Tradition, we were told, dictates that secondhand clothes are not worn in China, because people like everything to be ‘new’ and not tainted with the lives of others – same is true of furniture apparently (unless it’s a valued antique).
Hu Xiang Qian (second from right) and some fellow recent graduates from the nearby Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, have gone against the grain and set up business flogging ‘dead mans stuff’ so they can earn money to develop their art careers independently without relying on selling their work through China’s rampant art market.
Painted with Italian tricolor because Qian loves an Italian girl, and situated on the village’s tight main street amongst many other new, trendy, student-orientated shops, the shop opened for business on the first weekend of our stay. They sell t-shirts (for 20-30Yuan, £1.50-£2), shirts, hats and jeans - imported from Thailand and bought in bulk - mostly good quality, quirky stuff, with an ‘almost new’ feel. They helped us by hosting an installation of a photo project on the outside wall of their shop.