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Expanding Horizons: Sze Tsung Leong

Pared-down vistas that speak volumes.

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The photographs from Sze Tsung Leong’s series “Horizons” offer a powerfully minimalist antidote to clichéd, all-you-can-see overfiltered panoramas. On view May 15 at New York’s Yossi Milo Gallery, the series’s vistas were shot on film over the course of ten years at more than 100 sites around the world. By reducing the field of vision down to two parts—land (or water) and sky—while embracing its sublime enormity, Leong redefines what a landscape can be.

Whether looking out over Bolivian salt flats or at Shanghai’s industrial waterfront, the light is even, often overcast, and the palette consistent. The peculiar, bifurcated compositions allow for breathtaking games of scale: A group of Bretons wetting their feet at Mont Saint-Michel at low tide, a herd of wildebeests in the Masai Mara (pictured) and the Chicago skyline are all similarly flattened by the expansive—if elusive—horizon line.

The stripped-down vision makes life in foreign parts appear more familiar than we would usually imagine. “People tend to recognize places they’ve never been [in my images], thinking they’re places close to home,” says the Mexican-born British American lensman. “In a way, despite the scale, the photographs make the world seem smaller.” “Horizons” runs through June 21; 245 Tenth Ave.; yossimilo.com.

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