Toys from China, analysing self­ies, Ital­ian mags and e-fags

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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