Catherine Hyland: Wonderland, China

Work / Photography

Catherine Hyland captures the unfinished, dilapidated theme park Wonderland

We all know that the happiest place on earth is supposed to be Disneyland. Who knows whether this can actually be measured but it’s definitely a place where an obscene amount of money is spent, tempers are shredded and adults wander around in garish costumes, damp from the drool of children’s sugar and schmaltz comas. What’s distressing about these kinds of ‘utopias’ is that replicas have been attempted. An example of this is captured in Catherine Hyland’s photographic series of the the abandoned theme park, Wonderland in China that remains half finished and deserted.

First started in 1998 with the intention of creating the biggest theme park in Asia set to cover 120 acres, building stopped when agreements over land ownerships could not be met and funding was cut. The half-built structures across vacant cornfields serve as a reminder of what could’ve been, creating this ghostly, fairy-tale world. Catherine’s images which can be seen at new gallery Flat C later this month, are so brilliantly jarring with the artificial turrets and towers against the dusty, concreted reality of where it actually is.


Catherine Hyland: Wonderland IV, China


Catherine Hyland: Wonderland XI, China


Catherine Hyland: Wonderland II, China


Catherine Hyland: Wonderland VII, China


Catherine Hyland: Wonderland V, China