While walking down Yongjia Road a few minutes ago, I happened to pass this poster outside of a photo studio specializing in portraits of children. It’s really something:
Neglecting, for today, a discussion as to whether or why a Shanghainese parent would dress their son as if he’s the star of a pre-school production of Deliverance, let’s focus on the details. For me, the most wonderful is the rusted-out pickup in the background. You can’t see it clearly in the photo, but, in-person, a wooden truck bed has replaced the original metal one. No doubt, this is stock photography (and stolen, at that), but – as we say in the Old Country – that detail, it’s right-on. Alas, other details are not quite so apt: fellas with pickups like that don’t wear Doc Martens or run-around with antique rifles. Then again, they do wear hand-mended wife beaters. All in all, a masterpiece of cultural appropriation.