HEAVEN IN CLOUDS is the name of a modern Chinese residential quarter for affluent inhabitants. It can be read as a promise, a metaphor for setting off for a new, paradisiacal world.

HEAVEN IN CLOUDS is also the title of a new book by Peter Granser in which he confronts urbanization, the exponential growth of Chinese cities and its impact on their inhabitants and on nature.

The big city is the promise of salvation of our day. The hope for better living conditions has led world metropolises to swell to enormous proportions over the last few decades. This trend is particularly pronounced in China, where there are already more than 100 cities with a population of over one million. This high population density and concentration in dimensions never before witnessed by humankind will undoubtedly have dramatic consequences, leading to a plethora of ecological, economic and social problems. Jonas Beuchert (Edition Taube/PARAT.cc) edited and designed a publication about Gransers work, emphasizing the existential and political character of it: In a globalized world, China is closer to the West than ever before. HEAVEN IN CLOUDS opens a window onto a society that has adopted and supersized a western-style economic system, striving for the same goals as we do. A China that acts according to the European ideology of “prosperity through growth” must be considered from a European humanist perspective with a focus on the individual – the same basis on which Adam Smith once founded his theory. The images in Granser’s four books are thus arranged according to Emmanuel Kant’s four questions:

HEAVEN IN CLOUDS I — What can I know? 

HEAVEN IN CLOUDS II — What should I do?

HEAVEN IN CLOUDS III — What may I hope?

HEAVEN IN CLOUDS IV — What is man?


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