Photographer captures the beauty of Moscow's opulent Metro stations

Via Creative Boom submission. All images courtesy of the photographer and the Jennifer Kostuik gallery in Vancouver

Beneath the cold and wintry streets of Moscow, lies an opulent underworld of the city's extravagant metro stations, and Canadian creative David Burdeny is believed to be the first photographer ever to be allowed to shoot them after-hours when passengers have long gone home.

Dating back to 1935, The Moscow and St. Petersburg Metro was one of the USSR’s most extravagant architectural projects. Under Stalin's direction, the architects were directed to introduce the concept of "svet" – light – and "sveltloe budushchee" – a bright future.

With their polished marble walls, high vaulted ceilings and ornate chandeliers, the Metro stations have been likened to an “artificial underground sun”. This underground paradise was to remind its riders that Stalin and his party had delivered something substantial to the people in return for their sacrifices.

Burdeny has themed the series around this notion showcasing his photographs of 20 of the metro stations along with various Russian museums, palaces and theatre interiors. Entitled Russia: A Bright Future, his photographs are on display at the Jennifer Kostuik gallery in Vancouver until 8 November 2015.