Photos of China’s Abandoned Wonderland by David Gray

David Gray photographs Abandoned Wonderland

David Gray photographs Abandoned Wonderland

David Gray photographs Abandoned Wonderland

David Gray photographs Abandoned Wonderland

Abandoned buildings have always creeped me out. It’s unsettling to fumble between decaying walls, where you’re likely to find… well, who knows what rusty-and-mold-covered joys. There’s a strange feeling with you, as you intrude into the past like this. But if there is a kind of abandoned place that should be amusing, it would have to be an amusement park, right?

Maybe not. Above are eerie pictures taken by David Gray of an amusement park abandoned durring its construction: Wonderland. 20 miles outside of Beijing, the site could have become the largest amusement park in Asia, that is if developers hadn’t run into “disagreements with the local government and farmers over property prices.” So instead of becoming Wonderland, the long rows of corn have remained growing, defining the edges of what could have become long rows of parked cars or crowded lines of people waiting for a roller coaster.

Maybe that’s what so strange about this series of photos– it’s the future from the past– where galvanized ambitions turned rusty and there’s mysterious darkness where you would hope to find shelter. Wonderland is a place where the corn won. All that’s left are steel skeletons of buildings, some with thin and stylized veneers, and the tracks of famers, kids and the occasional photographer. It makes for a compelling series of photos, but it doesn’t seem like a very amusing place.

Alex Dent

December 20, 2011 / By

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