In his series entitled Cognition, Bence Bakonyi puts us in the position of a distant, outside spectator.
The Cognition series was made in Dunhuang, on the border of the Gobi Desert, China. The city was an important checkpoint for the commercial caravans of the ancient Silk Road.
Lonely spectator, looking from the outside, observes tourists - occupied with their experiences on a huge desert. These out of this world images were taken by Hungarian photographer Bence Bakonyi, who works both in Budapest and Shanghai, China. People are just small black points on the whiteness of the sand, painted on the horizon, put in line or dispersed on vast landscape.
"I had scheduled my journey for the time of a one-week Chinese holiday, where I followed and observed the attending tourists for a week. I examine from the the position of a distant, outside spectator the kind of comprehension which is possible only through considerable withdrawal. Through the photographs' particular viewpoint, I attempt to represent the spirit of the group. Therefore my focus is not on the individual, but on the community: we see it moving in unity, the trace of its path, and thus the process through which this unified mass of people discovers the unknown. As the protagonists of the photographs taken in Dunhuang are tourists, the landscape was just as alien and fascinating for them as it was for me when I documented it." — Bence Bakonyi