Toys from China, analysing selfies, Italian mags and e-fags
the origin of the global sea of plastic can be traced back to Yiwu, a city in China’s Zhejiang province. In sprawling warehouses, hosting some 62 000 individual booths, China Commodity City is considered one of the largest smallcommodity wholesale markets in the world. The market is likely to have been the first home to a great deal of the small goods, trinkets and toys that eventually make their way to
various retailers around the world (and then into our homes); some 215 countries import from Yiwu. Each morning, international buyers flock in, negotiating bulk buys for export, but in the afternoon the frantic mood changes and becomes almost listless. Shanghai-based photographer Eric Michael Johnson sought to capture these slumping hours, sometimes with the shopkeepers blatantly falling asleep amid their packed kaleidoscope of colourful stock.
Plastic goods stacked to the rafters in China Commodity City, Yiwu, awaiting despatch to the four corners of the globe.