In his series ‘Totems’ set in Shanghai, China French photographer Alain Delorme pays homage to the underdog heroes of the city, migrant bicycle workers lugging around heaps of cargo to keep the ever-expanding city afloat. Delorme turns this real injustice into a surreal circus whereby he digitally alters his photos to better convey his message about the wealth disparity in China. Hereby the migrants’ loads have been digitally retouched and purposefully exaggerated to draw attention to the symbolism within Delorme’s work. In addition, the photographer uses candy-coated hues to veer away from reality.
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"It is my job to create universes, as the basis of one novel after another. And I have to build them in such a way that they will not fall apart two days later. Or at least that is what my editors hope. However, I will reveal a secret to you: I like to build universes which do fall apart.
I like to see them come unglued, and I like to see how the characters in the novels cope with this problem. I have a secret love of chaos. There should be more of it. Do not believe - and I am dead serious when I say this - do not assume that order and stability are always good, in a society or in a universe. The old, the ossified, must always give way to new life and the birth of new things. Before the new things can be born the old must perish.
This is a dangerous realization, because it tells us that we must eventually part with much of what is familiar to us. And that hurts. But that is part of the script of life. Unless we can psychologically accommodate change, we ourselves begin to die, inwardly.
What I am saying is that objects, customs, habits, and ways of life must perish so that the authentic human being can live. And it is the authentic human being who matters most, the viable, elastic organism which can bounce back, absorb, and deal with the new."