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Surrounded by the peaceful solitude of the Gobi Desert, this former oil town remains a monument to the boom and bust of industry. Proof that business will find a foothold in even the harshest environments when there is money to be made, the town of Lenghu shows a still deteriorating settlement where only the ruins record what came before. Shot by Jonas Daley, a photographer from China inspired by the unpredictability of travel, the ruins are neatly arranged in rows with houses and vast complexes split into territories around the grand footprint that appears at odds with the desert. 

When the oil ran dry, the only alternative for the workers was to leave this corner of the Qaidam Basin, the people gradually emptying until the decline was complete. Daley’s eerie, otherworldly images offer a contemplative experience.

Daley’s previous work includes a photo series on a fortress-like structure in Zhangzhou, China. See more of his work here and on Instagram

Jonas Daley Gobi Desert Photography
Jonas Daley Gobi Desert Photography
Jonas Daley Gobi Desert Photography

Images © Jonas Daley

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