01 / Research Exhibition as part of GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba. From Here To Your Home at the Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, NL, 2018. Research fragments specific to the reuse of iPhone 7Plus  are displayed on the centred low table, including an iPhone 7Plus assembled from scratch at the markets. The table is surrounded by a wall-projection of animated 3D-scans of the markets, voice-over and subtitles of interviews with shop-owners at the markets, photographic prints of selected scans presented as walk-through-essay, a large scale print visualising a possible end-of-life cycle of disposed smartphones based on a conversation with a secondhand smartphone component dealer. (First and second picture by Peter Cox)

Qin 親 

Van Abbemuseum / 2018

as part of GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba. From Here To Your Home            

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.

Commissioned and supported by the Design Academy Eindhoven in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL, 2018.
Co-funded by The Creative Industries Fund NL, 2018.
Exhibited within GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba.From Here To Your Home at the Van Abbemuseum, curation by Martina Muzi and Joseph Grima, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, NL, 2018.
Exhibited within GEO–DESIGN: Alibaba. From Here To Your Home, curation by Martina Muzi and Joseph Grima, during Salone del Mobile, Milano, IT, 2019.
Credits: Christopher Hoi Wong (Translation, SZ, CN), Li Liao (Network, SZ, CN), David Li (Network, SZ, CN), Vicky Xie (Network, SZ, CN), Mr. Liang (Repairshop, HQB, SZ, CN), Mr. Li (Repairshop, HQB, SZ, CN) Li X. (iPhone Dealer, SZ, CN), Lisa (iPhone Components, HQB, SZ, CN), Lily (iPhone Components, HQB, SZ, CN), Amy (HQB - Alibaba, SZ, CN), Mily (HQB - Alibaba, SZ, CN), Richard (Guangzhou - Alibaba, SZ, CN), Jessica (HQB - Alibaba, SZ, CN), Ally (HQB - Alibaba, SZ, CN), Yasir (Repairshop, Den Haag, NL), Marek (3D technology, US)

02 / Scans from the Huaqiangbei markets. 

04  / Visualisation of the assumed flow of returned iPhones, cycling back to Shenzhen for reuse, repair, refurbishment and more. The map is based on informant and Hong Kong-Huaqiangbei dealer Mr. Li X. in Shenzhen, who receives second-hand ware iPhones and components and provides these to the Huaqiangbei Electronic Markets, Shenzhen, CN, 2018.