Photographer Yuri Andries traverses the rapidly-changing landscapes of China’s ambitious new trade route to the West, in his series ‘The New Silk Road.’
Famously chronicled by the Venetian merchant Marco Polo, the ancient trade route, known as The Silk Road, symbolized the emergence of economic and cultural exchange. It was known not only for the trading of merchandise such as exotic spices and precious stones but also for cultures and ideas. Today, an ambitious project in China aims to once again bring this historic symbol of infrastructure into the forefront of modern economic development. Andries traced portions of the eventual route that will span thousands of kilometers from western China, through to Kazakhstan,
Russia, and eventually on to Europe.
Known as The New Silk Road, the route aims to symbolize a new path of cultural and economic significance to the developing regions. Exploring the landscapes of this colossal project, the series documents the emergence of this bold new initiative. Andries portrays the banality of construction alongside the intentional spectacle of the route, with theme park attractions along the way revealing the project’s objective for tourism. In each of the images, the scale of these enormous landscapes is revealed—the expansive vistas reminding us of the ancient desire to traverse new horizons.