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Painter Borrows Google Earth's Aerial Eye In City DNA

Lu Xinjian analyzes cities’ characteristics from above.
March 23, 2012, 3:03pm

Los Angeles (2010)

Google Earth is an essential tool in Chinese painter Lu Xinjian‘s City DNA series, allowing him to observe cities from above. From this bird’s-eye view, Xinjian is able to travel the world grasping each city’s intricate skyline and shapes, interpreting the topography as an abstract form.

Xinjian starts by adapting a city's characteristics with lines and colors on canvas, but over time the project has developed more complex layers, extendeding to metropolises like Beijing, Paris, New York, and London.


This series of work started when Xinjian was studying in the Netherlands, and the first painting was based on an overhead photograph of Groningen—the town he was living in at the time.

Groningen (2009)

Beijing No. 1 (2009)

The Triumph of New York (2009)

London (2009)

New Delhi (2009)

Paris No. 1 (2009)

Venice (2010)

Kyoto (2011)

Shanghai (2011)

See the full series on Lu Xinjian’s website.