[Converse] Summer Portfolio 2011, 方浜中路, 虹口区

Car repairmen, Fangbing Road, Hongkou Shanghai 2011


The clatter of tools. Oil . Gas.  The acidic aftertaste of metal and sulphur bites the air. Glints of  luxury cars sit forlornly on hydraulic jacks , their innards exposed forlorny like half completed frankensteins.

Maybe in a few hours, with their shiny waxed hoods, shaded windows and reverberating pistons, these cars are the models on the road, cruising with impunity among the electric bikes and donkey carts. Right now, the glamour is gone. Like a girl without mascara and make up, I’m reminded they are simply a conglemeration of machine parts. And parts get dirty. And spoil. Break.

But now its a break. Summer has a way with you and the cicadas. As loud as those cicadas get, from the gloomy depths the minions emerge. Like ants, they fiddle and poke each other before bringing out khaki paper wraps of rice.  Or dabble on their mobile phones to provide the only affordable entertainment they knew. And of course, entertainment in their minds could be a recalcitrant girl sitting at home waiting for them to come back. And home could be a thousand km away in sichuan. Sits one engrossed, and the another came up and jumps him.

‘SOOOOOo…who’s the girl?’

He gets ignored ; and the prepetrator tries to squint his eyes sideways. No chance, except for me.

And I walk on.