Yvette Shen - Seven Days in Beijing
Beijing, the capital of China, is known for its rich culture and long history. In recent years, it has also been recognized by the world for its dire air pollution issues. The explosion of personal automobiles, along with heavy industries surrounding the city, has created layers of smog all year round. Indeed, smog often envelops the city and is a constant threat to the health of its citizens. Beijing’s outrageous air quality has been often reported in Western media.
This project documents a week-long trip the artist took to Beijing during the summer of 2015. Each photo shows a landmark in the city, visited by her during the day, along with the hourly changes of the air quality condition of the day. The air quality is visualized by the hourly AQI (Air Quality Index) and PM2.5 (particulate matter, or ‘things floating in the air’) data over the twenty-four hour period. The hourly AQI and PM2.5 data were retrieved from the U.S. Embassy’s Twitter account @beijingair.1 It is often believed, especially by the Chinese residents, that the U.S. Embassy’s data is more reliable.