“Young / Fashion / Money” is a photography series by Shanghai-based photographer
Wei Ding. Behind the eerie and glamorous limbs shown in the pictures, the series is also
an instant reaction and reinterpretation of a specific side of Chinese contemporary
society — “the groupon upper-class ladies”. In October 2020, several articles came out
online, revealing how a group of girls split bills to buy/rent Western luxury products for
an affordable price. According to the article, these young women, each paying several
hundreds, would line up in a room of Bvlgari Hotel posing for a photo. These pictures
would feed into their social media streams and boost their persona as upper-class ladies.
They have different agendas, but many of them find this an effective path towards
finding a rich husband to actually enter the upper-class.
Wei Ding captures this absurd moment of the Chinese modernity in his surreal and
sarcastic way. Here, the hands and legs are not only sharing a bag, they are also sharing
their glamour in the space of the same photo. He intentionally shot this whole series
with a quality of fashion photography with the use of direct on-camera flash against
white background, which created an absurd and dreamy space for these crowded hands
and legs. Each image was also based on and inspired by specific details from the articles,
including the Gucci leggings and Hermes bag that the girls rented or bought together.
These images all point towards a reality of contemporary China - the trend of sharing
economy and social media have changed the game ever so rapidly. Today, everything is
up for grab. Nothing is beyond reach. All dreams will come true.
Photographer: Wei Ding @weiding22
Consultant: Cuxi Lin @lin.nil.lin
Model 1: Miss G @missingmissg
Model 2: Chelsea G @chelseag19
Model 3: Cuxi Lin @lin.nil.lin