Michael Wolf’s book on ‘Sitting China’ is a simple idea yet it creates a theme which is surprisingly insightful into the world of people living in such a booming country. His photographs show old, modern, broken and creative pieces put together to suit everyday needs.
They are not meant to be works of art, they are purely functional. That is how they are intended at least, he photographs chairs that have been fixed and adapted to serve a primary purpose – sitting.
No matter how basic these chairs may be, he has found creativity and characters in objects that are often old and quirky however they are still functional and are put to good use.
While in China he received criticism from people who watched him photograph these often dilapidated and strange looking contraptions. Some felt he was trying to paint China in a bad light.
He tried to explain that he was in fact fascinated by these chairs as they provided far more character than a modern sleek chair. The book appears to be documenting pieces which may seem like art to many people.
It shows different sides of China, it would be unreasonable to assume China is full of dilapidated chairs, but it would also be unrealistic to think that these would not exist in any country.