25 March 2009


With our running interest in hidden places, negative spaces, voids and other types of monumental emptiness, we couldn't resist this post on WebUrbanist, which we have managed to mostly translate into map locations (and more deserted cities here).

Hong Kong's once anarchic Kowloon Walled City was torn down not long after Jackie Chan used it as a set for Crime Story, including real footage of exploding buildings. Before demolition, Japanese explorers spent a week mapping the vacated site. It is NOW A PARK.

The RYUGYONG HOTEL casts a long shadow over Pyongyang, a towering memorial to failure.

Our favourite is the mysterious and futuristic UFO ghost city of SAN ZHI, Taiwan, which sadly disappeared only a few months ago.

Once the capital of Azerbaijan, AGDAM's crumbling mosques demonstrate that living at the crossroads can have a negative effect, which can leave you in the middle of contested territory just as it can also make you a centre for commerce. Then there are the built open spaces of the city of FATEHPUR SIKRI, Uttar Pradesh, India, which was the capital of the Mughal Empire but is said to have been abandoned since the 16th century when it ran out of water only decades after being built.

Unfortunately the map resolution is not great but here is the former splendor of BOKOR HILL STATION in Phnom Bokor, Cambodia.

Closed in 1999 after a single accident, Opko Land in South Korea is still a mostly intact amusement park, although google has been very slow to add maps and detail to most of Korea so THIS is as close as we get. A shame because we like amusements parks and promise to seek out a few more, abandoned or operating, at a later date.

Image: The UFO house in Sanjhih, taken by cypherone

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Art from Space is an exploration of art-related phenomena that manifests in interesting ways on Google’s aerial maps. It is also an experiment in curatorial practice; collecting, presenting and contextualising items in ways that users can explore, free of curator-imposed framing and sequencing. This blog is Art from Space’s developmental musings made public, where items are introduced to the project in real time, rather than awaiting the grand unveiling of a completed exhibition. Specific locations of interest are highlighted in CAPS and linked to a map for further exploration. Visit the mother ship HERE.