30 March 2014
Last updated at 19:57 ET
German photographer Frank Herfort has spent several years travelling across the former Soviet Union, taking pictures of the grand buildings constructed since the fall of Communism.
“After exploring Moscow’s structures, I realised that in all cities in former Soviet countries you can find such buildings,” says Herfort. (Ministry Buildings, Astana, 2012)
The photographer journeyed across the vast expanse not only by plane and train but also in his "beloved" Volga car purchased in Moscow. Here, a woman passes another vehicle outside the Traffic Police Headquarters in Kazan.
“I travelled to Vladivostok, to Blagoveshchensk on the Chinese border, to Astana in Kazakhstan [where this picture of Triumph Astana was taken], to Baku in Azerbaijan, to Sochi and to St Petersburg and everywhere in between,” Herfort says.
The pictures were taken on large-format film cameras. “I’ve used the classic analogue and the modern high-end digital to produce the images,” Herfort says. (Grand Park Towers, Moscow, 2009)
One city that has undergone extensive change is Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, where many of the Soviet-era buildings have been replaced and a futuristic town has formed in the middle of the steppe. (Lazurny Kvartal, Astana, 2012)
In 1997 the Kazakh capital was moved from Almaty in the south to Akmola (formerly Tselinograd) in the north, which was renamed Astana in 1998. The oil-rich state has since spent billions of dollars on the reconstruction.
Herfort photographed Chelyabinsk City in 2012. The Chelyabinsk region is perhaps best known for being the location in which a meteor crashed in the Urals in February 2013 - reportedly injuring hundreds of people. The shockwaves blew out windows and rocked buildings.
Based in both Berlin and Moscow, Herfort has made exploring the contrasts and contradictions of life in contemporary Russia a central focus of his artistic work. (Arco di Sole, Moscow, 2010)
A book of the series, Imperial Pomp: Post-Soviet High-Rise is published by Kerher Verlag. (Parus Building, Moscow, 2010) You can see more pictures from this project at www.frankherfort.com