We are used to seeing images of grandeur coming out of China. But Alain Delorme’s photographs are different – they focus on a smaller group of this rapidly developing society. His carefully composed collages show migrant workers and their haphazardly overloaded bicycles traveling through an ever changing landscape. A traditional transportation method which is deeply engrained in Chinese culture, the bikes here are charged with a different task. They have to move industrially produced objects around a city, which may soon find them obsolete.
“They are all different but have something in common: they cross the images as they cross the town, without ever settling in.”
Raphaële Bertho, photography historian, writes about Alain Delorme’s photographs: These migrants coming from all over China are the heart of the new “world factory”. Required to fulfill all the chores, this “floating population” is the workforce of the Chinese miracle, the other side of the economic success of the Middle Kingdom. The author shows us the actors of a segregation altogether – urban, social and economic. They seem misplaced in this sunny, bright-colored Shanghai. Alain Delorme turns upside down the order of the visible. These men become the heroes of this new world, whose force seems increased tenfold.
Alain Delorme’s images are stratified collages of how the booming Chinese economy affects the lives of these members of society.
Set against a highly urbanized background, their’ “Totems” travel precariously through the changing streets revealing the price of this rapid growth. They give us a better story about what really goes on behind the scenes of the urban expansion.
More of Alain Delorme’s work and interesting projects, you can find here.