In El Alto, the second-most populous city of Bolivia, there has emerged a special kind of event venue. The ornate buildings, colourful and geometric, stand out against the arid landscape and neighbouring red brick buildings. In his series Neo-andina, São Paulo-based photographer Tatewaki Nio (b. 1971, Japan) focuses on this contrast between architecture and surroundings.

The lavish buildings, developed in part by the exponent architect Freddy Mamani, have popped up in parallel with the growing middle class of Aymara indigenous people. Currently there are around 170 buildings of this style in the city, each hosting events of various kinds. Tall, bright and handsome, their decorations portend the party inside.

This work was produced with the support of the Museé du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac. Neo-Andina was featured in GUP#54, the Playful issue.