Parisian photographer Alain Delorme visited Shanghai for an artist residency, and was soon overwhelmed by the urban excesses. "A few days after I arrived, I felt kind of dizzy, sick with the constant turmoil of the city, the endless stimuli coming from all directions," he wrote The Huffington Post in an email. "That’s how I set my mind on a series on accumulation."
In particular, Delorme's photo series "Totems" pays homage to the underdog heroes of the city, migrant bicycle workers lugging gargantuan heaps of cargo to keep the ever-expanding city afloat. Delorme turns this real injustice into a surreal circus of topsy-turvy deliveries. Talented bicyclists carry teetering loads of bizarre goods from balloons and flowers to wicker chairs. Delorme digitally alters his photos to better convey his message about the wealth disparity in China. The photographer uses candy-coated hues to veer away from reality via "clowns-in-a-Volkswagen lunacy of the wide loads in a tiny space."
"There is no joke really," the photographer included in his email. "Only sometimes comical situations that may bring a smile to your face: clothes lines across the street, dogs, exchanges of looks… all those things really exist as a matter of fact, all the images come from what I really saw and photographed in Shanghai."
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