Alain Delorme’s photographic series “Totem”
Alain Delorme's photographic series "Totem"
Alain Delorme’s photographic series “Totem”

 

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Wonderful photographic series “Totem” by the French photographer Alain Delorme. Here are a few extracts from the photographer’s website written by the photography historian Raphaële Bertho to better understand the meaning behind this work…

The new Totems series by Alain Delorme plunges us into the core of contemporary China and its complexity.  Under the blue sky of a highly colored Shanghai, men carry throughout the city unbelievable piles. These precarious columns made of cardboard or chairs appear as new totems of a society in complete transformation, both a factory for the world and a new El Dorado of the market economy.

Alain Delorme seems here to draw the portrait of the small workers in the Shanghai streets. While one is usually fascinated by the delusion of grandeur of Chinese society, Alain Delorme chooses to focus on the individuals running around the city.

Alain Delorme seems to create a parallel between these manufactured totems and the buildings in the background, which have become themselves contemporary sculptures. The urban space is permanently under construction, developing relentlessly. The skyscrapers invade the city and rise always higher, such as new totems, always more remarkable, always more impressing. Stratum by stratum, traditional China rubs shoulders with the contemporary industrial superpower. The race here is not only the one of the men in the city, but also the one of the city towards its future.

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