December 7, 2010

I began taking photos of the China Central Television (CCTV) Headquarters complex in Beijing's Central Business District (CBD) on December 4, 2007. I have written extensively on my blog about this project. When I began I had no idea that more than three years later the project would continue to remain unfinished. The original deadline for the iconic main building was August, 2008; the Beijing Olympics were scheduled to be broadcast from the new Headquarters Bldg. That deadline was missed. Six months later, a few months prior to the opening of the north building , the Television Culture Center (TVCC, aka the Mandarin Oriental Beijing) the senior on-site CCTV staff responsible for construction ignored the Beijing fire department's warnings, and held an illegal fireworks display. They set the building on fire, igniting a spectacular fire which took the life of one (1) firefighter as well as massively polluting the Beijing skies. Amazingly, the load-bearing structure was not effected, though the interior and much of the exterior cladding was ruined. It was a monumental fire in a barrel. Recently, the TVCC has begun to be rebuilt, and though, to my knowledge, no deadline has been given, the rumor is that it will take at least 2-3 more years to complete. This rumored timeline seems entirely reasonable given the amount of work that must be done.

When I took my first photo in 2007 I had no notion that I would be still tracking this project three years later. It has given me an opportunity to not only document the building of this project, but to also document the development of this small part of the city, as old residential blocks come down and new, expensive office and residential complexes rise. I am adding to this set nearly weekly now. For me it has become a photo-history project. You never knows what will happen when take the first photo. I never dreamed that I'd be where I am at the moment.


Absurdity, Allegory and China: CCTV posts
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