Jim's Terrible City: JG Ballard's Shanghai 11.11.14

James H Bollen's book of photographs depicts the cityscape of empty, dilapidated houses and apartments and the leitmotifs that influenced the novelist's work

Jim's Terrible City, James H Bollen's book of photographs of Shanghai, depicts images, themes and ideas found in the fiction of JG Ballard.

Born in the city, the author said of his experience of wartime Shanghai: "I've tried to link together obsessions of mine – car crashes, time, hallucinatory states of mind which have always drawn me to the surrealists - and find their sources in my own past in Shanghai."

Ballard's belief that humans are inherently violent stemmed from the brutality he witnessed in the city as a boy, before and after his family was held at an internment camp in Lunghua from 1942 to 1945.

In Bollen's book, the inner world of Ballard's literature and the reality of the city meet and merge. He spent five years documenting some of the leitmotifs that emerge in Ballard’s work – mannequins, birds, surveillance – and the cityscape of empty, dilapidated houses and apartments that had such an impact on the author's writing.

See James Bollen's website for more information about Jim's Terrible City: JG Ballard and Shanghai

 

Images

James H Bollen

 

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