01 | These pictures show the exhibition of Qin 親 [hello friend] as part of GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba.From Here To Your Home at the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, NL, 2018. The centred table displays research fragments specific to the iPhone 7Plus as case-study object of the research, including an iPhone 7Plus made from scratch at the markets. The table is surrounded by a wall-projection of animated 3D scans, voice-over and subtitles of interviews with Huaqiangbei Market shop-owners, photographic prints of selected scans presented as walk-through-essay, large graphic print visualising the second lifecycle of returned iPhones. Photography by Peter Cox.
How have online e-commerce platforms affected multinational trade at the traditional locations of offline or b2b markets?
This work looks at the relation between the e-commerce trade network Alibaba and the largest centre for electronics worldwide, the Huaqiangbei Electronic Markets of Shenzhen. The smartphone was chosen as case-study object to narrow the scope of research into trade culture along smartphone component retail, refurbishment and redistribution.
Conversations with local shop owners were initiated while purchasing each singular component needed to assemble one iPhone 7Plus; Mentioned by shop owners as most easiest-to-assemble phone on the Huaqiangbei markets at the time of research, September 2018. The name Qin 親 [hello friend] entered the work through initial Alibaba chat conversations with smartphone component suppliers. The conversations commonly started with Hi friend, dear friend, Qin 親.
The findings of Qin 親 were exhibited as multimedia installation within the show GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba.From Here To Your Home. The installation was composed of a large-scale graphic mapping on the global 2nd lifecycle of iPhones through the Huaqiangbei Electronic Markets, a series of printed 3D scans depicting context specific research fragments, a video projection of animated 3D scans and interviews with local shop owners, a centred low table with material deconstructions and the assembled iPhone 7Plus, displaying its own assembly as looped video.