Kris Provoost has been mesmerized by architecture for as long as he could remember. Born and raised in a quaint village in Belgium, cities captivated his imagination. He was especially enamored with skyscrapers, with their delicate linework, minimal silhouettes, and sleek facades. Unable to shake this love of architectural design, he naturally pursued a career in architecture as an adult.
His earliest architectural jobs were at design firms in Beijing and Shanghai—two of the fastest developing cities in China. The unique glass-and-concrete forms that sprouted up in these tier-one cities inspired him to pick up a camera and capture them in all their glory. Photography soon became a new obsession, and as time passed, he realized that architectural photography was where his true passion laid.
在比利时小镇上出生和成长的 Kris Provoost，很早就开启了对大城市的热爱——简洁的线条、简单的形状、清晰的架构，现代化的建筑最让 Kris 着迷，这种吸引力后来令他成为了一名建筑师。
Provoost is an incredibly patient photographer. Before he takes a single image, he spends time studying and observing the building he intends to photograph from every possible angle. He believes that only with close scrutiny can he catch the details that might otherwise be missed. To him, all buildings deserve this respect, considering the amount of time and effort that went into their design and construction.
This detail-driven process comes naturally for Provoost, whose eye for photography has been honed by his time as an architect. “In today’s age, everything moves so fast, ” he says. “It’s really hard to really observe things closely, and that’s why I like my job: I can take the time to really look, observe, dissect, and capture these works.”.
每每拍摄一栋建筑，Kris 都会在现场认真观察很久。因为这些矗立在城市里的庞然大物，从设计到建造都需要耗费不少的时间，而唯有这种事无巨细的观察，才能赋予它们应有的尊重。另一方面也是出于他的“职业惯性”，因为只有从各个角度去观察和揣摩，他才能完全理解这些作品的结构体系。“在我们这个一切都如此快速的时代，真的很难去仔细看清一样事物。”Kris 说，“这是我最喜欢我的工作的地方，我可以花时间真正地去端详、观察、剖析，然后用照片捕捉那些瞬间。”
Though documentation is part of his work, Provoost’s photography is not only documentary in nature. He believes that his snapshots of Chinese architecture capture the zeitgeist of the country—a place of constant acceleration, defined by megalopolises that change at breakneck speeds. “China moves quickly, and that’s what makes it so interesting,” he says.”I know that when I revisit a place, it’ll be different, even if it’s only slight changes. There will always be new things that grab my attention.”
Provoost works around the philosophy of taming chaos, in that his images aim to present complex architectural feats in simple, visually harmonious frames. His experiences as an architect have re-shaped the way he views cities, and he believes that plenty of lessons can be learned if people can be more mindful of the history and story behind the buildings that make up each city. “By truly looking and observing, we can find out works and what won’t, what needs to change, what ideas from the past can be re-used,” he says. “Whether they’re architects or not though, I hope people who view my images can walk away feeling inspired.”
“让复杂的事物看起来平静有序”，是 Kris 在拍摄时的终极目标。从建筑师一路走来，他对城市建筑怀有深刻的情节，这些建筑和其所构筑的城市并非一蹴而就的结果，而是充满意义的历史过程。“这对今天的意义在于，我们需要真正的观察，然后才能做出明确的决定，什么需要改变，或者我们可以从一个地方学到什么，并在其他地方实施同样的想法。 ”Kris 说道，“我希望人们从我的工作中获得一件事，那就是让他们看到我们的世界受到启发。”
Like our stories? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Contributor: Chen Yuan
供稿人: Chen Yuan