» Visual Art

Future Holdings

Future Holdings documents the abandoned construction site for what would have been the tallest building in the world (Sky City) in Changsha, China. After a few short weeks of building activity in 2015, government authorities halted all construction and local residents eventually allowed the foundation to fill with water and become a fishing pond. Located on the northern edge of Changsha, Sky City would have been the first structure visitors would come across as they traveled along the Xiangjiang River. Today, though, the only elements that tower over this habitat are the construction cranes that fill the horizon. I first photographed this site in 2016 and have returned each year since. Each time, I was struck by the calm and quietness that enveloped this landscape despite the fact that with more than 7 million residents, Changsha would rank as the second largest city in the United States. My goal with Future Holdings is to investigate political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of our contemporary lives through issues of hubris, the relationship between humans and nature, and the evolution of cities like Changsha.


Matthew Conboy


Matthew Conboy is an assistant professor of multimedia at Zayed University where he teaches animation and digital media courses. He earned a BS from the Catholic University of America, an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a PhD from Ohio University. He has received numerous fellowships and grants including funding from The Heinz Endowments, The Opportunity Fund, Crusade for Art, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He currently lives and works in Abu Dhabi, UAE.