by Kevin T. Stein in New Photography on Wednesday 12 September 2012

Unhappy faces. Workers asleep under benches. The gauzy memories of too much lead in the paint. Interestingly, despite the close-up nature of the work, none of the employees (mostly women) shown in this photographic log of a Chinese toy factory assembly line wear glasses. Or smiles. Okay, one or two have half-smiles.

And there are piles and piles of generic, mostly-unidentifiable toys in various states of entropy. Which makes you think of how these products, designed for the amusement of the very young, are somehow a reflection of the mature lives in charge of assembly. According to the article, 70% of the world’s toys are manufactured in China. These photographs create a somewhat chilling juxtaposition between the Chinese workers and the little bundles of disposable joy they’re paid pennies per hour (at a guess) to assemble.