This photography project was conducted before and during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. If we take the pandemic as a turning point, the Chinese economy was flourishing prior to the outbreak. The middle-class lifestyle in the first-tier cities was dominated by consumerism, where people used to talk about shopping, and shopping crazily.
What we face in the coming decade is a lack of demand. The economy may undergo deflation before entering into stagflation, resulting in a shrinkage of wealth for the middle class.
The current state of life for the middle class in China’s major cities is a tendency to retreat from social issues. Instead, they would rather completely absorb themselves into the mundane and individual routines.
In daily life, there is a duality: on the one hand, we have access to products that are high-end and of international standard, while on the other hand, we possess those things that show to be cheap and kitschy. We witness superficial and underdevelopment aspects, yet simultaneously encounter world-class and cutting-edge elements. It is precisely this contradictory phenomenon that captivates my attention.
The random placement of outdated items is captured by the photographer in the hallway of residential buildings in Beijing. This is an exemplification of the ever-growing desire and fast-paced lifestyle of the middle class in the pre-pandemic era. At the same time, it provokes the photographer’s reflection upon this type of lifestyle and the uncertainty that lies ahead in the future.
‘To observe, mock, satirize, stultify, deconstruct, resist - these are the only hippie things in the true sense.’
The material desire is amplified in my photographs, with an intuitive orchestration of distorted visual collages that infuses a sense of novelty and stimulation into the everyday objects. By doing his, the mundane and outdated become fresh, the dullness caused by ubiquity is alleviated, and the dynamic between the real and imagined can thus be created.