Le Monde Perdu


  • Hard cover – 256 pages
  • Publisher: Editions Tempus Fugit
  • Author: Jonk
  • Language: French (English version: The Lost World)
  • Size: 30.2cm x 21.6cm
  • ISBN: 978-2-9576450-5-3

Released September 2023.

Jonk is one of the most reputed photographers of abandoned places in the world. For the last ten years, he has travelled the planet, tracking them down. Through his passion for Urbex, he hopes to show how they are slowly transformed before finally disappearing. The impact of passing time is the central theme of the book.
This quest for cracked walls, rusty iron and flaky paint has taken him across more than fifty countries. Today, Jonk gives us the very best of his urban explorations.

The book is prefaced by Denis Brogniart.

A word from the author:
In 2013 I visited my first abandoned place in the suburbs of Paris. At the time, I mainly photographed street art. This is what prompted me to enter this former customs building in Pantin, invested by the cream of Parisian graffiti. I went back several times before it was rehabilitated. This first visit was a revelation. The intense atmosphere that emanated from this place, the feeling of being where I had no right to be, the magnificent paintings reserved for a few adventurers, a path opened up that day.

I immediately looked for other similar places to find graffiti. Then, very quickly, graffiti or not, I started traveling to photograph these forgotten places. At the beginning the East and the North of France, then Belgium. I still remember my first “wasteland” trip abroad: Germany in 2014. A few days alone with already some fears including a first real contact with security guards. It was also almost my first encounter with the police… I knew that this journey would call for many others. Quickly arrived Eastern Europe, then the Balkans. Then, Japan, Taiwan… Later Namibia, Argentina… Passionate, I don’t do things by halves. In ten years, I have traveled four continents, fifty countries and a number of places that I no longer count since it exceeded one thousand five hundred.

These abandoned places fascinate me. I find in them an unequalled aesthetic and what about the questions they ask about our passage on Earth, about what we leave behind.

Ten years after Pantin, and for me who is a book lover, a publication was needed to celebrate this milestone.

This book has a story arc that relates to the aesthetic I was talking about above: decay. This decadence, this impact of time which has passed and which has left its mark on things represents what I find magnificent to observe and photograph in these places. I’m looking for time capsules. Places on which only time has had an impact, without human intervention.

These places out of time, where it is as if suspended, attract me like nothing else. Every image in this book exudes rusty iron, peeling paint, dust…

This work has twenty-two chapters which are either by major themes – industrial, medical, religious, etc. – either subjects dear to the author in this forgotten universe – textures, perspectives, abstract shapes, etc. Many photos from this project have never been published.

Here after, a picture from each chapter:

Press review: