Matjaz Tancic and Ruben Lundgren
Published by Jiazazhi Press
30 x 21 cm, 64 pages, color, softcover
“Wow Taobao” is an eclectic and humorously curated homage to the practical ingenuity of photography found on Taobao.com, one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms. The site, aimed at consumer-to-consumer businesses, attracted the attention of the two China-based European artists for the “useful photography” employed to showcase the features and characteristics of the items that are being sold. Focused on cost-efficient and easy-to-understand visual communication, sellers choose unusual routes to advertise their products: someone standing on a nailbed to demonstrate the tough soles of work boots; friends lying on the shelves of a cupboard; someone inspecting their ear canal to demonstrate a probe camera; less-than-thrilled pets modeling animal costumes, and so on.
“Wow Taobao” by Matjaz Tancic and Ruben Lundgren (who was also involved in the exhibition and photobook “China Imagined”) represents a selection – split into eleven themes – of the best images from a pool of over 1000 images collected over the years. The sticker-book like arrangement of the photographs on the page adds to the DIY aesthetic of the individual images.