Photo Essay – Who said that Gotham City is in New York? Catwoman, The Joker or Penguin could speak Mandarin. Inspired by noir movies and the ominous aesthetics of Batman’s home town, architect-turned photographer Amey Kandalgaonkar explored the dark side of Shanghai Art Deco architecture with a “Dark-Deco” black and white photo-essay.
RELATED STORIES: From Nendo 50 manga chairs to to Frank Gehry’s favourite comic kids-book but also Spiderman and Wonderwoman’s interiors. Read more about comic-related design and architecture on ArchiPanic.
Forget Shanghai buzzy streets and multicolour neons, a halo of mistery hover on Nanjin street and the fancy promenade in front of Pudong skyscrapers. “The main source of Dark-Deco visual inspiration has been the noir American thriller or detective films of 1940s and Batman animated series in 1992” says Amey Kandalgaonkar to ArchiPanic.
Most of the images of the series were captured in daytime using ND filters – hence enabling very long exposures which highlight the stationary buildings against the movement of clouds. The final result was achieved in post processing, which allowed further intensification of the dark mood.
From Shanghai iconic skyline to an abandoned pigeon house on the Bund and a building’s corner in the French Concession, but also the Hamilton Hotel, the Jinmao Tower and the Broadway Mansions Hotel…
“The project synergizes the noir imagery and the architectural quality of Art Deco buildings in Shanghai, resulting in ‘Dark Deco’ series” says Amey Kandalgaonkar.
RELATED STORIES: Discover more Shanghai architecture and design in on ArchiPanic…
Amey Kandalgaonkar’s photo essay features also the Normandie Apts, a.k.a. Wukhan Mansions, by Hungarian-Slovak architect Laszlo Hudec who designed some of Shanghai most iconic Art-Deco buildings.
The New Hengshan Cinema seems is countoured by an aura of light whilst some of the fanciest hotels – including the Park Hotel, the Peace Hotel and the Seven Heaven – are ominously framed by a contrast of shadows.
Amey Kandalgaonkar is an architect and architectural photographer based in Shanghai and Mumbai. Graduated with Master’s degree in Architectural Design from University College London, he left architecture to pursue a full time career in architectural photography. His personal projects are based on cultural history.
RELATED STORIES: Discover more eclectic architectural photo essays on ArchiPanic…
All photos by Amey Kandalgaonkar.