THE ART NEWSPAPER   |  Lisa Movius

A new project by the award-winning photojournalist Lu Guang, made in collaboration with Greenpeace, exposes how the Chinese appetite for luxury furniture is devastating African forests. Blood Wood, on display at Shanghai’s Beaugeste Gallery (until 23 February 2018), documents the logging of bloodwood from Mukula, a slow-growing hardwood tree, from the forests of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

China imports 75% of Africa’s Mukula, which is used as a substitute for the mahogany traditionally used in prized furniture. “Real mahogany or sandalwood costs millions,” says Jean Loh, the owner of Beaugeste Gallery. “China has now spent 20 years exhausting the wood of Laos, Burma and Cambodia, through both legal and illegal logging,” he says. “Every year you hear of arrests; there is no more logging in China—forests are protected here now. … read more

Image | One of Lu Guang’s images of bloodwood bleeding after being cut in the Democratic Republic of the Congo