PARADISE NOW photographed by Ryan Koopmans

Ryan Koopmans explores with PARADISE NOW how urban fantasies and construction function as expression of nationalistic ambition in Kazakhstan, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

A scale model of Songjiang New City sprawls across the floor of the Urban Planning Museum in Thames Town, Songjiang. Modelled after traditional British market villages, Thames Town is part of Shanghai’s ‘One City, Nine Towns’ urban planning initiative to alleviate inner city congestion.
International cruise ships assemble in the berths of Keppel Harbour’s Cruise Centre.
Accessible by the longest cable car in southeast Asia, Resorts World Genting is situated nearly 2000 meters atop the Titiwangsa Mountains of Malaysia. The resort is home to the nation’s only legal casino and one of the world’s largest hotels.
A collection of private villas, factories, apartment blocks, working farmland and construction sites in Huaxi Village Jiangsu, in China’s most densely populated province. Since 2006, Jiangsu has been China’s largest recipient of direct foreign investment.
The walls of a high-rise construction site are wrapped in decorative illustrations depicting a pastoral Kazkahstan.
Photographed through the spherical glass floor of the Oriental Pearl Tower, an enormous roundabout functions as ornament and traffic control in the financial heart of Shanghai.
A neoclassical grand boulevard runs through Astana’s central business district. The decorative geometric patterns derive from traditional Kazakh motifs.
Standardized villas packed side-by-side form the two thousand-member socialist collective of Huaxi Village in rural Eastern China.
A rendering displayed in The People’s Square depicting a cross-section of new development in Shanghai, complete with underground railway and pedestrian pathways devoid of trucks and motorcycles.
Currently the world’s tallest twin buildings, the Petronas Tower skyscrapers also boast the world’s highest two-story bridge. architect: Cesar Pelli

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