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Urban “Clutter”: Stairway Landings of Shanghai


This piece presents a photographic documentation of the staircase landings of a high-rise apartment building in Shanghai in which I have been residing since August 2017. On these stairway landings rest various “stuff” that appear to be merely, “mess” or “clutter.” Amid the rush of daily life in Shanghai, I pause to think through this series of photographs. The photographs and accompanying statement reflect on the mundane objects left on the staircase landings which do not map too neatly within the urban order laid out in rapidly rising Shanghai. This piece seeks to open conversations into what could be a deeper understanding of the messiness of urban life in post-Mao China – an aesthetic or a mode of life that is constantly being revised, organized, fixed, and upgraded.


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