The photo series of Budapest and Shanghai-based photographer Bence Bakonyi titled Cognition puts us in the position of a distant, outside spectator. The photographs were made in Dunhuang, on the border of the Gobi Desert, China: the city was once an important checkpoint for the commercial caravans of the ancient Silk Road.
“I had scheduled my journey for the time of a one-week Chinese holiday, where I followed and observed the attending tourists for a week. Through the photographs’ particular viewpoint, I attempt to represent the spirit of the group. Therefore my focus is not on the individual, but on the community: we see it moving in unity, the trace of its path, and thus the process through which this unified mass of people discovers the unknown. As the protagonists of the photographs taken in Dunhuang are tourists, the landscape was just as alien and fascinating for them as it was for me when I documented it,” the photographer explained.