by Xiaopeng Yuan
Campaign Child by Chinese artist Xiaopeng Yuan uses the backdrop of commercial photoshoots to critique the fetishised consumerism of modern-day China. While developing as an artist, Yuan found himself routinely commissioned by Chinese kids-wear fashion brands to photograph white Western models and American settings within his native Shanghai. Using this shallow, empty context as a parameter, Yuan began to excavate surreal, haunting, uncomfortable images with his young collaborators. Each image attempts a balance: between the pure, clean, functional axis of photography as a tool of desire, and a darker, inverted world, full of collapsed meanings and symbols.
The resulting images speak of the uneasy relationship between Western capitalist ideals and the global contexts they awkwardly insert themselves into, while critically questioning how capitalist desire and consumer wants are developed and validated through photography.
Campaign Child is published and designed by Loose Joints, an artist-run publisher and design studio exploring progressive approaches to image making in book form.
Campaign Child, Xiaopeng Yuan, © Loose Joints, 2019
Order the book here.