In a series of powerful photographs, Daesung Lee reveals the effects climate change has had on Mongolia, by contrasting modern landscape with historical. Using printed billboards in conjunction with landscape horizons and actual people with their livestock, the snapshots (sectioned off with velvet ropes) bear resemblance to a museum exhibit. His images are a comment on the desertification that is radically modifying the Mongolian landscape and seriously endangering their nomadic lifestyle.
These environmental changes are threatening to the Mongolian people, whose dependence on the land is central to their culture. Despite urbanization of the globe, over a third of the Mongolian population still leads a nomadic life. Nearly 25% of Mongolian land has transformed into desert over the past 30 years, with a potential 75% of its entirety at risk of heading the same way. Through his work, Lee hopes to emote the sense that these peoples’ lives now “occur between this reality and virtual space.” Without intervention, the traditional Mongolian lifestyle may only be something to be seen in museums of the future.
The effects of human-induced climate change are keenly felt in populations all over the world. Lee’s images provide confronting exposure of the now arid Mongolian landscape and highlights the necessity of action, before further destruction of global lands and cultures.