Sim Chi Yin’s ongoing project, Shifting Sands, examines the global hunger for sand and the ill-regulated, under-documented industry it has fed. Chi Yin first looked into the idea of sand as a commodity in 2017, beginning by focusing on Asia. The exploitation of sand⁠—legal and illegal⁠—has generated corruption, political unrest and ecological threat, and has even led to the rise of violent “sand mafias” across the globe. Pictured here, four caissons (watertight retaining structures) sit off the coast of Tuas, awaiting use in reclamation projects.

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox