The art of accumulation takes an astonishing shape in China. While one is walking down the street, it is possible to come across an aggregate of tyres, a cluster of polystyrene, a gigantic patchwork of multicolored fabric, which is more or less well wraped up an ad hoc bicycle. The French Alain Delorme (born in 1979) has chosen this very detail that appears characteristic in China. In his series Totems he represents common people, everyday life in Shanghai, yet with an excentric touch. We think we are looking at common riders, we think we recognize Chongde road, or the famous Broadway Mansions building composed of brown bricks, still something is wrong: there is too much items on these bicycles, there is a wall that should not be here in reality, some pedestrians stand in a far too much symmetrical position. Alain Delorme indeed plays with reality by mixing thousands of images, adding eye-catching colours and subtle montages in which pedestrians, walls, and buildings form a new composition that is stratified yet harmonious. These riders of great strength are Shanghai’s totems, there are the pillars of a city that always sees things bigger, a city in the image of a country that keeps on thinking in terms of gigantism and ceaseless mutation. With Totems, Alain Delorme compellingly shows us his conceptions of photography, life and irony.
More information: Alain Delorme's website