Tall Stacks, Tiny Cart – A Look Into Shanghai’s Expansion

When Alain Delorme moved to China for an art residency, it was hard to ignore the beasts of burden that that was everywhere in Shanghai. We’re talking about the street carts, bicycles and trolleys that carry a sheer amount of merchandise to the point of teetering over. The aptly named series ‘Totems’ is an homage to the hard working migrant workers who maneuver around the streets precariously with overflowing stacks of items ranging from flowers to office chairs. Taking over 6000 pictures over a span of 44 days, he logged 6 hours on his bike each day to take photographs, paying attention specifically to the contents they lugged around. The people and their towering stacks in the foreground also served as a symbol to the ever expanding number of skyscrapers rapidly swallowing the city. The images themselves have been retouched and objects added on to exaggerate the dizzying pile because he wanted to get his point across: “Totems are usually considered special symbols with spiritual significance: Here, they can illustrate how objects are worshipped by consumer society—specifically, objects that are often ‘Made in China,’

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Lost, then found: Via