrates really well this kind of environment where nature has suddenly been populated by enormous concrete towers. Great work!

  • han

    hue~ the apartment in the first photo is in my hometown.

    yes. i'm korean and live in Busan.

    it's true. Korea people still think like that.

    What a shame!

    • Sabby

      I don’t know a thing about Busan, I guess it’s very similar to Seoul.

      I know there are ugly matchbox looking buildings out there, but 11 million people live in Seoul, about 50 million people are here in South Korea, which is the size of Kentucky. What do you expect? I believe it’s getting better.

  • edward44

    Not everyone can live in a McMansion…or even a rancher. As long as the elevator and plumbing don't fail, things could be a lot worse. Time to rethink our priorities.

  • Tim

    Where are the people?

  • Tommy

    With the economy growth, Korea, China, Japan are also favor of living a house, not a apartment, Especailly, people who retire their job try to move into outskirt of city and buy duplex houses or just nomal hoses, Within 10-20 years, apartment is no more leading treand in Asia.

  • MAURO FILOMARINO

    COPY PF THE GREAT MICHAEL WOLF" ARCHITECTUR OF DENSITY"………WHY?

    • DJR

      I disagree, if you notice all buildings above are within a context. The surroundings have an important presence. Wolfs with "Architecture of Density" concentrates purely on facades and are exceptional. Cities can be interpreted in many different ways.

  • jordanjlloyd

    Sweet, my dad's apartment block in HK is pictured.