Even the most jaded old China hand can still marvel and appreciate the perfect alignment of tenacity and physics that makes up China’s incredible, mobile towers of junk. Photographer Alaine Delorme has produced an excellent gallery devoted to these cyclists, calling them “new totems of a society in complete transformation, both a factory for the world and a new El Dorado of the market economy.” He has clearly edited the colors in the photos, something done to create what he calls “augmented reality.
Delorme’s website has this to say regarding the role of these totems as they relate to the cyclist and society as a whole:
Their role is ambiguous, as they smother as much as they make visible the workers of the big city. On one hand the man is almost swallowed by the objects, he is their fervent servant; he’s submerged by this multiplication of the same object. The manufactured objects become the pagan idols of consumer society. On the other hand, these temporary sculptures seem to turn upside down the established order, the individual differentiating this way in the gigantism of the urban world. Identifying himself with this elevation, man isn’t himself interchangeable anymore and becomes singular in this multitude.