[Stacks] Summer Portfolio August 2011 -闵行开发区

Smoke stacks, Minhang Development Zone, Shanghai China 2011

It is there, blatantly.

This is the monolith industry that I find myself on the way to work everyday. Amisdt the rustic charm of the rural Shanghai, it doesn’t take much to get reminded on the rawness and the dirt of industry. The coal stained roads, the grinding noises of heavy machinery. The sulphur smell in the air from numerous plants generating steam for electricity to cooking buns.

In a way, the industry, with its spewing sentinel smoke stacks  billowing everyday, represents to me the china of today; of relentless development, of great pride and great achievements, at with unknown consequences in both society and environment. But more so, under these smoke stacks, I see everyday lives of people scurrying to fuel the economy of the beast, to churn out products often taken for granted the world over.

As I stepped into the gates, and gaze into a factory worker with a shy grin, it makes me wonder. A girl, from Sichuan, with all the vitality of 25 years, working in the same grimy place as me. I nodded back, an acknowledgement to her sacrifice as we both laugh at the ignominy of it all; and how it is sad but we are happy to be part of the change, the part of China that changes the world.


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