Winter 2013 - WORLD ADRIFT China Seas Part One

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This year for Unknown FIelds Winter 2013 expedition we travel East, to China and beyond, tracing the shadows of the world’s desires across China Seas along supply chains and cargo routes, to explore the dispersed choreographies and atomised geographies that global sea trade brings into being. These are the contours of our distributed city, stretched around the earth from the hole in the ground to the high street shelf. Consignments of the precious and industrial, raw and refined, mechanical and alive, drift across infrastructural seas, suspended in maritime space on vast Panamax, Aframax and Suezmax, from cavernous factory floors via huge ports like Shanghai and Ningbo, Singapore and Busan and onwards to navigate the bottleneck excavations of Panama and Suez en route to the West.

Our journey to East Asia takes in a cross-section of this supply chain. From source to sea, we  chart the journey of this and that, bits and bobs and thingamajigs; wander wholesale markets the size of cities, trawling Yiwu’s 4-million-square-metre bazaar [supplier of pound-lands and dollar-stores across the globe, and responsible for 1,000 containers leaving China a day] via the mega ports of Busan, Qingdao,  Shanghai and Hong Kong our route takes in some of the biggest cargo infrastructure on earth, as we ride alongside containers of stuffed toys and arsenal scarves, setting sail along the shipping lanes of the East and South China Seas and beyond. Our design speculations operate within this dislocated city, where intense pockets of activity in wildly unexpected places supply cultures far removed with the fulfilment of their every need and desire.

 You can read an extended description of the studio here.


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