This year photographer Yangchen Lin helps celebrate the London Underground’s 150th birthday with an exhibition of photographs documenting the function and form of this iconic transport behemoth.
The Tube has been capturing the attention of photographers for decades. In the 1930’s David Savill shot black and white images of pristine carriages and smartly dressed commuters; today Yangchen captures the colourful chaos of the man-machine relationship and the daily mayhem it creates.
Lin explains: My first ever ride on the Underground was on a short visit to London in 2004, starting rather curiously at Ravenscourt Park station… Only in 2009 did I again ride on the Underground, and we began dating in earnest from then on. My relationship with her is rather cliche. I simply fell in love with a historical and engineering marvel that sucked me in wherever I was and spit me out wherever I wished to go, fast, with endless variety bombarding your five senses along the way.
Yangchen is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge who uses photography to unite his passion for both science and art. A self-proclaimed “photographic explorer”, he uses the medium to investigate and appreciate the diversity of the world around him.
His studies in ecology have sparked a keen interest in how beings interact within certain environments, but Tube=2πr×h is more than a record of commuters and their behaviour, it’s about the quirks and charisma of the system itself.
This exhibition is the grand culmination of Yangchen’s lengthy immersion in the physical and spiritual beauty of the London Underground. Showing concurrently to other celebratory exhibitions (including Mark Wallinger’s Labyrinth in Tube stations throughout London), the project pays tribute to an engineering marvel that revolutionised London and inspired transport projects across the world.
Tube=2πr×h can be seen at The Strand Gallery from March 26th to April 6th.