35 Mind-Blowing Photos: The Chinese Art of the Crowd

I came across this piece in The Atlantic where Alan Taylor collected some truly mind-blowing images of “large crowd formations,” all taken in China, and all demonstrating a theme of patterns undulating and connecting like an M.C. Escher lithograph. Whether the subject is military parades or world-record attempts, mass exercises or enormous performances, the images are frequently remarkable. The masses of people can look beautiful or intimidating, projecting a sense of strength and abundance. Individuals can become pixels in a huge painting, or points on a grid, or echoes of each other in identical uniforms or costumes.



1. Chinese People’s Liberation Army sailors march past Tiananmen Square during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 2009 in Beijing. Feng Li / Getty Images 



2. Tai Lihua (center), art director of China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe, leads deaf dancers to perform “Thousand-hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva”, or “Guan Yin”, a Chinese goddess, in Suining, Sichuan province on June 30, 2009. Feeling music through speakers and guided by hand gestures, the troupe takes steps to champion the rights of disabled people around the world. Reuters 


3. A group of 1,000 customers receive a facial massage at a sports center in Jinan, Shandong province, China, on May 4, 2015. The group of 1,000 women were given a 30 minute facial beauty treatment together, achieving a Guinness world record for the largest group of people having beauty treatment in the same location, according to local media. Reuters 



4. Students of Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School are suspended in mid-air as they practice in a rehearsal for a stunt performance for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, at a stadium in Nanjing on August 9, 2014. Reuters 

5. Entertainers perform with their Fou drums, ancient Chinese percussion instruments, during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 8, 2008. Christophe Simon / AFP / Getty Images

6. Members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force Aviation stand at attention during a training session at the 60th National Day Parade Village on the outskirts of Beijing on September 15, 2009. Joe Chan / Reuters


7. Students of Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School are suspended in mid-air as they practice in a dress rehearsal for a stunt performance for the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games, at a stadium in Nanjing on August 14, 2014. Reuters


An all-Chinese women militia marches past during the National Day parade in Beijing on October 1, 2009. Goh Chai Hin / AFP / Getty Images



9. Parents of students sleep on mats laid out on the floor of a gymnasium inside a university campus in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province in this picture taken on September 3, 2007. Reuters



10. Performers participate in the closing ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing on August 24, 2008. David Guttenfelder / AP 
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