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73-Year-Old Man Recreates China’s Old Chongqing City Using A Plastic Foam Board

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Chongqing was once a neglected city in the province of Sichuan in China. But since 1997, the government has improved its rank to “municipality,” which meant that it started opening up to extra investment opportunities.

Today, Chongqing is one of the Chinese government’s biggest projects, bringing in wealth to people in western China. And since Chongqing has changed throughout the years, one man decided to show how the old city was by recreating it using a foamed plastic board.

Meet 73-year-old Zhang Gengzhi.

Source: CCTV
He spent half a year carving out the old city of Chongqing on a plastic foam.

Source: CCTV

The model city marked 133 streets, 30 ports and 32 of the famous buildings in Chongqing back in 1944. Zhang’s masterpiece measures three meters long and two meters side. It is his way of showing his love for Chongqing.

Zhang, who was born in the city, left his home when he was 19 years old. He moved to the northern part of China where he worked as a railway worker for over forty years. Now, Zhang is back in his hometown where he shows how much he loves it by creating this project.

Zhang Gengzhi's work brings on pure nostalgia for those who miss the old Chongqing.

Source: CCTV

The modern Chongqing, by appearance, is just like other big cities in China, lined with skyscrapers and fancy cars. The government is intent on providing a new face for the municipality through financial support.

An ink and wash painting of the old Chongqing.

Source: Wu Guanzhong
Today's Chongqing.

As the urbanization of Chongqing continues, its humble beginnings have been disappearing rather quickly. Old buildings that line along old streets have rapidly been brought down just to develop the area even more. Zhang Gengzhi’s work of art, even just in a foamed plastic board, is a way to bring back memories of the old city before it disappears forever.

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