Michael Wolf captures what he has called “The Real Toy Story”. His photographs expose the truth behind all those made in China stickers. An overwhelming task, it seems the workers must never feel sense of accomplishment surrounded by the constant mountains of toy parts, forever sewing and stuffing, painting and assembling. Exhausting themselves, they retreat under their work stations to nap making bedding out of flattened cardboard boxes. He shows the meal time they spend together where everyone is served the same one pot dish then seated shoulder to shoulder cafeteria style.
After 10 years living and working in Hong Kong, Michael Wolf made a trip to California to collect over 20,000 made in China toys at flea markets and thrift stores. He sanded down their back so they could be fastened to a wall display framing the photos of these toy factories. There’s a lot going on, with something to look at no matter where you turn your head. The display was primarily produced in 2004 in Hong Kong and has made its way around the globe in many major cities.
Images © Michael Wolf