Photographer Alain Delorme documents the Shanghai deliverymen who marry the ancient cart and the demands of modern commerce in a balancing act that has to be seen to be believed.
The mind wants to make metaphor out of photographer Alain Delorme’s images of modern Shanghai. It’s Sisyphus on a bike. It’s the weight of capitalist struggle on the back of the worker. It’s a rolling example of human ingenuity. Oh, wait. It really is that last thing. Why get fanciful or poetic when you can simply look at these photographs and tip your hat to the sheer pluck, ingenuity, and determination that it took the people in these pictures to transport goods from point A to point B? Carts, trikes, bikes—the most humble forms of transportation this side of a mule, set against the high-rise wonder of the modern metropolis: yes, the disparity practically screams off the page. But what sticks with you is the clowns-in-a-Volkswagen lunacy of the wide loads in a tiny space—it’s comical, it’s heartbreaking, it’s impressive, all at once. It makes you think of William Faulkner’s argument that man will not merely endure, he will prevail. Looking at these images, who could doubt that?