Crowned (Shanghai) | 2018

Crowned looks at skylines and signature architecture of world cities. A vivid use of colour and form accentuates their power and magnitude as both symbols and grand objects.
They are portrayed as global beacons of beauty, ambition and extravagance, the jewellery through which world cities assert themselves. This is architecture that represents corporate, consumer led capitalism, with the new or re-made cities of the east reflecting the shifts of power and influence.

Locations include Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, Doha, London and New York. Very different cities that have all extensively used architecture to assert themselves


Flat-pack (Shenyang & Chengdu) | 2016

Cultivating an aspirational consumerism and tapping into the wealth of the affluent urban population is a key feature of China’s economic development.

Shot in Shenyang & Chengdu this series of photographs take a look at the wholesale remodelling of two Chinese city centres into hubs of commerce. Although shot during the same period of time, there are two distinct aspects of the project:

The vividly colourful photos peek through the hoardings of the massive building sites, mixing the bright consumerist aesthetic of the foreground hoardings with the messy reality of demolition and construction taking place behind. Surface, distance, colour and architectural detail are all abstracted into vivid images.

The documentary-type photos take a different view. They capture the unsettling, often chaotic, limbo space that people have to negotiate during this massive upheaval of their homes, workplace and way of life.

Working on both an abstract and documentary level, this is a thorough body of work that captures a significant moment of change for these cities and their inhabitants.


Kingdom | 2017

At a precarious historical time for the UK, Kingdom takes a broad ranging look around the country.
Since 2000 I have travelled extensively around the UK photographing architecture. I have always been drawn to scenes that give a sense of the country’s deep weave. Scenes that capture the significance of homes, industry, infrastructure and landscape. The relationships that underpin and sustain a country.
Since the Scottish independence referendum and continuing through Brexit, nationhood has become a pressing issue for the UK. This got me thinking more seriously about these relationships, looking at the physical environment and noting views in which they made themselves most evident. Since 2016 I have built up an expanding series of photographs.
The photographs look mostly beyond the spectacle and branding of city centres. Probing at the broader accumulated environment, its long industrial and urban history, its development and absorption of change, its social links and its common bind. In the current flurry of national uncertainty and politicking, Kingdom takes a wide ranging look at the complex bind of relationships that characterise a country.

Note: The text above was written by the Artist. No modification was made by C.O.C.A.

Tony McAteer

United Kingdom

Both thrilling and frightening, massive growth of cities is one of the global features of our time. Having worked as an architectural photographer since 2000, I became engrossed by urbanism - its structures, narratives and transformations. I have been lucky to travel extensively, often returning to the same places over a number of years and gaining insight on the nature of their transformations. In this overwhelming period of urban development, I have used my fascination with architecture as an anchor. It is my starting point for developing projects about the more expansive relationships and priorities that underpin society.

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