The Weight of “Made in China”

All photos are by Alain Delorme and are digitally enhanced to exaggerate the loads carried by the subjects. 

Excerpt from Fastcoexist

Many outsiders looking in at China tend to focus on the group over the individual: the factory floors, the crowded classrooms, the high-speed trains, and the gleaming skyscrapers built to efficiently accommodate and maximize value from a rather homogenous group of people. On the other hand, French photographer Alain Delorme, decided to zero in on the individual in his series Totems—specifically, Shanghai’s migrants who bear the physical brunt of the fast-paced economy by hauling wares on their bikes and carts, like improvised trucks.

Delorme alters the photos with Photoshop to exaggerate the loads his subjects carry and heighten that sense of consumption. “To what extent can we play with reality to get the viewer to ask questions?” He says the works investigate globalization and consumerism. “But it is above all a way to make people think about the consumer society we live in via the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon, with all its identical and exchangeable objects produced in big quantities.”

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