The shocking image of a 12-storey building lying flat after being toppled over like a child’s toy has led to fears about the safety of other buildings in China which is in “a massive overcapacity real estate bubble”, according to sculptor Bill Hopen. “They are building three apartments for everyone that is lived in. Most apartments are empty and those that are rented do not come close to paying the interest on the loan,” he says. He is worried that the upsurge in cheap building has led to a health and safety nightmare. The collapsed building referred to is the result of construction work to build and underground garage which was managed badly. “This photo is so metaphorical, it could only have been more symbolic if a domino effect had occurred. I think of the financial collapse of the families that own these condos and the impact to the bank underpinning the construction loans, then I think of the whole city collapsing without the buildings physically falling over,” he says.
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