In three decades of visits to China, celebrated photographer Lois Conner has witnessed firsthand the monumental physical transformation of the country. Nowhere is this change more dramatic than in the capital city of Beijing, the subject of Conner’s remarkable new book Beijing: Contemporary and Imperial. Conner’s breathtaking black-and-white panoramas reveal an ancient city in thrall to change, where the lingering splendor of a dynastic past is cast into shadow by rising concrete and steel. Juxtaposed against the ancient ruins from the Gardens of Perfect Brightness, the ultra modern “Bird’s Nest” National Olympic Stadium embodies all the ambitions of a rapidly ascending China. And yet, amid all the bustle and spectacle, quietly contemplative images of city life emerge, as if rescued from another era. Rich in tone and flawless in detail, Conner’s photographs capture all the complexities and contradictions of this fascinating modern metropolis.