in today’s world, 93% of international commerce moves by sea. billions of tonnes are transported yearly, with an ocean freight forecasted to grow 4.7% annually for the next decade. nowadays containers have become a core element of globalization, enabling commercial interchanges of various nature from far fetched locations. overwhelmed by the presence of containers and the space optimization, photographer manuel alvarez diestro presents ‘boxification’, a series that reflects on sea freight containers in a collection of images captured across asian ports.


hong-kong port

 

 

sea freight containers when placed in the asian mega ports are piled in the the thousands and together they create new landscapes where they rival the surrounding nature and integrate with the cities that we build. ‘boxification’ by manuel alvarez diestro captures the colorful geometries bordering the water, and their standardization across countries, cultures and means of transportation. this transnational discourse summarised in a standard steel box is a case of mutual understanding, of easiness to do business, the staple of international commerce.


shanghai new port, china 

 

 

in this world of standardisation governed by the hidden port operator, the artist further reflects around the content of those sea freight containers: what do they keep? and most powerful, from a photographic perspective the boxes seem to have conquered the landscape where they are the new canon.


new busan port, south korea

 

 

‘they are enigmatic spaces that withhold the nature of its content: electrical appliances, mangoes, medicines, laptops, toys, clothes, avocados, furniture, wine, machinery, vehicle parts, books. all stacked up together, are classified, all travelling to different destinations, all alien to their surroundings, anonymous in darkness and waiting to be consumed by one of us.’manuel alvarez diestro.


busan port, south korea 


shanghai new port, china


kaohsiung port, taiwan


phnom penh, cambodia


busan, south korea

shanghai new port, china 


busan port, south korea


jakarta port, indonesia

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • Fabulous. Modern landscape photography, where the artifacts of modern “civilization” eclipse land forms, gives an interesting contrast. Jimi Hendrix would have called this series “Boxy Ladies.”

    Steven Lewis says:

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