Lost and Found

Lost and Found

There are hundreds of ghost towns and deserted cities across the world. From Ordos Kangbashi in China to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, these ominous time capsules signify bygone days of tourism, economy and leisure. 

Kao Saephan is a photographer and writer who’s interested in the cinematic nature of smaller, often forgotten towns in California. Yermo is in the Mojave Desert in San Bernadino County, south of the Calico Mountains. In 2009, the population was an estimated 1,750. Now, it stands as an abandoned landscape, with empty diners, dusty roads and swinging signs. 

Saephan’s images offer an act of investigation, delving back into long-forgotten places and pulling out their colour palettes. Blues, reds and whites harken back to a collapsed American Dream, like a flag scattered across the desert.

All photos are from the Lonely Planet series, shot in and around California. Credits: Photographer: Kao Saephan (@abruisedorange). Model: Sophie Kirkpatrick (@sophieshea_mua).

Posted on 9 September 2020

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