Somewhere in 2017, I guess, I got a photograph by Kunbei Zhang which I adopted as wallpaper on my notebook and phone. It is not quite clear to me why the photograph is sufficiently intriguing to adopt it as the picture I see several times every day. So when I realized that I had it on display for more than a year I decided to try and find out where my preference was based on, if any, so I tried to Google some background information. Kunbei had mailed that the picture is from an old factory and that the street reminds her of the street she walked to school to in around 1990. Looking for a combination of Chongqing, graffity on street and JOY (which apears in the photograph) Google produced a lot of pictures. Some of them looked like from a similar environment.
The series of pictures is ordered to illustrate that the street has been quite recently turning from a forgotten area in Chongqing (2017) into a hot spot of interest, for tourists too, so it seems, in 2018. The bulding on the left is Eling Factory 2, the main factory in China for color printed materials, which was closed somewehere in the 1980s and picked up in 2012 by the Chongqing city/people to dedicate its architecture to be preserved and its function to be transformed into a centre for the arts. It is called “testbed 2” as an hommage to a similar project in London (“testbed 1”).
The series of pictures illustrates how what may well be the cause for interest (like being old and useless and untouched by economic and technologic innovation) will be robbed of its authentic attraction by the numbers of people actually attracted, and how the attraction turns it into something completely different. Testbed 2 is not Factory 2 any more. And none of the later pictures would have made it as my wallpaper.
This one, however, has.