Thursday, 19 September 2013

Made in China: Factory Girls

Last night I went to the opening of Aowen Jin's new exhibition "Made in China: factory girls". Many documentaries and articles have been written and presented about those who work in Chinese factories, and the often poor working conditions.  In reality we know very little about the workers themselves, their families, their dreams and aspirations.

London based, Chinese born, artist Aowen Jin has spent the past two years getting to know the young women who work in the China's factories.  Aowen was angered by the western images that show Chinese workers as serious and dull.  She found that the workers themselves are disheartened by the western interpretation of them.  Anyone who has been to China knows that Chinese people are "as friendly and fun loving" as much as any other culture.  While not disputing that the conditions many work in do need to change, Aowen points out that many people in the west also do dull, boring, and repetitive jobs out of necessity.

"Made in china: factory girls" is an art installation that takes us into the lives of these young women, with their bright and bubbly personalities, and shows us their hopes and dreams for the future.

The work is presented on mobile phones allowing you to scroll through the images.

Accompanying the work is a documentary film showing interviews with the girls and commentaries from influential academics and cultural experts on China.

This is an exciting, intimate, and powerful body of work which is not to be missed.  I look forward to seeing how many of the aspirations and dreams of these young women are fulfilled as Aowen continues to document their lives until 2020.

Made in China: factory girls is showing at Bricklane Gallery E1 6SA until 23 September.


Sharon said...

What a very interesting concept and execution. I'd love to see this show.


I feel for many of these factory workers - working very, very hard to earn a living under what cannot be easy circumstances, while remaining engaged in their personal lives, friends and families. I would have loved to have seen this.

Jack said...

An exhibition shown entirely on cell phones? It is both clever and alarming. At times like this I get the feeling that life is passing me by!

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